Monday, June 17, 2019

The history and ethos of KSL – a letter from Dilsiri

Leo Dil Kitesurfing Lanka begining

The history and ethos of KSL – a letter from Dilsiri

Posted on 


I started Kitesurfing just by chance when my friend Previne invited me to join a ‘kitesurfing camp’. It was the 1stin Kalpitiya. I saved money, attended the camp. I couldn’t quite afford lessons, so once I came back to Colombo I managed to get some money, buy a kite and be taught the sport by Mischi Walter.
The sport took over my life, I gave up playing competitive sports – Rugby, Hockey was out, Kitesurfing was in! Every weekend I took a bus – 8 hours to Kalpitiya amidst bomb scares and checkpoints. This was in 2008 and the civil war was still on.
I remember being arrested for kitesurfing in restricted areas, I remember being chased by a Navy Gun Boat for having strayed onto the high-security zones in Colombo. I remember how crazy we were wanting to be the first to kitesurf in all of Sri Lanka in all the different locations. We felt like explorers, adventurers.
At work, Monday to Friday, I dreamt of kiting. My bosses were quite cool giving me a chance to kite during ‘office hours’ on the condition I get the work done later on. The stars seem to align to support my passion. I started blogging, got into magazines, TV, billboards.

Leo Dil Kitesurfing Lanka begining


Leo and I met randomly through my blog Kitesurfing Sri Lanka. We did some trips, we became friends. Around 3 years later, we randomly chatted on google and decided let’s take the plunge and start a business. I got a break from my corporate life, and with the savings we rented a hotel. Year 1 started with 15 persons in rented premises. We have our Series 1 Land Rover as the support vehicle – I remember we snapped the chassis carrying too much weight on it!
We cleaned, cooked and did all. Fast forward Leo and I have Kitesurfing Lanka in Kalpitiya and Vayu Mannar – which incidentally was the very place I kited for the first time in 2009. We directly employ around 60 persons and impact 2 communities. Today the World Number 3 Paula Novotna is staying in our camp, along with Red Bull King of the Air Champ Aurélien Pétreau and the 8 time World Snow Kite Champ Guillaume Chastagnol!


Just yesterday, I read a post from the President of the Local Fishing Community, Sugath; he thanked us for the support – we made a conscious decision from year 1 to outsource services to the village – so they can earn a living through support services to our business. To this day, KSL does not own a truck, van or boat – all these are provided by the village.
I wonder how we did it, no money, help just from family and friends and we created something huge. I am truly grateful to serve and make a difference through this sport and business. I hope you will be part of our story.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sri Lanka's Second Kitesurfing Frontier

Mannar Island. Sri Lanka's first sea port, the place of the Rama's Bridge also known as Adams Bridge, a Mecca for Bird Life and now Sri Lankas next big Kitesurfing Destination.
If you browse through the posts on this blog you will see me actually kiting her for the first time - literally first time ever on the Adams Bridge, thanks to the help of Commander Priyantha. Fast forward also 8 years, we have a unique rustic kite camp on the doorstep to the Adams' Bridge. .
Vayu Kite School & Resort: Mannar Island, Sri Lanka from Kitesurfing Lanka on Vimeo.

Its quite cool being here as one of the first tourism setups. This area was never developed due to the civil war. The community continues to be of poor fishing communities. HOWEVER, kitesurfing will be an avenue out of the poverty. We already have Roy, Mannar's first local kiter! Soon we will get others on the board from the village.
Marine pollution that comes from India has really damaged the environment here, however we take it upon ourselves to make a change through inspiration from the precious plastics movement. More information on this out soon.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Spreading Visions, Not Plastic! From Kitesurfing to Saving the Planet through this sport!

Its been ages. Lots of things going on. The most exciting part is that with Kitesurfing Businesses stable, it enables us to now focus on things that really matter! Planet and People. We are in a unique partnership with a fellow kiter Gianna and her team at Merijaan. Check our the first blog post from their website

