07 . 02 . 14

With storm after storm battering the coast here, we thought now might be an appropriate time to offer a little bit of escapism.

Dawn at Ahangama, with James about to paddle out through the traditional fishing poles used as perches by local fishermen.

This January James and Liz took a few weeks away from the workshop, leaving Si and Mat to batten down the hatches, and headed out to Sri Lanka for a holiday to hike, do some wildlife spotting, and of course catch a few warm Indian Ocean waves.  Because they were planning on moving around the country so much using just trains and buses James decided against taking a surfboard with him and instead they both packed handplanes and swim fins into their carry-on luggage.  Liz spent a few evenings the week before they left in the workshop making her handplane, and her experiences making and using it will be featured in an upcoming blog post.

They started out hiking in the central highlands before catching a train back down to the coast and working their way south to their final destination of Ahangama, visiting some of Sri Lanka’s national parks and seeing elephants and even a leopard.  Once on the coast James rented a longboard and split his time between standing up on the shoulder high waves breaking along the points and over the reefs, and body surfing the beachbreak with Liz.  It would seem from the reaction that they had whilst bodysurfing that it’s not seen too often in the waves around Ahangama as they were asked about the handplanes both out in the line-up and when they returned to the beach.  Below are some images from their trip, please just try to suppress the urge to book a ticket to the tropics immediately once you’ve scrolled to the bottom, although if you do then Sri Lanka comes highly recommended.

The view South down onto Horton Plains National Park from James and Liz’s breakfast spot at World’s End.

Wildlife watching in Yala National Park.

Clearly following a well-trodden Cornish path in search of waves, as evidenced by the St Pirran’s sticker on this tuk tuk.

Blue Whales passing Mirissa on their annual migration.

The right hand point break at Mirissa.

Warm water R&D on our latest handplane shape at Ahangama, wearing the brilliant Riz “Bounty” boardshorts – 100% recycled and mid length so that they don’t get caught on your knees when kicking into a wave.

Discussing the hows and whys with a local on the beach.

There weren’t too many other surfers in Ahangama, and not many of them seemed particularly keen on getting up at dawn when the waves were at their glassiest.

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