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“Great spot, great team, great camp”
Review of Kitesurfing Lanka

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Kitesurfing Lanka
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore, Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great spot, great team, great camp”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Second trip to KSL and same positive experience. Very happy to see how Dil and Leo grew the place while keeping it simple, well appointed, clean and chilled out.
Perfect spot to learn kitesurf: lagoon with flat and shallow waters, good kite gear choice and very patient instructors!

Thanks guys for the great time. Can't wait to be back soon!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ponponrouge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DilsiriW, Manager at Kitesurfing Lanka, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Hey Marine!

Was awesome to have you at KSL (again). We must get you riding to go on a kite trip withs soon! Looking forward to seeing you again soon!

Regards,

Dil and Leo
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369 reviews from our community

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Warsaw, Poland
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 2, 2013

We spent 3 nights at Kitesurfing Lanka, there were the last couple of days of our holiday after traveling around the southern coast in Sri Lanka. It was the best way to relax after such a big and busy trip. The location is beautiful, around lagoon-view, quite near is endless sandy beach. Kalpitiya is so natural, is not yet a big tourist destination as compared to the South so we literally had the beach to ourself for hours. Besides it was the low season... but despite the fact we didn't be bored and we could try to kitesurf every day !
Very friendly and helpful staff. We met only one head of KSL - Dil but he is the best kitesurfer I've ever seen !!! :-) Thanks to him we felt welcomed and safe at this place all the time. We stayed at the tent, we had a lot of privacy and private openair shower :-P ...

Good venue to do trips from, safari, dolphin watching, snorkeling on the reef... Less then 3 hours by car to Columbo airport.

They are building a whole new camp with houses to rent and big dance floor - it will be finished in one month, in May will be ready ! So you have to see this all.

Definitely we would like to return to this camp again and we will surely recommend it to friends. Just awesome!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Milka_Warsaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bremen, Bremen, Germany
1 review
Reviewed March 29, 2013

The location is really optimal for kitesurfing and the crew of KSL offer you many different trips to discover cool spots with perfect conditions (the Dream Spot is without doubt one of the best!) The Camp is also filled with lots of interesting people from all over and make up a great little community. It's good value for money, the staff is nice & helpful and the location offers different conditions (flat lagoon & the sea). Will definitely be back there this year!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Caro U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wien, Österreich
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2013

Awesome staff. Awesome location. Great atmosphere and vibe. I highly recommend this location to both seasoned and beginner kiters. Due to their popularity, my gf and I were unable to reserve a place here, but the staff organized (free of charge) a place for us so close by. Despite not sleeping at the location, we hung out with the staff and fellow kiters all day and were welcome at the camp. Don't miss out on this location. You won't be disapointed!

...and I would like to add to Alec's issue with rental gear.
I've been to at least 20-30 different kite camps all over the world
since 2004. I have not been to a single one, where customers where not
responsible for any damage etc. Your were lucky that Dil, good natured as
he is, did not have you sign the usual (at every single rental place) Release of Liability, Waiver of Legal Rights and Assumption of Risk, which make it abundantly clear, that any damage
has to be paid by the person renting.
Second, a kite just does not rip by itself. Ok, long use (50 days of use and more), wind and sun can weaken the material, but I haven't seen old material in their stock of gear. Anyway, bottom line, I think it is unfair that you wrote a bad review, when in fact, you should feel lucky that you didn't pay for the damage you caused.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Leitzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DilsiriW, Owner at Kitesurfing Lanka, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Hey,

Thanks for taking time to write a review. Glad you enjoyed the vibes at camp. We want to ensure that our camp is welcoming for everyone, even if you dont stay at our premises.

Kiting is all about community. We just bought new furniture for our place to further the community feel! Try and make it in 2013.

Appreciate your experiences on the issue that was highlighted by one of the guests at the place pertaining to rentals of gear. Its all a learning process.

Have fun in your kite travels!

Dil
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1 review
Reviewed March 11, 2013

This spot is great. It has a good combination of all the elements you as a kiter want to have in a great kite holiday. Amazing food, hospitality and rocking spot. You have a choice of a beginners lagoon and the advanced sea. If you want to top it of, i recommend to do a downwinder on the end of the day, enjoy the sunset as you go back home. This place is of great potential and should be on the kiters to do list. Also the kiting Lanka site thats is coming up for this season will rock. I had the privilege to camp on this site, from here you can ultimately appreciate Sri Lanka's beauty.

