Surfing for Beginners
Weligama is around a mere 2-hour ride from Colombo, so we made it to Surf Paradise, the hotel we were to stay the night at by around 11.30AM. In no time at all we all settled in to rooms and were already set to head off to the beach. Before that, however we sat down for a nice traditional Sri Lankan lunch of rice with ambul thiyal (fish curry), dhal and other Sri Lankan curries.
Soon after filling our tummies with the delicious food laid out for us, we piled back into our bus and headed to the beach. First of all, it’s usually recommended to wear something long sleeved when going surfing as you can get a couple minor scratches when you fall off your surf-board; on a side note however, if you’re a roughing-out, hands-on-experience kind of person, I’d say it doesn’t hurt to just wear whatever is comfortable and just go for it. Worked for me (no scratches).
Once we got to the beach, our instructor who everyone in the neighbourhood called Loku along with his colleague Shantha got us all set in a circle to give us beginners our first lesson on surfing. These guys have been doing this for a very long time and are very good at what they do which was clear right off the cuff. You know right away that you can trust them and rely on them. We got a good thorough lesson on how to stretch, how to stand, how to balance; what to do, what not to do and all the works.
After being divided into small groups, we were all assigned an instructor. We were all set up with a hard board which is a bigger board that us first-timers and amateurs get till we become pro-surfers who can use the soft board (smaller in size and tougher to balance on). Surfboards in hand, we made our way into the ocean waves. The next couple of hours flew by with our first-timers clikbing and tumbling off surfboards. Some of them came to find out they were pros after getting the hang of it right off the cuff. One thing remained true to all; every one of us were determined and so enthusiastic that even after 20 tumbles into the water, we got back on the board. Kudos to Loku’s crew who were the definition of encouragement with their continuous support and advise.
Sun-tanned and feeling self-accomplished, we reluctantly dragged ourselves away from the Weligama waves and returned to our lodgings. After a much-needed rest, the whole crew came together for drinks with bites. This is always one of the best parts of these trips because this is when everyone gets together, cracks some jokes, learn a little more about each other and just gets closer as a group. The night got even more interesting later on when we spontaneously decided to hit a party happening over in Mirissa. We all danced well into the night before returning to Surf Paradise.
Right after a filling breakfast the next day, it was back to surfing. All of us first-timers got our second go at surfing. This time around we got the chance to get a better hang of it. Still wobbles all around but still smoother than the day before. After a much enjoyable session of surfing, once again we had to part with the waves and make our way back to our lodgings to pack up for our ride to Galle. We all left Weligama that day a more proud and empowered group.
Lunch in Galle was a very welcome treat. It is always nice to stroll the streets of Galle, and admire its architectures. Peddler’s Inn was the winner for lunch. We found a compartment for ourselves and our group of 18 filled into it snuggly.
It was the perfect ending to this relaxing yet challenging adventure. It was at this point that we could laugh about our experiences, and feel proud of what we’d achieved and gave us the confidence that we may not have had before. One thing was mutual among all of us; that we all wanted to come back to Weligama and not just once but many more times. Weligama is just one of those places that is addictive. You can never get enough. Though it is goodbye to the waves now, it is only until our next surfing adventure.