First National Surf Contest in Sri Lankan History

The last weekend in January we kicked off the first ever National Surf Contest in Sri Lanka, it is not the first surf competition ever, but it’s the first one on national level which is a bit different. It is organized by the SFSL which is a government approved leg to represent surfing in Sri Lanka – only Sri Lankan nationals can enter the competition and eventually after this years series of competitions there will be a national surf team representing sri lanka. We were stoked to be a part of the event with our team rider Kavi in the contest. Also we are were proud to support the federation with head coach Mitch (as assistant head judge) and Krish as Judge as well as we had our content team onsite to capture the day.

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We were having incredible surf conditions with long left’s and rights at main point in Hikkaduwa, what a wave it is. Imagine getting to surf it like this with just 3 other people out.

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Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka

The contest in Hikkaduwa is the first in a series of contest to be held this year. They will all be arranged by the newly formed Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka (SFSL) which consists of a bunch of dedicated surfers from around Sri Lanka,  there are representatives west to east. The mission is to get Surfing recognised in Sri Lanka and be able to shape it to something good for the future generations. The first step is to get surfing recognized as a sport in Sri Lanka where the competitions play a huge role. The contest in Hikkaduwa is the first in a series of contests on the hunt for the best of the best.

The goal is to take part in the ISA World Games in the near future with the hopes that in the future with surfing now in the Olympics, there could be representation from Sri Lanka one day – Tim Jones

But the SFSL is about so much more, it’s an initiative to bring surfers in Sri Lanka together and work towards a more sustainable surfing culture and pave the way into the future.

We are proudly supporting the SFSL and the surfers taking part in the contests. We had our content team there, taking photos and documenting the moments of the surf competition on both days. A big thank you to Tim Jones who was acting as head judge and Mitch Wolhuter as assistant head judge for the competition, providing a lot of knowledge and insight into the world of surf competitions. We hope to be a part of many more surf competitions to come as the sport grows in this island nation.

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Kavi – our grommet from Sunshinestories

Our very own competitor Kavishka. Kavishka, or “Kavi”, is one of our team riders for Ceylon Sliders and works as a surf coach at our sister retreat, Sunshinestories. This guy lives in the water, and has some serious style to prove it. Having him compete was both an honor and a really proud moment to see him in the water doing what he loves. Kavi made it to quarter finals, making him on of the top 16 surfers in Sri Lanka right now.

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Thanks to the Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka and the Police for being there to keep the surfers safe and sound!Surfing-Federation-of-Sri-Lanka---Photoby---Petter-Toremalm---Ceylon-Sliders-IMG_6772

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Some really good surfing going down, incredible to see such combination of style, power and flow from the Sri Lankan surfers!

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Surfing is a hard sport to judge as it’s a lot about style, but once you know what to look for you can see who is the better surfer. The judging team did a great job and massive thanks to Tim who has been holding several judging courses during the last months to get the judges ready for the real action.

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Krish in in the middle in action with the other judges. Krish one of our surf coaches at Sunshinestories but he is also secretary in the federation and he has done a lot of hard work for the federation and for the future of Sri Lankan surfing, keep up the good work!

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There were a few real good barrels in semi finals and the finals going down on the right!

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Shaggy leaning into a stylish cutback!

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The first contest was a close call between Lesitha, Babu & Lucky and we are happy to congratulate them all for their placings, especially congratulations to Lesitha for winning the contest!

First Place: Lesitha Prabath of Arugam Bay Surf Club (photo top right)

Second Place: Babu of Arugam Bay Surf Club (photo bottom right)

Third Place: Lakshita (“Lucky”) of Weligama Surf Club (photo bottom left)

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The afterparty was held at Mambos – the classic party venue down the beach.

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Special thanks to Tim who has been helping the Surfing Federation since day one, adivising, putting together key persons, helping to organize the competion, doing the juding courses etc for the federation as well as making the important link between the ISA and the SFSL. Thank you!

Also special thanks to Hiran who is the president of the SFSL for putting it all together and for the hosting of a great first competition!
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Special thanks to Mambo for beeing the event organizer of the competition and opening up your place for the after party. Great work!

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And again – congratulations Lesitha for the win. Great surfing!

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And thanks to all the contesters and all the separators, it was incredible to see so many people getting together, the level of stoke and joy that was shared between surfers from different villages and coasts. It was an inspiring day and definitely a day to remember, it may feel like just a little competition, but for Sri Lankan surfing it’s really something to write in the history books. Can’t wait for the next competition to take place soon at another location in the south.

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Thanks to all the photographers for catching the day. If you intend to repost any photos please credit.

Photography:

Water shots: Max Gifted & Lachlan Dempsey

Land Shots: Petter Toremalm & Jake Kin & Cody Carothers

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