Vishal from Curacao

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank VishalO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DilsiriW, Manager at Kitesurfing Lanka, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Hey Vishal!

Was so nice to host you. Glad you experience our piece of paradise. I hope you can make it during the kite season.

Keep up the positive vibes you bring!

Dil
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Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2013

I spent two separate 1-week sessions with the KSL crew, staying both in coconut grove and also on the new land in a tent. The guys running the show (Dil & Michi) were friendly and worked hard to make sure all their students were having a good time. My first week caught me up to speed and I was crossing the lagoon in no time. I left to travel east and let my body heal various cuts and bruises with every intention to return the following week.

When I returned for my second week, I asked to rent gear and continue working on my technique. My first day back on the water I was dropped off at the lagoon and set up with a 9m Zian kite. I rode for an hour before coming back in to take a quick break. After I relaunched I moved into the middle of the lagoon and tried my first backroll, dropping the kite into the water in the process. Immediately, I could tell that something was wrong since half of the kite was laying flat in the water while the other side sat up straight as if it was awaiting relaunch. It didn't take long to realize that something was wrong with the kite, so I swam to it and paddled my way over to the other side of the lagoon. Only after reaching the beach I could see that the canopy had ripped completely down the middle, leaving the bladder intact and still inflated. Strange, I thought, since the kite didn't have a hard landing. It was the first time the kite had hit the water that day. After a few hours of figuring out how to get a hold of Michi (who had originally dropped me off), I finally managed to do so, and he came straight out to pick me up with the ripped kite (Thanks Michi!). He looked at the kite, asked me what happened, and we agreed that it was no-one's fault, that kite had seen god-knows-how-many-hours of flight time, let alone crashes from beginners. That was that, and we called it a day.

The next day I was informed in the presence of a couple that had come to learn how to kite that I would be responsible for paying for the kite to be fixed. Interesting, I thought, considering that was in complete contradiction to what the IKO Instructor had decided upon the day the event occurred. The couple were also were surprised by this, and when they inflated their CORE 9m on the beach an hour or so later they made sure to be quick to point out a small hole in the canopy to Michi in fear of being charged for damage.

Either way, I continued kiting for the next two days until Dil returned from Colombo so we could talk about the matter in person. Especially since he hadn't seen the damage, I didn't think he was in any position to tell me I was at fault for letting a kite do something it is designed to do.

When Dil finally returned, I asked him if we could discuss the kite, to which he told me that I shouldn't worry about it - I would be paying for repairs. Dil explained that this is normal protocol, to which I said that I would be happy to pay for repairs if I had done something wrong, such as overinflated the kite or crashed it on land. When I let Dil know that I thought it was unacceptable for me to be held accountable for damage that occurred while using the kite for its designed purpose, Dil turned his back on me and walked away saying that if I thought I would be renting gear the next day then I should forget it.

I couldn't believe it. Why was there no opportunity for us to have a civil discussion over damage liability?

The next day I could sense an uncomfortable tension between myself and Dil. When he came to the KSL land (where I was staying) to oversee construction he even asked me why I wasn't going down to the lagoon that day to kite. I felt this was contradictory to how he had treated me and what he had said the day previous.

I asked Michi to speak with Dil in addition to asking for his opinion on the matter. He did not want to get involved and was not willing to stand by his initial decision that this kite had ripped as a result of copious use.

When it came time to pay, I did not pay for the kite repair, but I was asked to pay for a full day's rental despite riding for only an hour. At this point, the money no longer mattered to me - I didn't like the vibe that had come to be from this event and I was ready to move on. I left the following morning with both great and disappointing memories.


In all, when things were good, they were great. Were this event not to have happened, I would have happily rated KLS five stars and sung its praises. It was unfortunate to have seen an entirely different side of Dil.

I initially decided not to write a review, but in doing so I hope that others can avoid going through the same situation.

