Ireland Surf Spots & Information

The idyllic vision of Ireland is green fields, castles and
quaint pubs with friendly locals. It’s true, Ireland is beautiful
and green. The Irish, like their Guinness, are warm and
welcoming. The waves? Well, they have those too. Hidden
among the wonders of Ireland is the fact that its west-facing rugged coastline is a top-notch surf destination filled with coves, points and hard-packed beaches that, when the conditions gel, treat surfers to a variety of conditions. All you need to score waves is patience, time, and a good wetsuit.

Ireland’s 1450 km of coastline grapples with imposing wind, weather and tides. It’s called the Emerald Isle for a reason – annual rainfall in the west can reach 120 inches a year, which makes for startlingly green terrain. Summer and winter temperatures are mild due to the effect of the Atlantic Ocean and the proximity of the Gulf Stream; but once you add in wind, rain, and cold Northern Atlantic water, the story turns chillier. A 4/3 wetsuit with booties, gloves and a hood is recommended for most months, save July and August. Summer ushers in throngs of wave-hungry surfers. The warm weather, mellow waves and occasional sunshine permit novices and experienced surfers to hit the surf with equal gusto. It is also the best time to be dealt a long, flat swell, so flexibility is essential when surfing in the summer.

The best time for quality surf is autumn. This is when low-pressure systems start regularly throwing off quality surf. The arrival of colder water coupled with the end of summer crowds sets the stage for sparse lineups and consistent swells. As good as it can get, ever-changing tide swings, wind and weather create a challenge in finding the right spot – at the right time. Nonetheless, if you dial in (make friends with a local), or get lucky, words like classic, epic and all-time best can get thrown around.

If autumn is the season for consistent surf, then winter is the time for reliably frigid and gnarly conditions. Winter’s raging, wind-blown, victory-at-sea conditions can keep you in the pubs and out of the surf for weeks. Patience and a lot of rubber will help you score good surf during winter months. Spring, as always, is a refreshing change from winter, but is still unpredictable.

Regardless of when you go, the people, landscape and green barrels are well worth the trip.

Find a surf school in Ireland.

Ireland Surf Breaks

 

Rossnowlagh

Surf Location Located in Northwest Ireland in Donegal Bay. Lots of parking available.
Best Swell Direction West
Best Tide Incoming
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Autumn
Wave Quality Good beach break that breaks right and left. Not known for its size. Pick your spot along 3-mile stretch of beach.
The Surfers Friendly locals, every one is stoked to be surfing
Boards Longboard, fish or shortboard
Paddle Out Easy to moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For... Crowds during summer months
Water Condition Clean
 

Tullan

Surf Location Located in the city of Bundoran; Donagal Bay area
Best Swell Direction West, Northwest
Best Tide Mid to Low
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Autumn and spring; very popular in the summer
Wave Quality Long stretch of beach that is good at catching swell out of the west. Beach break known for its consistency. The main peak is at the south end of the beach along the cliff side.
The Surfers Local crew from Bundoran runs the main peak. Patience and respect will get you waves; it can get competitive when it’s on.
Boards All boards work here.
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Experienced
Bottom Sand with some rocks
Watch Out For... Crowds, respect the locals
Water Condition Clean
 

Bundoran

Surf Location Center stage in downtown Bundoran
Best Swell Direction West
Best Tide Low to Mid
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall and Spring
Wave Quality Excellent when overhead. This is one of Ireland’s premier breaks as it breaks over a rock reef and serves up left and right breaking tubes.
The Surfers Bundoran locals are cool - just show respect and wait your turn
Boards Shortboard to mini-gun
Paddle Out Walk over rock reef when size permits, or paddle around bay when it gets big
Skill Level Intermediate to Expert
Bottom Rock reef
Watch Out For... Locals...if you cut them off
Water Condition Clean
 

Mullaghmore

Surf Location Mullaghmore head outside of Bundoran proper
Best Swell Direction West, Southwest
Best Tide High
Best Wind Direction South or East
Best Surf Season Autumn and Winter
Wave Quality Two waves here: one is a pleasant beach break while the other is a Maverick’s type wave - only tow-in guys need apply
The Surfers Pretty mellow vibe at beach break, and few if any takers on the really big days
Boards Anything goes, all the way to tow-in boards
Paddle Out Easy to impossible
Skill Level Novice to fearless charger
Bottom Beach break is sand, outside reef is rock
Watch Out For... Mellow beach break – not much
Outside reef – long hold-downs and near-death experiences
Water Condition Clean
 

Streedagh Strand

Surf Location Streedagh (Donegal Bay)
Best Swell Direction West, Northwest
Best Tide Mid to High
Best Wind Direction Southeast, East
Best Surf Season Fall and Winter
Wave Quality Beach break that can get good but often closes out
The Surfers Friendly locals stoked on surfing
Boards Anything you want
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For... Crowds in summer
Water Condition Clean
 

Dunmoran

Surf Location East of Easky in rural setting
Best Swell Direction North
Best Tide Mid
Best Wind Direction South
Best Surf Season Fall and Spring
Wave Quality Good choice when a north swell is running. Fairly consistent beach break in nice setting surrounded by farms. Sandy beach good for an all day outing.
The Surfers Sligo surfers frequent this break, but peaks are spread out and plentiful
Boards Shortboard, fish, longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For... Crowds in summer
Water Condition Clean
 

Easky

Surf Location Head to the river mouth and park east of Easky... look for the castle
Best Swell Direction Northwest
Best Tide Low
Best Wind Direction South
Best Surf Season Autumn, Spring and Winter
Wave Quality Easky Left and Easky Right are regional classics. Both waves are fast-breaking high-performance waves with tube potential.
The Surfers Good local crew with an occasionally aggressive vibe
Boards Short to big wave board
Paddle Out Can be difficult, but channels are easiest way to make it out
Skill Level Beginner to Expert
Bottom Reef-rock
Watch Out For... Respect the locals and travel lightly
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

Doolin Point

Surf Location South of Crab Island and north of Lahinch
Best Swell Direction West, Northwest
Best Tide Low to Mid
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall
Wave Quality Long point break rights good for carving and flying down the line
The Surfers Mellow vibe as long as you don’t try to dominate the lineup
Boards Shortboard to longboard
Paddle Out Study how the locals do it before charging out. Booties recommended due to sharp reef.
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Sharp rock
Watch Out For... Rocks and sharp reef
Water Condition Clean
 

Lahinch

Surf Location Town of Lahinch
Best Swell Direction Anything out of the west
Best Tide Low to Mid
Best Wind Direction Anything out of the east
Best Surf Season Autumn
Wave Quality Mellow beach break good for beginners. There is also a good left that breaks off the point.
The Surfers Good surfers with friendly attitude
Boards Shortboard to longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Novice to Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For... Too many beers in the pub
Water Condition Clean
 

Spanish Point

Surf Location At Spanish Point village
Best Swell Direction West
Best Tide Low to Mid
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Autumn
Wave Quality Good beginner wave in cool resort town
The Surfers Cool vibe
Boards Shortboard to longboard
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For... Crowds in summer
Water Condition Clean
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