From Mullaghmore's Prowlers to the fun-size peak at Bundoran, the waves of the west coast of Ireland are world-class. While some can be a humbling sight, there are plenty of places where a beginner can find his or her feet and get sailing down a wave face in no time. If you’re new to surfing, there’s a huge selection of friendly and knowledgeable schools to help you get started. Read on to learn about the best places to learn how to surf on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Catching a wave in Kinsale, County Cork
If you talk to any of the surfing experts that command the super-charged waves of the Wild Atlantic Way, they’ll usually stress two things. First: the entire west coast of Ireland is an absolute playground for those who love to take to the water. Second, and of crucial importance: lessons are essential for those who are new to the surf board. With a plethora of schools staffed with experienced instructors available along the entire coast, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to finding the best places to learn to surf and taking those all-important first steps.
At Mullaghmore in the Surf Coast, big wave surfers are known to scale swells that rise nine metres high, but surfing on the Wild Atlantic Way isn't all about extremities. Whether you’re a total beginner or a shaky novice, there’s lots of places to learn and develop your skills. Castlegregory Beach in County Kerry is an excellent spot for those new to the world of surfing, while the more advanced surfer may favour the waves found in the world-famous surf spot of Bundoran in the Northern Headlands, which becomes an enclave for revelry each June, thanks to the annual Sea Sessions Surf Music Festival.
Further south, you can discover the gilded beaches of the Cliff Coast or travel down to the picturesque Haven Coast, both of which offer accessible, gentle spots to hit the water. Here’s a selection of schools that will arm you with the most essential surf tips, like teaching you how to read the ocean’s currents, tides and winds, so that you'll be riding a wave in no time!
Check out some of the surf schools here.
Before you grab a board, get some more surfing inspiration with tips and interviews from the pros who know the west best. For a comprehensive guide to surfing in Ireland, visit the official Irish Surfing Association website.