Choosing the right surfing destination that coincides with your intended travel period can be quite tricky. In fact, it could make all the difference between a memorable surfing experience and the worst break ever.
So, here is everything you need to know about Kitesurfing in Kalpitiya and why it should be every kiter's dream destination.
If you are an adrenaline junkie, waiting to hover over the seas of a foreign land or a newbie to the whole kitesurfing scene, it is essential to consider if the kitesurfing destination of your choice meets the ideal conditions like the season, weather, wind strength and direction, in order to avoid any disappointment upon arrival.
The fishing hamlet of Kalpitiya, located on the western coastal stretch, north of Colombo, Sri Lanka has rightfully claimed its standing as one of the most sought-after kiting destinations in Asia, and at present, it is referred to as the sweet secret of the world’s kiteboarding atlas.
Unlike its rivals, Kalpitiya offers steady and reliable wind conditions, that persist pretty much throughout the year and also boasts an expansive body of flat water that stretches over several kilometres. The exquisite island paradise of Sri Lanka enjoys two monsoon seasons. The summer season commences from May and extends through October with the Southwest Monsoon pumping in the stable, consistent wind and the winter season runs from mid-December through February during Northeast Monsoon. By influencing the wind system, the two monsoon seasons fundamentally contributes to the sustenance of Kalpitiya’s perfect wind conditions; making it an ideal surfer paradise at least nine out of twelve months a year.
The open beachfront also gives you ample space to pump and launch your kites before you levitate back and forth over the picturesque landscapes of the lagoons, with your fellow kiters.
Especially if you are an amateur; riding on flat water lagoons with consistent wind, will enable quick learning! Sometimes, seeing independent kiters, glide over the vastness of the ocean with excellent manoeuvrability and speed, can be unnerving as much as it is pulsating. Therefore, if you are a first-timer, we strongly recommend you book professional kitesurfing lessons at Ruuk Village Kite School. Our IKO certified instructors will instil in you, essential kitesurfing skills like how to read the wind and fearlessly slide, fly, jump and turn like a pro, in no time.
With 14 lagoons offering the best kite surfing spots in Sri Lanka with conditions suited for beginners and independent riders alike, this wind capital of Asia is only a taxi ride of 144km away from the Bandaranaike International Airport. So, all you have got to do is just hop on a flight to Colombo, and we could even make arrangements to pick you up and bring you to our humble abode. Some of our favourite kitesurfing spots in the Kalpitiya peninsula are listed out at the end of this page for your ease. However, if you wish to learn more about them and other logistics of how to get to the best kitesurfing spots in Kalpitiya and so on, you can refer to our kite safaris or speak to one of us.
Sri Lanka, as a destination, has intrigued travellers from around the world for centuries with its wealth of culture, history and ecology. With bar reefs, mangroves and salt marshes, the coastal region of Kalpitiya is blessed with abundant marine biodiversity and eco systems that live symbiotically. Thus, it stands out among its competition, by offering a plethora of things to see and do in Kalpitiya and beyond. To be more specific, Wilpattu - the largest national park in Sri Lanka, is just a boat ride away from Ruuk Village. Owing to the compactness of our country, there is so much excitement and wonder at every street corner, awaiting to be uncovered. Be it dolphin safari, a visit to the cultural triangle, conversing with a local fisherman or even collecting mussels and learning to cook some Sri Lankan Rice and Curry dishes, Kalpitiya will keep you on your toes! Our team at Ruuk Village will assist you with the all logistics of these tours and experiences.
Let’s talk more about the; the wind in Kalpitiya!
There are two dominant wind directions in Sri-Lanka
may till september
During this period, the bottle neck between Sri Lanka and India across the sandbanks of the Adam’s Bridge (Mannar) creates a venturi effect, causing the warm and dry wind to sweep from the east towards the ocean. This wind compared to that of the winter season, is much stronger with an average strength variation of 20 to 30 knots (sometimes it even ascends further). Although this wind can become quite gusty depending on the buildup and the vegetation. Choosing your kite spot wisely, will allow you to take advantage of this time of year. If you are looking to ride all day long, summer months will be the best, considering the consistent winds that blow throughout the day (and night), giving you more extended hours to kite. When you sign up with our kiting lessons, our IKO certified instructors will explain these phenomena further and suggest the best kite spots in Kalpitiya based on the wind strength and directions.
Ruuk Tip: Islets and sandbanks on the furthest north of the Kalpitiya peninsula offer steady winds and great flat-water arena for all levels, especially during these months.
December till end of March
If you prefer a more laidback start to your day, the winter season would be the best for you! The wind gradually starts picking up at around 11 am, giving you ample leisure time in the morning, to enjoy a hearty breakfast or go for a morning dive (or even wake up a little late) before you start riding. December through end-March is also the time to catch a glimpse of the large pods of spinner, humpback and bottlenose dolphins, that inhabit the periphery of the coastline of Kalpitiya. If you are lucky, you might even spot a few spinner dolphins from the shore, during this time because the winter season is typically accompanied by clearer skies, fresh air and high visibility.
