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Photo Essay: A Day Surfing in Sri Lanka

Razor-sharp coral, poisonous urchins, sunstroke — the waves were totally worth it.

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Chris Delorenzo

From Issue Two of the Gear Patrol Magazine. Subscribe today for 15% off the GP Store.

Every wave in Sri Lanka comes with a price. Breaks occur over shallow reefs filled with stunning, and razor-sharp, coral; about half of the country’s surf spots are littered with spiky, poisonous sea urchins; and the direct sunlight at the equator can cook a surfer’s back to medium rare in a span of minutes.

So why risk it? As photographer Chris DeLorenzo and his crew learned, the country’s waves were spellbinding — and looming beyond them was a riotous country full of interesting people, food and history. This led to enough spontaneous adventure to tear the space-time continuum, turning three days into something that felt more like 30. After a long day of surfing, said surfer Anna Ehrgott, there remained only a few constants. “Nothing could knock us off that high. The four of us drove off, piled into a tuk tuk with our boards. Happy as pigs in shit.”

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The Gear


Everything You Need for a Day Wave Sliding


7-Inch Surfside Board Short by Bonobos $78
Clean Summer Henley by Industry of All Nations $65
Black Hole Wheeled Duffle Bag (120L) by Patagonia $262

Symphony Surfboard by Album $740+
Ultrahigh Backpack by Outlier $350
Classic Duffel by Topo Designs $129
Board Bag by Sagebrush $100+
Rosen Feeder Tank by Saturdays Surf NYC $70
Short John Wetsuit by Axxe $260+

7-Inch Charles Trunk by Onia $145

Apollo Moc by Native Shoes $75
Disc Surfboard by Album $770+
X-U (Typ 113) by Leica $3,000
32-Once Wide Mouth Water Bottle by Hydro Flask $40
Standard Issue Organic Crew Neck T-Shirt by Apolis $55
Outside Bison Sandal by Superfeet $60
Hopper 20 Cooler by Yeti $300+
Bonsai Hat by Katin $29
Tonka Recycled Cotton Throw by Faribault Woolen Mill Co. $90
Utvær Knife by Helle $214
Vaccum Insulated Bottle by Miir $29
Crew Neck by Aether $95
Flying Diamond 4 Tent by Big Agnes $450
Adjustable Braided ID in Silver & Orange by Scosha $60
Coast Necklace by Scosha $210
Campstove by Biolite $130
Ultralight Mat by Sea to Summit $98+
Roamer Short by Outerknown $135

Read More in Our Magazine


A version of this story appears in Issue Two of the Gear Patrol Magazine, 286 pages of stories, reports, interviews and original photography from five distinct locations around the world. Buy Now: $20

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