There’s a whole lot more to Ireland than Guinness and rugged landscapes, although the Emerald Isle is well worth a visit for these reasons alone! One of Ireland’s secret gems is its first-class waves! With more than 3172 kilometers of coastline, the south and west coasts are the first contact points for waves originating from remote parts of the North Atlantic, kicked and driven by the continuous Gulf Stream; and formed upon arrival by untouched reef. If this tempts you, here are some of the best spots to get on your board:
Easkey, County Sligo
Located in the mid-northwest of the country at the bottom of Donegal Bay is the busiest surfing spot in Ireland. There are actually two breaks here; left and right, but the left is a delicious and consistent coral peeler that peaks at a standard around 10-15 feet. The correct reef conditions can sometimes produce perfect monster waves, making for some legendary surfing, but the necessary conditions are rare and the fussy waves usually found here can be frustrating when you know what Easkey can do. Come and see for yourself with Irish Airports at https://irelandwestairport.com/
Inch, County Kerry
Don’t be confused with Inchydoney, Inch is a great surfing spot on the loop of the incredibly beautiful Dingle Peninsula from the Wild Atlantic Way. Inch has large, beautiful swathes of sand, with good waves that are very suitable for longboard and a right hand break off the reef that most surfers are still dying to catch. There is a friendly surfing school on the beach which opens in summer.
Inchydoney, West Cork
Longboard-friendly and versatile, Inchydoney has waves that can be approached with many different types of waves depending on where you choose. It’s almost always crowded here, but the locals are friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed. The handler is quickly ripped out by the sandbar; right up from the headland to the right, and a tall chest-to-head-high break in front of the hotel. There may be more, depending on the waves and overall conditions.
Perfect Wave, County Waterford
This is a little-known surfer’s paradise, just a few minutes drive from one of Ireland’s most beloved waves in Tramore. Delicious holes, incredible consistency, and lack of crowds make this south coast beach a good pick. The left and right breaks are fun, but the treat is actually a left-handed player who comes from the reef.
Strandhill, County Sligo
Locals love their Strandhill, and for good reason. Going down through the golf club to the end of the road is a calm and pleasant beach break with easy paddles and delicious waves throughout the year. Wherever you go, it’s a valuable place. The barrel action is clean and good when it starts shooting. Both rights and left. Bluerock waves from the rock point to the north can be fast and fun. There is a surfing shop, and has a personal surfing camera that is frequently updated.