So many kite camps in kalpitiya can anyone reccomend one that is close to lagoon that doesn't get too many mozies we are family of four 2 teenagers that kite we have our our equipment taking with. Would like a larger camp so we can meet other kiters , also looking mid range as we are in sri lanka 6 weeks so need to make dollars stretch a while. Then heading to Mannar if any reccomendations here would also be appreciated.
Thanks in advance scott
Hey Scott, I spent 10 days in Kalpitya before I went to Mannar. Mannar has way way better kitesurfing conditions than Kalpitiya. The lagoon is not that big, far end has dead spots where your kite drops from the sky, shore is lined with beginners from number of schools that multiplied lately and the wind is quite gusty. Kalpitiya has some sharp shells in some areas - easy to get cuts that don't heal very well. Had I known this, I would have gone straight to Mannar. Both places are equally isolated (not much to do unless you are kiting). I stayed at Kitesurfing Lanka - not sure what other camps are like. Some places are less expensive but do not include food or transport to the kite spots. The tourist infrastructure is very poor - quite a project to try to feed yourself (no western food, hardly any restaurants, nowhere to get to by walking, driver service not cheap, driving on local roads not very safe, etc).
The problem is that I don't see any other kite camps in Adam's bridge area (no competition) but maybe you can negotiate a deal staying a bit longer (the Mannar camp is not that busy yet). This problem is also an advantage - lots of space for kiting :-)
I just returned from Kitesurfing Lanka - great camp, nice crew and the way they run the kiting works well (transport etc). There was a mix of people there, younger, older, singles and families. Nice vibe.
Agree with Swavek's comments about the lagoon - I found it a bit frustrating (gusty/dead spots), but I'm still a beginner so I guess my ability to handle those conditions not as good as an experienced rider. That said, it was still very enjoyable!
The overnight trip to Vella Island is well worth doing, superb conditions.
I didn't get to Mannar....
the De Silva resort was the first one built and it is the closest one to the lagoon. You can carry your gear from the storage area of their shop, walk about 70 meters and drop everything in the boat. Boat trip to the other side is about 10 minutes. De Silva serves three meals a day.
Further to what Swavek said, it is nice to have wetsuit booties to wear as you walk towards the boat. Most people don't get cut by the shells but ankle-high booties are a useful precaution.
Other Kalpitiya operators either drive their guests down to the same boat area that De Silva use or drive all the way around to the other side of the lagoon. The mix of people is the same as Kitesurfing Lanka: families, and singles. It is easy to get a tuc-tuc into town and back for about 600 rupees and enjoy the adventure of shopping for fruit, nuts, spices, etc, when you are having a rest day. Plenty of lively chat in multiple languages after dinner but De Silva is quiet by about ten pm.
Just be careful of the shallow sandbank, up the end of the lagoon closest to the wind power stations, at low tide. It can be less than knee deep. You can figure out where it is by watching the course of the resort boats as they ferry kite school students over to their lessons.
Hope this helps.
Hey guys ... why you don't check ..Kapalady .... spitting distance from Kalpitity ... you have a perfect flat water lagoon , plus the ocean ... accomodation , with 'Kite garden' / Kite house / kite and roll / kite kuda / etc ... escape all the competitive rubbish happening in "Kalpitiya" ...