Dil: Please use signed waivers so students and renters know what to expect in terms of damage. This way there are no surprises for either party and everyone knows where they stand.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Theseed3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DilsiriW, Owner at Kitesurfing Lanka, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Hi Alec,

Thanks for the review and your feedback. I would now like to point out a few things. I hope you and our guests will understand why I was so hurt when you voiced your opinions and argued against our side of the story.

1. You came to stay as a person with a tight budget. I did my utmost to ensure that you had a good time even to the point where due to your financial situation, I let you stay in MY private camping tent at a fraction of the cost you would stay anywhere else in Sri Lanka.

2. We hadnt charged your a cent for all the rescues/ pickups - Mischi was kind enough to drive all the way to the other side of the lagoon to pick you up. I am sure you know how much it cost to get back in a boat or tuk tuk.

3. Having heard your side of the story, I asked you to pay cost price of the repair but even to that you didnt agree saying that the rental prices should account for damages. The kite was not used more than 3 months in the kite season for rentals and was in very good condition - in fact it was one of our newer kites we ordered.

Not sure if you knew but hitting salt water is like hitting concrete at times. Kites rip but there is a protocol and understanding in the kiting world that if you rip a rented kite you pay for the damage. Maybe you didnt know and for that I am sorry.

4. It was at your refusal to even pay cost price for the damaged rental kite that i refused to rent gear to you again. You had the liberty to go to another school if you liked and rent gear. Also please note that for lessons equipment damage is covered for the price, because any beginner will crash their kites. For rental it however is not covered.

5. Was good you mentioned that I came to you the next day to speak. We are not people all out for your money but to ensure you have a great time. I wanted to lighten the situation by talking to you. Our ethos is to go all out to help a fellow kiter to have a nice experience.

6. You did'nt pay for a full day in the end but I did'nt pull that up.

Things I learnt

The waivers will be used even in the off season from now on. All guest will know what to expect when they rent gear.
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2013

My girlfriend and I spend 5 days at Kitesurfing Lanka and we'll go back asap. I've been kiting for 7 years and have seen most of the prime spots around the world. This spot is just the best. I will explain.

My girlfriend took lessons for the first time in her life and was crossing the lagoon in no time. The guys were very professional (IKO certified) and taught her how to kite very safely going through all the processes starting with a small trainer kite on the beach, etc. The beginner area has super flat water which makes it easy to learn and is shallow enough to walk when needed but not too shallow so it's safe.

They have a wide range of the latest gear for lessons and for rent. I rented a really good board from them and brought my own kite, etc.

They will pick you up from the resort in a very cool surf jeep or van to drop you off at the beach (launching spot) where they provide you with shade and you'll be able to get some water/food (deliciously fresh pineapple) on the way. The ride is just a few minutes whereas all the other resorts in the area are 1 hour away.

The spot has diverse conditions. You can enjoy the super flat water in the lagoon around the sandbank to practice wakestyle tricks. You can walk from the lagoon across a stretch of picture-perfect beach to the ocean and enjoy the waves and/or organize an awesome downwinder either back to the resort or to other lagoons. Dil was filming me for a while with the GoPro. Great footage. Thanks again!

I was also amazed that there were only max 6 kiters out (February 2013) and I was often the first one in the water. No crazy crowds for such a paradise spot. There was strong winds everyday!

The guys are very friendly, professional and genuinely fun. Their chefs cook up some delicious food too.

It's paradise for kiters.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MartijnLancee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DilsiriW, Owner at Kitesurfing Lanka, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed review! Was great having you at our place. Hope you can make it in the peak season from May to September. Alex and you, after-all need to practice! Looking forward to the clip you made.
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Additional Information about Kitesurfing Lanka

Property: Kitesurfing Lanka
Address: Dutch Bay Road (Kudawa Road, Kalpitiya 61360, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > North Western Province > Kalpitiya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 53 Specialty Lodging in Kalpitiya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Its a rustic & homely place. We are specialist in Kitesurfing but also have a number of other options for nature lovers, water sports enthusiasts or just people who like to relax. We have two seasons - May to September is our main kitesurfing season. November to April is the Whale, Dolphin, Diving season. Kitesurfing in also very good from December until March!We have free yoga, bicycles, sup and kayaks for use :) ... more   less 
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