Meet the Layback Groms

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Sameer, Chuti and Rahul love to surf. And they are damn good at it!

Maybe you’ve seen the guys in our friend Oscar Stubbs short film about some of Weligama’s up and coming surfers. Sameer, Chuti and Rahul started to surf with Thilina about an year ago. That’s how the idea of the Layback Groms came to be.

(“Groms” – surfer slang for young kids surfing).

Surfing is not only an amazing sport and way of life – it is also a very important source of income for the people of Weligama. The kids that are part of the Layback Groms get the opportunity to learn to surf – cause it’s fun and kids should be kids and have fun! But they also get the chance to take part and help out at the surf retreat and at some of Thilina’s surf lessons. This is a possibility for the boys to get better at English and learn how to be a good surf instructor. If they enjoy the work they can become a certified surf teacher and part of Weligama’s most important source of income – the surf scene!

In the future, the dream is to create a foundation for local boys and girls. The foundations aim would be to learn the kids swimming, surfing as well as providing English classes.

If you have an old board, fins, wax or a leash that you won’t take home with you we are super happy to get some new equipment as few of the kids families can’t afford to buy boards, fins or leashes.

For some more inspiration - watch Oscars’ amazing movie

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Photos by Colin Manz, Fanny Klumper & Oscar Stubbs

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By Maria Lundin Osvalds

I’m Maria, a 28-year old freelance journalist, photographer, and content creator from Sweden currently living in Cornwall, UK. I cover stories about socio- and economical issues and have worked from South Africa, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, UK, and Sweden.

I recently spent three months in Sri Lanka and ended up staying a month at Layback, working (and surfing…) with an awesome team. Thilina’s idea to create a boutique hostel as well as digital visual exploration of the Sri Lankan culture inspired me, and I’m happy to have been part of the project as a contributing writer.

Email: Instagram @osvaldsphotos