Wind is not as strong as the summer months, and it brings the cool breeze from the west over the Indian Ocean lowering the temperature of the land. Unlike the Summer season, the wind remains milder and steadier; averaging between 15 to 25 knots which is particularly favourable for beginners. The wind is mostly thermal, which is also called “traders wind”, this is one of the reasons why Kalpitiya has almost 100% of wind during the European Winter months.
Ruuk Tip: If you come here around December-January, we recommend you hit the shower before the sun goes down because evenings can become quite chilly during these times.
How to read WINDguru like a Kalpitiyan
Having monitored the wind statistics for over a half a decade, with much certainty, we could say that there is hardly a day without any wind in Kalpitiya (comparing some well-known kite spots in and around Europe). As this region belongs to the dry zone of Sri Lanka, Kalpitiya has clear skies with less rain. This explains why there is wind almost all year around. 14 lagoons (kiting-spots) scattered across Kalpitiya is a competitive advantage over its rivals in other parts of Asia. Here in Sri Lanka the kiters are bestowed with the privilege of choice.
How strong is the Kalpitiya wind ? What you read in the WindGuru forecast is what you “feel/get”. In fact, we have set up our own LIVE WindGuru station right in front of Ruuk Village entrance. Have a look at the below reading. Sometimes, the foliage can cover the wind sensor, so to get a more accurate reading of the wind which is relevant to the kiting beach, you need to add few knots. During summer months we usually add + 5 to 8 knots and during winter + 3 to 5 knots.
based on the two wind seasons as highlighted in the previous sections, Kalpitiya has the following seasons
Even though there is no proper off-season, from mid-March until mid-May and then again from the end of September until mid-January the windy days come less frequently than usual. During the said months.
Bigger kites can be useful (between 13sqm to 16sqm).
In case you’re a person who prefers empty lagoons and very cost-efficient prices for accommodation, then this is the time you should join us.
There are usually plenty of thermal wind days (when no rain clouds over Kalpitiya). Most of the bigger kite schools are closed since the foreign stake holders who run these places are catching wind somewhere else in the world.
All of the local kite-schools and kite-rentals are open throughout the year, guaranteeing a livelihood for the local team members.
In case you wish to support the local establishments this is one of the time slots to visit Kalpitiya, to support the local and regional economy.
From mid December till the end of March, the wind is slightly weaker than the wind during the high season but therefore the temperatures are comfortable and sometimes you even need a sweatshirt in the evenings. There is an average of 5 days of wind per week.
You need bigger kites (between 10 to 14 assuming you are 80Kg kiter).
The best thing is that the Indian ocean becomes smoother allowing you to do really cool down winders from the north to the south of Kalpitiya.
If you are lucky you might see some dolphins are too.
If you are a fan of slight waves and riding in the open ocean this is your time. There are loads of kiters who choose to kite in the Indian ocean, so the lagoon is a bit more relaxed than during the high season from May till September.
This season is shorter than the high season so there are more kiters concentrated during the Christmas and New Year break. Night life is still low, but there are few bars operating and if you are looking for a longer night, it is surely the time of the year to visit Kalpitiya. But places like Ruuk Village still keeps a low profile allowing all their guests (including family with kids ) to relax and chill-out during the festive season but surely Ruuk Village provides you music and cold lion beer on demand too.
Mid may till the end of September, the Indian ocean becomes rough and the lagoons, especially places like "dream-spot" and the "magic-spot" become butter flat, all those flat-water lovers to go bonkers.
The best spot during this time of the year is the "magic-spot" or "Vellai Island" which is around a 40-minute boat ride from Kalpitiya main kiting lagoon. Check the kite-spots at the end of this page.
If you are a beginner, however, you will still find plenty of places in the main kiting lagoons to improve your skills.
You need smaller kites and there are around 6 windy days per week. There may even be times that you’ll wish the wind would stop, so that you can relax a day in between your kiting sessions guilt-free.
Aka "Kudawa Lagoon" is a good spot to kite. But could get crowded quicker than the main lagoon in Kalpitiya since its much smaller.
KITEsurfing SPOTS in Kalpitiya Sri Lanka
There are over a dozen kite-spots in Kalpitiya. Ruuk Village organizes safaris to all of the below locations All of them are spread over the 14 lagoons. the most famous kite-spots are:
Kapalady Lagoon - best months for this lagoon are from May till September
Donkey spot - Best for riders who wants to have waves from May till September
Puthlam Lagoon - best months are during May till September
Kalpitiya main Lagoon - recommended throughout the year due to the fact that it is right by the Indian ocean with almost no build up
Vellai Island, aka magic Spot - best from May till September although during the winter months the Indian Ocean builds a flat-water area.
Dream spot - The closest spot to the main Kalpitiya Lagoon. It is a 15min boat ride away and can be enjoyed the whole year around.
Dutch Bay - Is half way towards Vellai Island and can be enjoyed during both summer and winter months.