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Anonymous surfer in south-west of France. Photo by C. Naslain, 2016.

Surf spot atlas made by surfers for surfers
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Sri Lanka

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By kookcool , 13-04-2013

Surf Travel is fun :) - Gonna be in Sri Lanka with few crew in June can't wait to meet these mambo "boys" and give em a good flogging sick of hearing stories about little piss weak locals getting agro on laid back travellers look forward to meeting you lil Sri Lankan Fairys!

By chelbycat , 30-12-2011

Mambo's guys are total tools - Bottom line: if you want to sleep with one of the Sri Lanka surfers at Mambo's (eww), stay here. If you are just in Hikkaduwa to surf or make friends, stay far, far away. If you're a dude, these guys will hassle you, not matter how nice you are to them!

When I first read about territorial beach boys at Mambos, I figured it was just a few disgruntled guys that they didn't get to score with a girl. But all of these negative reviews about the beach boys at Mambo's are 100 percent true. These Mambo's boys are total tools, and they are extremely territorial about girls and waves (mostly girls!).

I booked a room at Mambo's because it was known as a party spot and as a girl traveling solo, I wanted to make friends when I arrived. I was NOT traveling so that I could hook up with anyone, and especially not locals. I was just there to surf and make friends. I never once gave a remote glance or interest at a Mambo's boy. But these guys decided that they would cock-block any other tourist guy I tried to befriend.

When I was hanging out at the Mambo's Saturday nite beach party, I had just arrived and was looking to meet other travelers and get to know Hikkaduwa. I met several interesting male tourists and was just enjoying casual conversation. One by one, they were ALL threatened by a Mambo's boy and told to leave! It was a pattern, I would talk to a tourist guy for 10 minutes and then he'd tell me he was sorry but the Mambo's guys were making trouble and he had to leave! This happened three times in an hour!

By chance, I actually met and was able to talk with another solo tourist, a guy from Australia, later in the night. Maybe the Mambo's boys had their eyes on other girls at that point so they left us alone. I made plans to hang out with the Aussie the next day, and he was going to meet me at Mambo's where I was staying so we could go to dinner. When he got to Mambo's he was told he was not allowed in to see me! We got around this glitch and hung out that day together with other tourists just staying away from Mambos. The next day the Mambo's boys paddled out to him in the line up and told him to stay away from all girls at Mambo's and to pretty much get out of the water and leave Hikkaduwa! These Mambo's boys are a gang and they have a reputation of even stabbing tourists who don't oblige!

Needless to say, I checked out of Mambo's that day stayed in a much dirtier hotel and was MUCH happier meeting decent locals. Had I never left Mambo's I would have sadly thought that all guys in Hikkaduwa are creeps (turns out, there some kind ones.) It's my right to talk to whoever I want on MY vacation and I'm not going to let these guys control me, especially when I am the customer and I and paying them!


As for the surf, Mambo's isn't even in front of the main reef break. And there are at least five other places you can rent boards.

As for the party scene in Hikkaduwa, there are WAY better parties and clubs than Mambo's on a Saturday nite. Try Blue Moon on Tuesdays or Funky de Bar on Thursdays. Way better and way less Machismo!

By Anonymous , 29-06-2010

hikkaduwa - Went to Hiikaduwa for easter with my family. Quality place and people. Surf was cool no agro or anything. Surf was good 10 days out of 13. Get up early before the winds pick up. Would happily go back.

By Anonymous , 23-05-2010

ok well - ok people offcourse have different encounters and experiences in sri lanka and elsewhere. my experience was not good there either. as a traveller to many countries and surfed for many years i have to say that hikk locals are the most agro and backstabbing ones i ever experienced. i just wonder where this comes from when people on the rest of the island are amazingly friendly! for guys who go, take care watch your back dont chat up any girls in mambo bar stay away from that bar they dont want you there they just like your money you have been warned! for girls, if you think bad of older men going to thailand to get laid then stop and consider whatyourself are doing. just because you dont give money you are ok. other valuables count to you know when it comes to prostitution. actually forget the place altogether the waves can be good but indo beats the shit out of hikk and have friendly locals! leave the place to the locals and they can fight eachother instead. take care:)

By Anonymous , 04-02-2010

Surfing Solo Ladies - Surfin solo females traveling to Hikkaduwa or Marissa be careful, these places are beautiful and surf is gud but be wiser with the local beach boys. They are fun to drink beer with but anything more than that is no gud... even the nicer seeming ones have a nasty streak, looking for VISAs to get out of the country...relationships or even friendships based on the amount of things you can give someone isnt a relationship and is bordering on prostitution and exploitation, don't buy into white third world guilt there are other more effective ways you can help... other than giving them your mobile phone, expensive surf brand tshirts, money and new surfboards!

