The west of the country has some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland with the summer sun gracing the sand and the Atlantic Ocean pumping the waves up and out with the Gulf Stream. They are some of the best waters to surf, paddle and sharpen your board skills.
As a beginner, surfing can be a little daunting. Learning to balance the board and your body against the swell of the wave requires a lot more dexterity and skill than you may first think. Starting off on dry land is usually a good idea before dipping into the sea.
If you are an experienced surfer, you will probably have ventured on to these waves many times before. If you’re new to the scene and hoping to fall in love with a new hobby this summer, check out our handy guide on where to wet your toes in Irelands haven for surfers – County Sligo.
Enniscrone, Co. Sligo
Enniscrone is a perfect spot for the beginner to learn to surf with the gentle waters and 5km of beautiful sandy beach and rolling waves. This area is especially good for those starting out as the waters are relatively shallow and help ease any fears for those who aren’t overly comfortable in the water just yet. The gentle breaking waves with sharp peaks give those new to the sport, a great introduction.
7th Wave Surf School
The 7th Wave Surf School in Enniscrone is a family run business catering for all ages and abilities. Running for the last 12 year with passionate instructors, the school caters for all ages and levels of experience. In fact, why not bring your hen or stag do out to Enniscrone for an alternative pre-wedding celebration! 7th Wave pride themselves on delivering excellent summer camps in July and August for boys and girls ages 8 to 17.
North West Surf School
Run by a local surfer, with all instructors from the Enniscrone area, you are sure to get a friendly and familiar lesson from the North West Surf School. Running summer surf camps, group events and providing individual lessons, they are sure to stay busy when the waves are high.
Strandhill, Co. Sligo
It’s impossible not to love Strandhill, County Sligo, and all it has to offer. This stunning sandy beach stretches out 3km along the Wild Atlantic Way and is the perfect spot to learn a few skills. And luckily enough, the locals of Strandhill know just how amazing a good surf is out on the waters. With surfing being a desirable hobby in such a fantastic setting, you don’t have to go far to find a few lessons.
The Sligo Surf Experience
The Sligo Surf Experience is located on this amazing beach. With surfing coach Seamus McGoldrick and his crew of professional instructors you will have fun, learn and experience the water in a brand-new way. The Sligo Surf Experience offer a unique and fun experience with weekend lessons in winter and daily lessons in summer and autumn. Contact Seamus to book group lessons or a bodyboarding session. The summer camps for children are almost fully booked.
Strandhill Surf School
Also, in this locality is the Strandhill Surf School which was established in 2006. Quickly becoming one of the leading surf schools in Ireland, the school was set up by New Zealander, Paul Buchanan, who saw the vibrant surf potential of the west coast. Keeping you safe and in good hands, instructors choose the best spot for the lessons on the day. If you’re not quite at the surfing stage, try paddle boarding, an alternative and fun option when the waves are a little unnerving. The Strandhill Surf School run Children’s Summer Camps and provide all equipment and gear needed for a great lesson.
Easkey, Co. Sligo
Enthusiastic surfers rave about Ireland’s most popular spot to catch some waves. Easkey is in the mid-northwest of the country and is internationally recognised as a surfer’s paradise after hosting the 1979 Pro/Am Surfing World Championships. There are two reef breaks here, so called as the water breaks over rocks instead of sand, making perfectly hollow waves which are deliriously fast at times. It’s good to remember where these reef breaks are as they are not suitable to tackle for newbies – one by the river mouth and the second east of the castle. This area is known for these reef breaks and as such is recommended for experienced surfers only. But there are still plenty of chances for beginners to get a few lessons in the water and experience the waves at Easkey.
Enjoy surfing in County Sligo.