We entered Kalpitiya via a dusty road, with bump’s and sharp turns a-plenty. Our driver was displeased by the approach to say the least, enough to produce a scowl as he veers in with caution. On arrival; time stopped, relaxation demanded and a wave of peace washed in with the tide.
We’re welcomed to a sublime concoction of full board, a loose schedule and nowhere to be. This was our Utopian start to travel in Sri Lanka, and this was paradise, also known as Rascals Kite Resort.
If ethical travel is your jam, and you’re heading to Sri Lanka annnd you also want to kite surf, you really need look no further. The Rascals vision was enough for me to consider quitting my job and residing here permanently:
“Being far from exploitation and cities has given us the chance to select and include what we like from the modern society and void the things that clouds so many minds all over the world…. Luxury is not T.V, iPad’s, vehicles, expensive clothes, gym memberships. We believe in the luxury of simplicity. The luxury of fresh air and being close to nature. The luxury of being unpretentious and feeling home away from home. The luxury of eating fresh.”
Here’s how I learned to Kite Surf in Sri Lanka:
How many lessons did I take? Three and a half in total (seven hours), with three different instructors. One session a day and a one and a half hour session on the last day (because I was desperate to give the board a go)
What size was the kite? I used an eight metre, ten metre and twelve metre depending on the conditions and lesson at hand.
Did you hire all the gear? Yep, I just had a rashie for sun protection and bathers. I was able to hire everything else (even booties) which were great in the shallows from sharp rocks and shells.
What do you mean by full board? Breakfast, lunch and dinner were included. Rascals is situated a wee distance from other options so this was the easiest solution for us. We had breakfast at the resort, had lunch out on the lagoon and came back for dinner which was around seven in the evening. All meals were fresh and modified Western/Sri Lankan dishes. We would have preferred more Sri Lankan style meals but on the whole the food was great!
Here’s a little excerpt of me learning to kite surf, I fell over a LOT before this shot.
Are you staying near the flat water lagoon (where the kite surfing happens)? Somewhat. There is a boat that runs to and from the lagoon every few hours (first thing after breakfast, lunch time and afternoon) which takes about ten – fifteen minutes return.
How was the wind? For a complete newb, I thought the conditions were great. For Moo, he could notice it was at the end of the season. He reported it being gusty and found holes in the wind the further out he surfed.
Was it easy to learn? Easy: yes. Tiring: definitely. It was easy for me because my instructors would help pump my kite and pack it away for me (luxury, I know!). It was tiring because; all new muscles, listening, looking up at the kite (my neck!), tensing…etc.
Why Rascals Kite Resort? What attracted us to Rascals was their sustainability choices to support the local community, the environment and their staff. Things like paying their staff a salary of 3.5 times higher than the national minimum wage, like offering free transport for staff and paying men and women equally.
But what I really loved about them was their philosophy on waste; they do not use plastic for water/soft drink bottles, they recycle beer cans and minimize waste by avoiding disposable products such as non biodegradable plastic bags, paper serviettes, single use soap or plastic straws. Left over food is given to the animals in the area.
All in all, I would 100% recommend this place, whether you’re kite surfing or not!
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Tune in next week for my next ethical travel piece on the Green Series, Part 5 all about ethical travel products.