While Weligama doesn't have the prettiest beaches in Sri Lanka (head just down the road to Mirissa) it's a great spot for beginner and more advanced surfers. The waves are consistent and easy (in December at least), and it's a good environment to feel at ease when just beginning, though the water can be a bit crowded in the morning and before sunset.
You can walk up to a beach-side surf board rental spot and get a basic lesson for about $20 which also gives you a day of board rental. The following days you can rent boards for about $1-2/hr and eat coconuts for $.50 to re-hydrate and re-fuel! Not many great restaurants but some good street food near the bus station or check out awesome organic bites, including great vegan ice cream, at Gecko's! To note, women may find it more comfortable to travel in groups with male companions, as the area is quite male-dominated, especially at night.
You can also stay at a hotel right on the surfing beach for about $30/night, or go nearby for $15-20.
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