When the white horses rush in from the Atlantic Ocean, get ready for some adrenalin-induced action in Ireland
Grab your surf board and take to Ireland’s tumultuous seas. From Portrush to Portstewart, the craggy Irish coast enjoys wild waves, world-class breaks, truly exhilarating swells and perfectly pristine beaches. Massive waves pick up speed as they travel across the Atlantic towards Scandinavia and crash against the Irish coast producing excellent surf in the south, west and north. The coastline also provides a great variation in the direction of breaks so it means you can find offshore surf in every wind direction.
Spring and autumn are considered to be the best times of year to surf in Ireland although there can be good surfing conditions at any time. August/September are generally when the water is at its warmest, temperatures average around 16°C. This dips at the coldest time of year in February/March to around 8°C. From October to April a 5mm wetsuit, boots and gloves are recommended. A 3mm wetsuit is suitable for the rest of the year.
Surfing lessons for beginners, coaching for improvers, board hire and wetsuit hire are available at most surf clubs around the country. So whether you are into surfing, long-boarding, knee-boarding, body-boarding, body surfing and skim boarding - Ireland is well worth a visit.
Where to surf?
Portrush is the home of surfing in Northern Ireland, with waves on both its west and east strands. From Magilligan Strand travelling along the north coast, surfers will be treated to numerous quality breaks and the occasional reef.
Donegal, the most northerly county is exceptionally rich in in waves. Surfing locations include Inishowen and Fanad Head in the north of the county, in the north west waves can be found around Dunfanagh, Bloody Foreland and Dungloe and in South Donegal probably two of the best known locations for surfing in Ireland, Rossnowlagh (home to one of Ireland's first surf clubs) and Bundoran.
Galway does not receive the same abundance of waves as the other counties on the Atlantic coast but the main surfing action centres around Clifden.
Lahinch is the centre of surfing in Co. Clare with waves scattered all along this very exposed coastline.
The beaches surrounding Clonakilty are the most popular however there is surf along most of the south coast.
The main location is Tramore, a short drive from Waterford. This seaside town has long been established as a surfing centre and is home to one of Ireland's oldest and most active surf clubs, the T-Bay Surf Club.
Although the surf on the east coast is not as consistent as the rest of the Irish coastline it does occasionally have waves. The East Coast Surf Club based in Dublin is one of the largest surf clubs in the county and members regularly on the beaches to the north and south of Dublin.
For more information on surfing in Ireland including comprehensive details of all Irish Surf Association approved schools, call 0800 039 7000 and request your FREE copy of Ride the Crest - Surfing in Ireland.