Seaside style: relaxing at Sri Lanka’s coolest new surf shack

‘Dirty little beach’ is an odd slogan for a surfing cafe, but The Shack has become a clear favourite on Dewata beach, near Galle

“Here,” said the tuk-tuk driver, and we clambered out onto a particularly scruffy stretch of the busy Matara road, the coastal drag running south of Galle, southern Sri Lanka. There was a moment of confusion before I spotted the bright yellow sign for The Shack among the hardware stores and caught a glimpse of sand and sea through its open door.

In the last couple of years Dewata beach, a wide sandy bay lined with dilapidated buildings, has become an unlikely surfing hotspot among local expat families, weekenders from Colombo and in-the-know tourists, thanks to its small, consistent waves; and The Shack, which opened in January 2016, is their new hangout.

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