Finally, after two years, I (Gianna) am back in Sri Lanka – the country I feel so connected to. My passion for kitesurfing and motivation to make a difference brought me back to palm tree paradise.
Kitesurfing Lanka Entrance
My team and I will start our first upcycling project here. So we partnered up with people who share our vision and mission and were willing to support our initiative. I would shortly like to introduce our team which comprises Isabella, Fabian, Lisa, Johanna and me. We found each other through our will to fight against plastic pollution. Initially, we knew each other through our studies, work or friends. Today we are connected by our vision to upcycle plastic waste into useful products and thereby help to overcome poverty in developing countries. I would shortly introduce the team;
Isabella (Head of Product Design): 
With her experience in product design, Isa gives our products the final touch. She is our creative link between technical implementation and design.
Fabian (Head of Product Development): 
With his experience in engineering, Fabian is responsible for the development of our products and technical implementation.
Johanna (Head of Marketing): 
Our social media, PR and online marketing guru is among our creative minds, bringing colour, variety, new approaches and innovative ideas to the team.
Lisa (Head of Business Development and Partnerships): 
Provides answers to the questions of contact and customer management, as well as strategy development and operational procedures.
Me – Gianna (CEO): 
I represent and coordinate our team, combine technical and economic requirements and I am responsible for our financial survival. For more information please see our team page.
Also, there is our official business partner Dilsiri Welikala: Dil is much more than just our business partner though, he is our biggest fan, friend and enabler. He is co-owner of two kitesurf camps – Kitesurfing Lanka and Vayu Kitecamp and closely involved in the success of our first project.
Dilsiri Welikala
Four years ago, Dil and I crossed paths when I first visited Sri Lanka and stayed at his and his partners´ (Leo) camp, Kitesurfing Lanka. His passion for kitesurfing, the environment and people motivates him to make a change and develop opportunities to do so. When he figured out we were setting up plastic recycling projects, we reconnected and he offered us the opportunity to set up our first project in Sri Lanka. Together with a great team of people, I am fully confident that this project is going to be a great success. We are all eager to give back and promote plastic recycling and education – we are spreading our vision of #turningplasticintovisions

Friday, September 14, 2018

Kitetour Asia in Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka's First National Championship & International Kitesurfing Competition

KTA Sri Lanka

2018 Sri Lanka Freestyle X National Championships

With an opening day registration of over 60 riders from 13 countries, the KTA Sri Lanka was shaping up to be the event everyone was hoping for.
The event set to take place on the stunning flat water freestyle heaven at Kalpitiya, was already seeing the wind being to fill in, even before the last rider had checked in.
Sponsored by the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry and supported by the kite schools from the Kalpitiya Windsports Club, the first day of the KTA Sri Lanka was designated for the Sri Lanka Freestyle X National Championships. It was the event start that is sure to set the scene for the rest of the week, as the local riders showed the international riders how to throw-down on their home turf.
Freestyle X, the freeride competition format developed by the KTA, allows riders to mix together their old and new school moves to show off the best of what it means to be a freestyle rider. It is a format that perfectly suits the strong Sri Lankan conditions, allowing riders to boost their old school moves and power the new.
The wind throughout the day pushed up to between 20 -25kts, meaning that even though riding conditions were not at all times stable, it certainly set the challenge and showed the judges who had the best all round ability.
With an awesome mix of deadmen, handle passes, kiteloops, F16’s and board offs of every variety, the early heats of the Sri Lanka Freestyle X National Championships began to unfold. Local friends and rivals alike pushed each other to perform at their best and although of course not every rider would make it through to the later stages, they showed the impressive level Sri Lankan kiters have now reached.
In the final stages though, the showdowns would be played out between Samara Priyanka and    Gihan Anurudda Mihdukulasuriya in the first semi, with Amjath Nasar and Anishka Dinel in the second. 
For Priyanka and Mihdukulasuriya the wind was perhaps at its flukiest of the day, with lulls popping up throughout the heat making it difficult for the riders to time their moves and gain a lot of height in their old school moves. In the end though Priyanka’s better constancy would take him through to the finals.
For the second semi the wind was back to full power and both riders were able to show their best. Nasar was able to initially catch the eye of the judge with a smooth range of well boosted old school moves that seem to put him in front of his opponent. Dinel however fought back and in the end it would be his overall constancy that would carry him through
The runners-up final began in the same vein as the semi’s, but unfortunately at the halfway point Nasar’s slammed in a hard landing and his board snapped in two. Although after this Nasar was taken a replacement board by the rescue team, this is under the rules seen as outside assistance and gave the win to Mihdukulasuriya.
In the finals, Dinel open his account with powerful deadman front roll, only to be countered by a big board off switch, F16 and back-roll handlepass from Priyanka. Dinel held his nerve though finishing with some powerful wake style tricks, while Priyanka pushed perhaps a little too hard and failed to land his final rush of moves, giving in the end the Sri Lanka Freestyle X National Championships to Dinel.
Today has a seen a classic start to a freestyle event, high standards and hard fought competition that with the wind forecast to remain at this level throughout the week, we can look forward to a lot more top level kiting as the international riders get set to join the proceedings.