In general level in Sri Lanka, you have to adopt the attitude, that its all a bit of a fantasy. Westerners come here looking for fun and romance, locals are looking for good times and money. If all are satisfied, no worries, but when it gets serious you have to watch out.

Here’s a good rule of thumb. Ask yourself, does this guy have a full time job? During the time you have known him, has he asked you for money? Is he a flirt? Does he have a secret wife in the jungle that everyone knows about except for you? Is he a drinker? If he is a partying fool, that’s what you’ll end up with. If he has a full time job, and actually receives a wage from somebody, that means he is someone who is somewhat reliable. Like I say, when you’re in Sri lanka its part fantasy / part reality. If you plan on taking this guy overseas, you’d better make sure he’s got some qualities, other than being cool.

When you meet someone in a tourist environment in Hikkaduwa, they are putting on their best face, in some respect. You are in fantasy mode. When you take them back to England fantasy mode is over and the ‘everyday’ side of one or both of you, comes out. Maybe the cool surfer, is a little brat, that needs you to wipe his ass and feed him 3 times a day. Maybe he’s also a great guy who you’ll want to be with long term. Who knows.

recommendations is to stay focused on the surfing, trying to get that frontside cut back nailed, do this and you'll have the time of your life! PS dont walk around late at night by yourself... FYI stay at harmani its safe for solo ladies

By Conordbrit , 12-01-2010

Mambos - When i went Hikk, i ran into mambo and his boys and they treated me like family, best 3 weeks of my life. All these people leaving gripes are obviously idiots and Mambo and his boys pick up on this and treat them as such. If loads of girls were coming to your bar, wouldn't u try and score with them? I been all over the world and it don't get much better than Sri Lanka, Mambo and his boys.

By Anonymous , 02-11-2009

Mambo's..... - My buddy & I went to Mambo's at Arugam Bay earlier this year. Surf was great however, we unfortunatley stayed at Mambo's..whilst staying there, about 4 locals (who were on something) hung around the whole time annoying paying guests & wouldn't leave, Mambo got his throat slashed by another local during a party over a foreign chick & got put in hostpital and a number of rooms were broken into....correct me if iam wrong but your telling me that Mambo is running a good business? Japenese money is behind the whole place & it really puts down the rest of Sri Lanka....

By bigbiglove , 29-09-2009

Mambo Hikkaduwa is a Legend! - There appears to be great rift amongst mambos supports and foes. Clearly Mambo is a character, and a fine one at that. As you can read from most of the more informative posts... the problem is not with mambo. Its with the trouble caused by inexperience surfers and young guys with too much agro.

If you dont respect the locals you can expect to be put in your place, any surfspot in the world. I believe all the local boys do in Hikkaduwa is try and establish some sort of order in the water. It is well in order i feel.

These fellows jumping online here just to bad mouth local surfing greats need to step in line.

There is alot of shit on the internet, any somebody with all of his little mates can jump on here writing a bunch of bad posts because of some personal grudge.

mambo has alot of long established surfing connections with people from all over the world. He is a clever entrepreneur with a deep love for his home town.

most of all, to all of you reading this in search of good surf-travel info....
- travel with an open mind.
- Accept, don't expect.

Its all very well to read a whole lot of advice, but i challenge you.... to go down to Mambos and introduce yourself to the guy with a big smile and sit down for a curry.....

Chances are you'll make a great friend.

peace and love

By insenguendo , 22-04-2009

- the mambo boys sleep with anyone and anything as long it have legs maybe even cows! go to arugam bay! and to the locals in hikk you are not rastafarians they live in jamaica not hikk, stop play bob marley because you dont understand it anyway, learn to surf and embrace your buddhism instead of beeing evil to the hands that feed you.. muuuuuuu

By Jo , 01-02-2009

Aggressive? - Hikkaduwa makes you appreciate the solitude of your local UK break in Winter! It's always crowded with some of the worlds most aggressive surfers. I witnessed several arguments and even punch-ups in the line-up. I'm sure the majority of people who enjoy surfing here have no surf etiquette! If you have to go here, stay at 'Vernon's Beach Rooms', right outside Main Reef. Clean, friendly, affordable! Only place to have museli and real Italian coffee!

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