2019 Aug 20
The beloved sport of designing and flying a kite has become so ingrained into our blood that it has become far more than a favorite past time.
On this island, kite flying is a simple community passion taken to greater heights and it just goes to show we don’t need great acts to unite us, but that even the most innocent of hobbies would do.
Even thinking of the topic, your mind probably drifts back to those school breaks where you would earnestly create the biggest, most colorful kite you could muster with the resources in your arsenal- and it doesn’t take much to make one, mind you! Which is probably why kite flying is something you won’t just witness only in Colombo but along the villages and in any space of this little island with wind in the air!
The best time to be flying a kite would be after midday when the unrelenting sun softens into the evening shade with a glorious sunset in the backdrop. You’ve probably seen firsthand how incredible the practice is if you’ve driven past Galle Face Green on any windy given day in the evening.
Families from all walks of life bring their kids along and dot the skies with their vibrant kites. Galle Face Green, with its wide expanse of open air, stunning views of the Indian Ocean and plenty of mouthwatering Lankan street food on the sidelines, is the perfect kiting hub in the heart of Colombo and as such has been home to many a festival in the past.
Kitesurfing in Sri Lanka
Let’s not forget that our inherent kite fever has also led us to wholeheartedly embrace the sport of kite surfing, which uses a power kite to propel kiteboarders across water. Taking things up a notch in sports tourism, Sri Lanka is not just a pretty island, but an ideal sports destination for kitesurfing. So if you’re looking for a more physically exerting way of flying a kite, give these places a shot!
Kite Surfing Lanka in Kalpitiya: One of the leading spots for kite boarders, thanks to its strong winds and flat waters, and acts as a solid teaching point for beginners. There are around three levels and a combination of packages ranging from 90 Euro to 250 Euro.
Gear can also be rented on its own if you are experienced and do not require lessons.
Kite Center Sri Lanka in Kappalady: Similarly, lesson packages as well as gear rentals are available
Individual Kitesurf lessons: 50 Euros per hour including kitesurfing equipment (incl. tax)
Beginner Course (9 hours): 360 euros per person, inclusive of tax. The package includes Setup and Safety, Basic theory of kitesurfing, First flying of trainer and power kite, Waterstart and relaunch of kite, Bodydragging, Waterstart exercises, and first lesson in water.
Vayu Kiteschool in Mannar: Lesson packages and gear rental available here as well.
Discovery course (2 hours): 105 euros (individual), 70 euros (group). Includes basic skills on foil kite, wind window theory.
Kiteboarder Level 1 (3 hours): 155 euros (individual), 105 euros (group). Includes set up of equipment and first piloting of 4-line kite.
Kiteboarder Level 2 (6 hours): 290 euros (individual), 190 euros (group). Includes body drag downwind and upwind, self rescue, water start theory.
Kiteboarder Level 3 (9 hours): 405 euros (individual), 275 (group). Includes first riding, controlled stop, and controlled riding speed by edging.
Kite Festivals of Sri Lanka
Being one of the most popular summer activities for children and adults on a windy day, it should come as no surprise that our turnout in festivals is huge! People amass by the thousands to participate in these competitions and festivals all in the name of good fun. Each year, Sri Lanka has (at the very least) 2 kite festivals usually in the month of August or September. Let’s recount our past successes:
Derana International Kite Festival 2018
Organized for the fourth consecutive year by TV Derana at Galle Face, the 2018 international kite festival attracted participants from 14 countries, including Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, China, India, Taiwan, Singapore and more! The festival was followed by a grand musical show.
In 2019, we’ve already held two successful kite festivals!
Valvettithurai Annual Kite Festival
Hosted by “Valvai Vikneswara community Centre’ held at Valvettithurai, Jaffna on 15th January, this kite festival was organized parallel to the Thai Pongal festival and thus, brought the entire community together for a day of good fun and activities.
Sigirya Kite Fest ’19
On 16th June, the sky over Sigiriya rock reflected a myriad of colors with over hundreds of kites fluttering in the air. Organized by Deep Jungle Entertainment, the message of the festival was “Come Back to Sri Lanka”, a touching way of showing the world that Sri Lanka is not an island that condones violence but welcomes beauty, compassion and unity, despite our recent tragedy.
These festivals have become so commercialized that you can also get ready made kites at these venues so even a passerby or anyone without the time to make a kite themselves can get in on the fun as well! The festivals usually aren’t just a competition of who can go the highest. Awards are also given to categories like design, size etc. so it’s quite natural to say that this activity simply fuels our creative spirits. From dragons to birds and snakes, the only limit when it comes to crafting a kite is your own imagination.
In Sri Lanka, kites are not just a favorite pastime or a sport, it’s a well-loved tradition that enhances the creativity of our community and unites us in the most simplest of ways. So keep your eyes peeled for the next festival headed your way- don’t just reminisce on memories and stand on the sidelines, get in on the action!