Sri Lanka National Championship Results
1              Anishka Dinel
2              Samara Priyanka
3              Amjath Nasar
4              Gihan Anurudda Mihdukulasuriya

2018 Asian Freestyle X Championships           

KTA Sri Lanka and the pumping winds have brought us to the much anticipated Asian Freestyle X Championships, the main event of the week here in Sri Lanka.
The riders are now all very tuned into the conditions at the Kalpitiya lagoon and ready for the day’s competition. The wind as it has been all week was averaging around the 20kt mark with just a few gusts and lulls throw in to unsettle the competitors. Unfortunately though in these conditions have taken their toll on a few of the riders and several of the first heats out on the water today were in effect by’s as injured riders were unable to compete. In this situation the rules still require their opponent to take to the water and complete one scoring jump, to justify the win.
But then with the admin rounds dealt with, the competition took off for real, with two rounds of heats that saw riders giving their all once again in the cut and trust of Freestyle X.  Strong performances from Sri Lanka’s Mohamed Althaf, Ajmal Nasar and Anishka Dinel, along once again saw these local riders progressing well through the early rounds. Their run though was brought to an end by Vietnam’s Phu Phoang Lai, the Philippines Mark Magliqiuan and Thailand’s Yo Narapitchit Pudla and Prawit Buachatturat.
The latter group of riders were now through to the semi-final rounds, each with their sights set on the championship title. It was though the turn of the women to take to the water and settle who would be their 2018 champion.
The women’s combined final would feature Japan’s Aya Oshima, Turkey’s Elif Taluy and Thai riders Fon Benyapa Jantawan, and Tatsanee Phisin. The outcome however was not to be a repeat of the International Open earlier in the week, as Taluy and Jantawan were edged out by Phisin and Oshima.
Phisin in particular had a blinding final, landing powerful new school moves and high well timed old school tricks that showed her confidence had grown over the week’s competition. However, the experience and skill of Oshima proved unstoppable, with her range of new school moves in particular leaving her rivals in her wake. In the end there could only be one winner and for the 2018 Asian Championships, it was once again Japan’s Aya Oshima.
Attention then moved back to the men’s group, as our semi-finalists battled it out to grab their place in the finals. The final though would turn out to be an all Thai affair as Pudla and Buachatturat held off the challenges of their rivals. The Pudla / Magliqiuan semi-final was though in particular staggeringly close, with only a 0.5 difference in the score between the two.
Magliquian would though pick up the bronze medal podium slot, after his runner-up finals with Vietnam’s Phoang Lai, who’s early form of the week deserted him this time. In particular Phoang Lai failed to land two attempts at his normally rock solid slim chance and this seem to throw him of course a little. Magliquian though was still on a roll from his near defeat of Pudla and really did not put a foot wrong to take the win.
The men’s 2018 Asian Freestyle X final, would open with both riders matching each other move for move as they rolled out big one-foot front rolls, boar spins and 313/s. At this point with things more or less evenly matched, Pudla’s power began to tell and he started to pull away from Magliquian, ending of course with a massive well anticipated X5 front loop.
And with that, Yo Narapichit Pudla was once again Asian champion - although even as he admitted it was a bit of a surprise that at 31 years old he was still top of the pile.
Both the men’s and women’s finals had lived up to the high level expectations for the KTA Sri Lanka. Both reigning champions had retained their crowns, but it was good to see the rising level of talent chasing them hard, ensuring many good years of freestyle competition are to be anticipated in the coming years. 

Asian Freestyle X Championship Results
                Men                                                                                      Women
1              Yo Narapitchit Pudla (THA)                                           Aya Oshima (JPN)
2              Prawit Buachatturat (THA)                                           Tatsanee Phisin (THA)                   
3              Mark Magliqiuan (PHL)                                                  Elif Taluy (TUR)
4              Phu Phoang Lai (VNM)                                                  Fon Benyapa Jantawan (THA)

The KTA was formed to give an international platform to the skills and talents of kiteboarders throughout Asia, and to bring professional level competition and training to the region. The KTA launched the first kiteboard event of its kind in Asia in September 2009 and since then delivered over 50 international events across Asia and Australasia ranging from National, to International and Asian Championships, including World and Youth Olympic Qualifiers.

The KTA is open to everyone from anywhere, amateur and pro riders alike. It is the one and only officially Asian continental tour sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA), the kitesurfing world governing body, which in turn is the class representative to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) sanctioning international sailing competitions from world championship to Olympic levels.

Friday, April 20, 2018

From Kitesurfing to changing communities through swiming!

