Just starting out in your life as a surfer? Looking to test the waters but don’t know where to start? We’ve got a list of some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland where you can begin to learn without the fear of a major dunking. From Antrim to Cork, there’s a spot here for you!
Tramore, Co. Waterford
Tramore is at the centre of Irish surfing, and there are spots all along Ireland’s Copper Coast (also a UNESCO heritage site!) where you can don a wetsuit and take to the waves. Think long sandy beaches and baby waves - plus, there are plenty of surfing schools who’ll take you here to teach you the basics! While you’re there, check out what else Waterford has to offer!
Inch Beach, Co. Kerry
One of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches in our humble opinion, with golden sands and gentle surf, Inch Beach has the added bonus of having the coveted Blue Flag eco-label too! There are good few surf schools and gear hire spots in the area and the waves are almost always gentle so your chances of actually standing up are much improved!
Portrush, Co. Antrim
Also a destination for bodyboarders, Portrush is one of Northern Ireland’s finest surf spots, from beginners to experts alike. Winter is the time when bigger waves start breaking here, so all you newbies get to enjoy the warmer weather while you learn! There’s a surf school and a couple of surf shops in town too so you can gear up and get going like a pro!
Belmullet, Co. Mayo
There are a few spots in this County Mayo location to catch some of Ireland’s best waves. The area of Belmullet has some wild and windy beaches that see big waves during the summer on occasion but it's still a spot that is great for beginners looking to dip their toes, literally and figuratively, into the world of Irish surfing. Try Elly Beach’s ‘Black Shore’ for some top-level waves.
Tullan Strand, Co. Donegal
Tullan Strand in Bundoran has a good few surf schools ripe for a beginner’s picking and the beach itself is all golden sand and grass-covered dunes - a picture-perfect spot for making all your mates jealous of your adventures! The more experienced surfers tend to stay around the end of the beach where the cliffs help to produce a bigger swell so there’s plenty of calmer beach breaks for newbies to cut their teeth on.
Fanore, Co. Clare
Fanore is a great option if you want to get away from the pro crowds at Lahinch and it’s a great spot for beginners to start to learn to surf. This is a Blue Flag beach, part of the Wild Atlantic Way and in the middle of the UNESCO-recognised Burren landscape: no better place to pick up a new hobby! There are a few rocks to watch out for but if you head out with one of the local surf schools, they’ll keep you pointed in the right direction!
Ireland is fast becoming a top global surf destination and there are some top quality surf schools offering lessons across the country. The Irish waters are chilly though so whether you’re signing up for some lessons, or dipping your toes in the water solo, make sure you invest in a wetsuit and we’ll see you on the beach!