SAFA founder and surf leader
I'm Fawas, the founder of SAFA Surf Camp. I've been a keen surfer since I was 12 and I am so happy I can share my passion with you here at SAFA.
Growing up in Arugam Bay has meant that I've spent my whole life surfing. I was given my first board when I was 12. The board was full of holes but I didn't care – I couldn't believe I finally had my own board! I took the board to my uncle, a local fisherman, and he worked on repairing it until the board felt brand new. I used this board everyday for 6 months, teaching myself to stand and to catch waves by watching the older kids in the sea. I loved it.
I spend my whole childhood surfing, at first I just surfed for fun but as I grew older I knew I could do more with it.
In 2006, I started the Arugam Bay Surf Club with a friend. We wanted to help the local surf community and to grow the reputation of our town as a great destination to surf in Sri Lanka. We teamed up with Paddle for Relief and they donated 50 surfboards to our club. We divided these boards between all the surf camps in Sri Lanka. We kept 10 for Arugam Bay and used them to practice and share among our community.
Throughout the next 3 years I learnt how to teach and achieved my certification from International Surfing Association (ISA) in 2009. I began by teaching tourists on the beach and then set-up a small shop on the main road of Arugam Bay with 25 boards. I worked 6 months at the shop and 6 months at a surf camp in Matara as the season changed. I learnt so much and thought: “I can do this, I can create my own surf camp!”.
My heart and love for surf was born in Arugam Bay so I choose to set-up here. I teamed up with a friend who owned Sand Dune Beach Hotel and based the camp here – he runs after the camp, and I teach surf and am your go to man for your stay. It's a great fit.
Being in the water is my happy place, I loose myself in the waves and forget about anything else that is going on in my life. I set-up SAFA to share this feeling with you and to help you to fall in love with surf too.
SAFA has now been running for four years and it has changed my life, I have met so many people from all over the world who have left their imprint on my camp; each of them teaching me as much as I teach them. I hope that a stay at SAFA can change your life too J
See you at the camp