| Club report: The
pi-momo sports in Sri Lanka
|The club is one of the two places we have visited on the tropical island of Sri Lanka close to India. It is located at a calm river in a region that has been developed for tourism and may be an option for those of you who want to combine a beach vacation with waterskiing.|
| Waterskiing in Sri
When you ask a local where to ski, he will certainly refer you to the Bentota region that has been selected by the government for tourist development. Many hotels have been built in the last years and it has become the most favorite beach holiday place on the island.
One may be tempted to take this as a disadvantage but you have to bear in mind that Sri Lanka is not very well developed and it is hard to find sports facilities of any kind once you are off the tourist spots.
| The bentota
One of the reasons Bentota has been selected for touristic development is that the Bentota River ends there. The calm surface makes it an ideal place for all kinds of watersports.
Most of the larger hotels are situated at the beach while some smaller hotels with sport facilities are situated at the riverside. The best location is occupied by the former Robinson club. It is situated on an island in the river delta and has access to the beach and the river.
If you plan a waterski trip to the bentota region, it is more a question of choosing the hotel as the appropriate waterski club. In fact, there is only one place you can call a real waterski club called "pi-mono sports". The rest of the places we have seen are more or less tourist spots and waterski is just one thing next to windsurfing, banana tubes, jet skis and other things a tourist might be pleased with.
| The waterski club
Pi monosports has its origins in the former Robinson club. (A popular German holiday resort famous for waterskiing) The owner Peter, who was a regular visitor of the club decided one day to open his own waterski place just on the opposite side of the former Robinson club. He convinced the local waterski champion "Siggi" who had been head of waterskiing in the Robinson club for years to join him and to run the club.
The club is located at the river and has no direct access to the beach. Six rooms, a bar and a restaurant are available. The rooms are small but clean with no air condition but a fan. Included in the price is an unlimited boat shuttle service to the beach.
The staff is young and friendly and many active skiers and wakeboarders take the opportunity to spend a waterski holiday at a very affordable price.
The head coach Siggi who also runs the place is a fabulous guy. He is extremely friendly and always has a smile on his face. He is a passionate skier and is always looking forward to welcome waterskiers at his place. If you ski with him, have a closer look on his ski. It must be 20 years old, and I honestly believe I would not be able to pass any buoys at any speed with it. It is unbelievable how good he skies with such a piece of equipment.
If you get up early, you can ski directly in front of the club. Later in the day, there is a lot of boat traffic and slalom skiing becomes impossible. Siggi will then take you to 10 minutes up the river where it is calmer.
As for the skiing itself, you must draw the line when it comes to slalom skiing at course level. The river is quite good for all lower levels. Wakebording should also be great since you can go up the river for miles.
I was not able to find out the original brand of the 140 horsepower boat. The driver claimed that the speedos worked but I have strong doubts. They also promised that there was a slalom course before I arrived but to my disappointment there wasn't.
As a beginner or intermediate skier you can have a great time in Bentota. Nice beaches, good hotels, friendly people and rather good waterski conditions on a freshwater river are the good points. If you are skiing on course level, you will be rather disappointed.
| Hotel tip: Princess
The lanka princess "all inclusive hotel" holds 4 stars and is under German management. It was the last of 10 hotels we have visited on our trip and we enjoyed staying there for several days. Almost everything was perfect. Opposite to the usual low quality "all inclusive" buffets, the food was excellent. The perfection goes so far, that each guest gets his own deck chair with his name on it throughout his stay at the hotel. A small disadvantage may be that, due to the ajurveda health programs, you have rather old visitors in the hotel and you will hardly see anybody awake after 10pm.
Hint: The hotel email service is extremely expensive! Better leave the hotel and turn left for a public email service at much more competitive price.
Hint: The hotel is very close to the river and any waterski operator can pick you up from the hotel beach.
| My personal
Bentota is a nice place to combine culture, beach and skiing if you are not too far advanced. Go on a five day island trip and visit "sigiriya", "kandy" and the elephant orphanage. Contact Siggi and ask him to get you a driver and book the hotels for you. Then spend a week in Bentota in the Lanka Princess hotel and ski at the pi-mono sports.
|Contact name||Siggi (Speaks German & English)|
|Telephone||Sri Lanka / 034 / 75 424|
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