Surfing Sri Lanka - Marissa Beach
This is a good option to base your surf vacation from. It's about 2.5 hours from Columbo (the capital and where you will fly into) so enough distance to get away from the throngs of tourists. Marissa has shopping, food, entertainment, and a nice sugar sand beach that your non-surfing companions will love. There is a party crowd element in Marissa, but it didn't feel over the top.
Break Type: Reef. One word of caution about this area is that it is all reef break and the reef can get quite shallow. So don’t let the wave push you all the way in, better to bail out before the wave crashes and your tumbling into a sea urchin! Travel with all the supplies you would want if you did get cut on the reef because it could happen.
Gear: Trunks and rash guard
Ambience: This is a nice beach for walking and hanging out. There are a few surf spots listed here. My favorite is Coconut Hill. Note: there will be loud music on the beach late into the night so if that bothers you, find lodging away from the beach.
Main Surf Spot: Coconut Hill
Link to current conditions: Magic Seaweed
Public Parking: Just find a patch of dirt close to the beach.
Public Showers: No.
Public Restrooms: No.
Transportation: Do yourself a favor and get a driver. The streets are very crowded and I don't recommend driving. My tuk-tuk driver Sameera was awesome and knew all the good spots, you can contact him through WhatsApp +94 71 586 5999.
Nearest Airport: Colombo International Airport (CMB)
Alternative Surf Spots
Coral Beach - When you walk out on the main beach go right all the way to the end of the beach to the Coral Beach Hotel. Look for the flag in the sand - this is where you put in. Here you'll find a pocket surf wedged in between the shore and a rock outcrop. This seemed to be better when the tide was higher and later in the day when the winds pick up. But, it can get really crowded because of the easy access.
Giragala: The third surf spot I never got to because the conditions weren't good there, except on my last day where I could see it really start pumping. It's just to the left of the little outcrop in front of the Giragala cafe.
Citrine Mirissa: Simple, clean, and right on the beach (no beach views though).
Palace Mirissa: Small cabanas that look right over the Coral Beach surf spot.
Many cafes and bars along the beach to choose from. The best bet is to pick one that is crowded and has a fresh seafood cart outfront.