Kiting in Mannar
Kiting in Mannar

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Windy most of the days, astonising landscapes, warm water and amazing local people make of Sri Lanka an incredible kitesurfing destination.

 

KITE SPOTS

Kalpitiya lagoon

Huge lagoon for kiting. Plenty of kitesurfing school huts with shade. There aren’t facilities on the beach.

Kalpitiya lagoon
Learning kitesurfing at Kalpitiya lagoon

Kapalady lagoon

There are 2 small lagoons next to each other. The lagoon upwind is just for teaching. The bigger lagoon can fit maximum 20 kiters. The wind in those lagoons is steady and the water is flat. You can ride from the lagoon to the open ocean to enjoy the waves and do an amazing downwind until Kalpitiya lagoon.

Kapalady lagoon
Kapalady lagoon

 

Baththalangunduwa island (Vella Island)

Mistakenly named Vela island. It’s an isolated fisherman island located 1h north from Kalpitiya lagoon with amazing flat water and steady off shore wind. To get there you have to arrange a boat trip with a kitesurfing school and due to the wind direction you can only enjoy it from May to October. The day trip will cost you around 50€.

Vela island

 

 

 

Mannar

Is the new discovered kitesurfing spot. One of the best spots where I have kited so far. It’s compleatly isolated, the wind is steadier and stronger here due the geography. It’s an amazing kiting spot.

 

 

 

LOCATION

Kalpitiya

 

Mannar

Kappalady

SAFETY

The ground of all these kitesurfing spots are a mix of sand, mud and shells, so make sure to wear water shoes. Rarely you can find jellyfish but they are harmless.

Remember that the sun is really strong here even when it’s cloudy so make sure to wear 50+SPF sun protection, long sleeves to cover arm. Bring running legging to cover legs and a good pair of sunglasses.

Kalpitiya lagoon

Is an easy spot for kiting and all the kitesurfing schools have rescue boats.
It’s easy to land and launch your kite and the lagoon has some shallow areas which are nice for learning.

Kapalady lagoon

You can use the beach from the kitesurfing school to kite in the downwind lagoon. If there are more than 20 kiters it can be tricky.

Baththalangunduwa island (Vela island).

Due to the off shore winds launching and landing can be tricky. You have to be able to go upwind to enjoy the trip otherwise you will need the rescue boat all the time. There is a lot of rubbish left behind from the fisherman.

Mannar

Safte spot, huge area for kiting. Sandy beach with no shells. Easy for lanching and landing your kite. Plenty of space for kiting. The spot is in front of the resort. From the lagoon you can walk over the sand to the ocean.

LEVELS

Beginners:

Kalpitiya lagoon is a good spot for learning. Shallow areas for the first contact with the kite. Plenty of space for teaching. All the beach belongs to the kitesurfing schools so you have to take lessons until you are able to ride upwind properly. If you want to teach your friends with your own equipment you can teach them from 12 to 3 pm in the teaching area of Kitesurfing Lanka kiteschool when they are having lunch. But remember that you are not going to have a rescue boat.
Vela Island is not for begginers due to the off shore wind direction.

Mannar and Kapalady have steady wind so they are also great for learning kitesurfing.
Intermediate:

Kalpitiya and Kappalady are good spots for improving your upwind riding and your first tricks. I highly recommend you to stay at a kitesurfing resort to have the rescue boat included.
If you want to go to Vela island remember the wind blows completely off shore so your upwind riding has to be good.
Advanced:

Kalpitiya lagoon is a good spot for improving your riding skills. If you like riding waves you just have to cross the beach and you will enjoy the open ocean. I recommend you to stay in a kitesurfing resort to use the facilities on the beach (hut with water and rescue boat). If you like foil boards I do not recomend the lagoon because there are shalow areas difficult to spot.
Vela island and Mannar are the perfect spots for improving your freestyle tricks, the wind is steady and the water is perfectly flat.

An amazing day trip is to go to Kappalady lagoon and to do a downwinder to Kalpitiya lagoon.

WIND SEASON

Winter season: Middle November – February: (NW 15-20 knots) The wind starts blowing at midday). Steady wind.
Summer season: Middle May- Middle October: (NE 18-25 knots) really gusty wind in Kalpitiya blowing all day long. Mannar and Kapalady have steadier wind conditions in summer time. Try to avoid coming to Sri Lanka around full moon because most of the times the wind drops.

WETSUITS

Winter: shorty.
Summer: leggins and rush vest to prevent you from the sun, seegrass and harmless gelyfish.

WAVES

At Donkey Point (20 min south from Kalpitiya Lagoon) you will find nice waves.

From Kappalady lagoon you can kite staight into the ocean. And from Kalpitiya lagoon you can kite/ walk thought the sand and enjoy the waves.

TIDES

Small tides, there is always water in the lagoons.

SEA LIFE

There are a lot of different shells everywhere so it’s better if you wear wetsut shoes. There are some harmless jellyfishs and see grass that can be a little bit ichy so I recommend to wear leggings and rush vest and also it will prevent you from getting sun burn.

FEES

It’s free to kite every where in Sri Lanka. If you are staying in a kitesurfing resort you could use their kitesurfing huts and the service of their rescue boats at the lagoons.
The only shade that you will find is in the kitesurfing huts.

WHERE TO STAY IN SRI LANKA

HOW TO GET FROM THE AIRPORT

 

 

NO WIND DAYS

Beautiful walks on the beach and have a chance to meet the local fisherman.

Some resorts have yoga lessons, SUP boards, kayaks and wakeboarding. Walk around the small village of Kalpitiya and eat some local food.
You can go to the lagoon and fish a big amount of yummy clams.

2h from Kalpitiya you can go on safari to Wilpattu.

NIGHT LIFE

Some resorts have small bars with good vibes but if you are looking for going to different bars every night this is not your place.

TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS/FAMILY WHO DON’T KITE

The combination of wind and amazing scenery makes Sri Lanka a magical place. I would just make sure to chose the right accommodation to entertain your family while you are kiting.

RECOMMENDED READING

Still counting the dead  (Frances Harrison)

 Timeline of ‘Still counting the dead’.

 

KITESURFING SCHOOLS

Kapalady lagoon

Elements

Kalpitiya lagoon

AAA kiteboarding

Margarita Village

Horizon Resort

De Silva

Kitesurfing Lanka

Kiteworldwide

Kiteboarding Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka kite

The Rascals

Valampuri Resort

KITESURFING INSTRUCTORS (Working conditions)