Kitesurfing Lanka continues to change communities for the better through sports. The 2 KM Sea Swim was organized in a bid to promote Swimming and as Life Skill, showcase Kalpitiya as an all year destination & bring to light the dire need to protect and care for our oceans and natural resources. The 2KM Sea Swim was a first of its kind with over 130 participants from the Wayamba Region. Pretty stoked we pulled it off. All participants got certificates, top 10 medals as well as cash prizes. Await 2019....

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Post from Nadine - Swiss Snow Kiter on Kalpitiya

Moments more precious than money

Before I set off to this journey, I just felt like I was working … but this trip has changed me a lot.
After 14 hours of flight, I walked out of the plane onto the airstrip in Sri Lanka, with the following conclusion of Dalai Lama in my head:
“Nothing is more relaxing than accepting what is coming.”
Traveling always changes the state of mind, nothing though has such a vast impact as the first impression, which is putting so many things into perspective. All the colours, all the different smells, smiling faces everywhere. All my senses work on high speed to fully process the experience.
Sri Lanka – Food Market
I wake up in the morning and feel the sand under my bare feet. Silently I stroll along the beach and watch the bright colours of the sunrise. Time is standing still in this present moment. Here and now. I stay alert to capture the unique moment. Because mindfulness means staying awake.
Inspiring Beach Walks
In a quiet place I spread out my yoga mat and take in the moment. The sun is shinning warm rays onto my face. After my final meditation, the gentle lapping of fishes in the lagoon brings me back to the present now.
Mindfulness through yoga and meditation

The Now

In the afternoon I feel the wind blowing through my hair. The smell of the salt breeze is sneaking into my nose. I pack my kite-gear and go to the beach totally relaxed. I pump up my kite, put on the boots and start to rock away on the water in my very own way.
Strapping in for the ride
At first I am alone with the locals on the water and we have so much fun. When our eyes meet, we start to laugh and this laugh is so pure, full of love and bliss.
Jumping through the lagoon of Kalpitiya
My water element has me back. It connects us. We exchange the kites and share our lives for a few days. This feeling of being one with everything in the water is everything at the same time: desire, love and passion. Longing to arrive. To arrive in yourself. The power of the sun shines upon the face, the song of the wind, the endless blue of the sea and the scent of the sea bristle in the nose.
What is left of my ego, my troubles and the stress which I felt I had? Nothing! The world continues to revolve tirelessly and I care for my own happiness.

Ray of Hope

And then comes this one day, this one moment that changes my life and mindset. Especially that ray of hope, which manages to open my heart.
I am sitting on the beach, with my board on my feet for a moment to look at myself. Here he comes, that stranger who sits next to me, smiles and asks:
“Can I help you? All ok?” He’s a pretty good kitesurfer and I’m overwhelmed and answer with a stunned “No, thanks”. Because in my mind I was already somewhere else as I was thinking “You should be out of the water long time ago and pack your stuff.” As my last hours had dawned in this paradise.
Kalpityia Lagoon
A few minutes later, I was out of the water. Unfortunately only at that moment later, when I was at the airport and the bustle around me calmed down the realisation caught up with me.
Well, but what was so special now? It was this respect, this togetherness, giving without giving, and sharing this!! That was the greatest gift for me on this adventurous, bright and eventful journey.
The reason is that in Europe the competitive thinking of “I want to be better”, “I jump higher”, “My jump has more style” dominates the minds. Jealousy, envy, greed and hate reign in the minds of the people instead of support for each other, to help, to contribute and to share.
Therefore it is very special for me to have met these people in these few seconds and I am grateful for this moment!
A special thanks to the awesome locals working at Kitesurfing Lanka. You are all wonderful and many can learn from you. Also a huge thank you to this person who has taught me in that very moment, in which I have learned more than in many years.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Winter Vibes at the WOLRD Best KITESURF CAMP

Top 10? Nah, its the #1, the World Best Kite Camp. Kitesurfing Lanka in Kalpitiya Sri Lanka. Check out the winter vibes .

Winter Vibes at Kitesurfing Lanka Dec 2017 from Kitesurfing Lanka on Vimeo.

Kitesurfing Changing Communities for the Better

Passion for Kitesurfing and then we realize we are polluting a lot with plastic waste. So overnight Kitesurfing Lanka takes drastic actions.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Beauty of Thalimannar - Nature and Kite

Amazing condition in untouched Thalaimannar. Sri Lanka's hottest new destination. Kitesurfing will  change this community for the better. The good thing about tourism in the area is that much of the Nature will be appreciated even more and protected for future generations. Sustainable Tourism 2018.