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

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Kitesurfing spots around Kalpitiya and Kapalady
Kitesurfing spots around Kalpitiya and Kapalady

Kalpitiya lagoon

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

Teaching at Kalpitiya lagoon

Kandakuliya lagoon

It’s a small lagoon (more than 10 kites it feels crowded) with flat butter water. Great in winter season.

 

 

Kapalady lagoon

There are 2 lagoons next to each other. The smallest lagoon is just for teaching. The bigger lagoon can fit maximum 20 kiters. The wind in summer time 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 Donkey Point or Kalpitiya lagoon.

Kapalady lagoon is great in summer but isn’t a good option in winter season due to the wind direction.

Kapalady lagoon
Kapalady lagoon

 

Baththalangunduwa or Paliuwatha island (Vella Island)

Mistakenly named Vela island. It’s an  fisherman beach called Vella, and it belongs to Paliuwatha island. Located 1h north from Kalpitiya lagoon.

To get there you have to arrange a boat trip with a kitesurfing school. The day trip will cost you around 45€.

There are 2 differents trips:

– Summer : The trip will take around 1h to a small island and from there you will start a 30 min downwind to Vella Island. You will spend all day kiting in front of vella with steady off shore wind. The boat will be back around 4pm to Kalpitiya. Some kite schools also offer to stay over night in their huts and then you can kite the day after as well. (1 day trip :45€; 2 days trip: 95€). Make sure that you plan this trips with your accommodation check out because if you keep your room for the night that you go to Vella you also have to pay your accomodation in the resort/guest house.

– Winter: the trip will take around 1h until Vella island and you will be kiting there in flat water and then you will start a 2h downwind until Kalpitiya lagoon. Price : 45€

It’s a pity that Vella beach is not clean. The beach is full of rubish and there are plenty of dogs on the island.

Vela island

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talaimmanar (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 in winter and in summer.

To go there you can arrenge a day trip with some kite schools from Kalpitiya. There are some kiteschools in Kalpitiya that they can aslo arrange a place to stay in Talaimmanar (more info : Where to stay in Sri Lanka)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 while you are learning kitesurfing. Rarely you can find jellyfish but they are harmless.

If you get any small cut clean it properly and put antibiotic cream on it. The lagoon has a lot of bacteries and any cut can get really bad infected.

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 almost 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

Small lagoon with flat water. Really nice kitesurfing schools around it.

Baththalangunduwa island (Vela island).

Flat butter water. 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

Safe spot, huge area for kiting. If you like adventure and be alone at the spot this is your place. Sandy beach with no shells. Easy for lanching and landing your kite. The spot is huge, and there are differents areas where you can kite. One of the main spots is in front of the  Vayu 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. Enought space for teaching. 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 but try to avoid setting up the kite in front of a kite school, best time for teaching your friends will be lunch time. I recommend you to talk with any rescue boat and arrange a price in case you need rescue boat (they will charge around 1000Rs (6€).
Vela Island is not for begginers due to the off shore wind direction in summer time.

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. Best month June-July.  (NE 18-25 knots) 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. Some windy days can be chily.
Summer: leggins and rush vest to prevent you from the sun, seagrass and harmless jelyfish.

WAVES

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

From Kalpitiya and Kapalady lagoon you can kite/ walk thought the sand and enjoy the waves in the ocean.

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.

In winter (Dec to March) you can go for dolphin watching trips.

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. Reccomended bars: Da Silva, KSL, Sri Lanka Kite.

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

Ruuk Village Kiteschool

Valampuri Resort

KITESURFING INSTRUCTORS (Working conditions)

TRAVEL TIPS

●Internet ~ Most of the resorts will have bad internet connection. You can buy a SIM card for 1$ and the data for a month can cost 10$. You can get them at the airport, or directly in Kalpitiya. Buy the SIM from Dialog, it has good connection even on the beach.

●Payment ~ Ask to the place where you are staying at how you have to pay. There are some accommodation that just take cash. There are ATM in Kalpitiya village but the max amount of cash that you can withdraw is 40.000Rs (around 240 €) and everytime you have to pay a small fee.

● Alcohol ~ most of the resorts sell alcoholic drinks. There is liquor store in Kalpitiya but alcohol in Sri Lanka is expensive. The best option is to buy alcohol in the airport. As soon as you pass customs you will see a duty free store that opens 24h. Each person is allowed to buy 1’5 l.