Arugam Bay: The Point

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The point of me being here is the point, Arugam Point. Twice a day I make the fifteen minute walk from my hut, up the south end of the bay to the coral prominentary jutting into the Indian Ocean which causes swells from the south to form into waves as they hit the shallow reef and then refract around the point into the bay giving long surfable waves which peel from left to right.

The evening I arrived I threw my bags into The Nest and made straight for the point to get half an hours water time before dark. The set waves were 8-9ft on the face and barreled in one section. I paddled out in the lull between sets but my timidness amongst a pack of seasoned locals and travellers ensured I didnA?a??a??t snag one of the big fellas, but I snuck onto a couple of smaller waves on the inside. Since then the size has dropped to not much beyond head-high but IA?a??a??ve surfed the best waves of my life. IA?a??a??m really getting to know the wave, and surfing with the wave like never before. IA?a??a??m paddling into position, making the drop and immediately taking a high line along the wave to gain speed in order to make it round the fast breaking section 20 metres down the line, after which the wave slows so a cut back gets you back into the curl of the wave to begin generating speed down the line to make the next section. You can connect these sections up from the point down into the bay, probably one hundred metres or more, but as the season progresses and more sand is pushed over the reef these sections connect up to give rides of nearly eight hundred metres! IA?a??a??ve by no means got this wave dialed and continue to get tumbled over the reef as waves close out on me or I completely misjudge a turn but the simple joy when it all comes together, as all thought disappears and you exist purely in the that moment with that wave is pretty specialA?a??A?. then Crunch! You snap a fin plug out of your board and begin a satisfied trudge back to the A-Bay board repair shack.

ThereA?a??a??s a laid-back and friendly atmosphere in the water with the same faces – Aussie, American, Sri Lankan, English, Japanese, South African, French, Finnish, Spanish and Israeli A?a??a?? appearing day in day out. I would guess there are about twenty five surfers in town but thereA?a??a??s usually no more than 10 out at any one time and apart from some sour faced israelis there are smiles, waves, chats and the waves are shared by all.

Ed Templeton


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