The pursuit of freedom has always been behind great travel experiences, whether it’s on horseback, by motorbike or practicing extreme sports. I enjoy exploring this idea during my journeys. I travel to discover new cultures, get lost in remote locations, encounter exotic wildlife or experience the pristine nature. Since two years ago, though, I found one more reason for travelling. And this is called Kite Surfing.
Always up for an adventure, I join my husband’s kite trip for the first time. We are on the Northeast coast of Brazil, and I challenge myself to learn Kite surfing. The first lessons on the water are exhausting, but once I try the joy of surfing, I realize there is no going back.
I am addicted to the adrenaline and the feeling of flying to wherever the wind wants to take me. Then I travel to a couple of other kite locations, and when I have the chance to surf in Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka, I immediately say yes.
I visited the Southern part of Sri Lanka about three years ago, but Kalpitiya has been on my list of surfing spots for a while. Located in Puttalam district, North Western Sri Lanka, it is considered to have the best kite Surfing conditions in South Asia throughout the two wind seasons: From May to October and December to March. It is pretty much a remote rural backwater that has seen very few visitors besides surfers and dolphin seekers.
In Kalpitya, there are plenty of surfing spots for all levels of kitesurfers. I enjoy the flat water lagoons, proper for beginners, while Max, my husband, who is a more advanced kiter, finds a few wave riding spots in the Indian Ocean. We also do a Kite Surfing excursion to another sandbank called Dream Spot, where we have some uncrowded kite Surfing sessions in an ample space.
I travel to Kalpitiya with KiteWorldWide, a German operator running several kite camps across Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, being Kalpitiya the only destination in Asia. Besides the comfortable accommodation, KiteWorldWide also provides a professional kite Center as well as a boat shuttle to the kite spots. Most of their guests are kite surfers as well, which enables natural interaction and creates a friendly atmosphere.
The wind in Kalpitiya was not as consistent as I expected. After being spoiled in Brazil, I spend six days in the kite camp in Sri Lanka, but I only get three days of good surfing. During the lack of wind period, some of the surfers take the chance to visit nearby Wilpattu National Park, considered a leopard hot spot, Anawilundawa Tank and Bird Sanctuary, home to a wide variety of birds. I stay at the beach, waiting for the wind to return any minute.
As soon as the wind is back, I take the opportunity to improve my skills by having some lessons with Tobi, one of KWW instructors. Tobi is German and very demanding. Thanks to him I bring my kitesurfing skills to the next level. I surf on the empty lagoon, and the only sounds I hear are the crash of the water and Tobi’s voice: “Up wind! Straight your back! Yeah!”. During our kite safari, I manage to do all tricks I learned from him, and it is easily the best surf day of my life.
Kite surfing might be one of the best travel adventure sports of all time. It is an incredible vehicle for just experiencing the world and finding places that you would never experience in any other way. For some people, it is a sort of meditation. For others, it is a pure adventure and an extraordinary rush of adrenaline. For me, it is a combination of a great exercise, relaxation, but, more importantly, an incredible source of a wonderful feeling of freedom and oneness with nature. There is something spiritual about the experience.
We travelled to Kalpitya, Sri Lanka, from June 23rd to June 28th, 2016 (6-day trip). Stayed at KiteWorldWide Camp, which provides transportation from and to Colombo, accommodation, meals and all assistance you may need during your kitesurfing trip. Travelled from Singapore to Colombo with SriLankan airline and took another 3-hour ride from Colombo to Kalpitya by car with KWW driver.