Go inside the Irish surf scene
Inside the Irish surf scene
With pure Atlantic power storming down from the north, Ireland produces some of the heaviest waves in the Atlantic. And in recent years, Ireland's surf scene has been growing dramatically. And with St. Patrick's Day quickly approaching, XGames.com takes an inside look at the Irish surf scene. Here, Patrick Willson explores the Cliffs of Moher and enjoys the rare yet refreshing Irish sunlight.
Not always on everyone's radar as a classic surf spot, Ireland produces some of the best surf in the North Atlantic, albeit at less traditional temperatures. Here, a very heavy Irish green slab barrels down off the coast. The break has been ridden for years by local bodyboarders, but it's now starting to grab the attention of the local surf scene.
Going the distance
Getting to the surf in Ireland can be a challenge. Long walks through pastures and extremely steep and rocky cliffs jut out of the coastline of Ireland.
Ireland's biggest waves
The coastal village of Doolin lies on the western coast of Ireland in the County Clare, and it's one of Ireland's most well known surfing destinations. A Doolin break which generates Ireland's biggest wave, "Aill na Searrach," can reach up to 35-feet high. And Doonagore Castle (pictured here), provides a glimpse into Doolin's distant past.
Moove it or lose it
Negotiating traffic on the way to the local surf spot takes on a whole new meaning in the pastoral lands of Ireland. Here, Patrick Wilson checks the surf near a cropping of sheer ocean cliffs in Ireland.
Not all of Ireland is lush and green. The water's edge often boasts steep rocky cliffs and imposing waves of the North Atlantic. This particular unnamed location is infamous for its powerful waves that, with a little luck of the Irish, can easily be the best ride of your life. But the local surfers aren't giving up the location that easily.
Emerald green barrels
Irish surfing is not a tropical affair. The local breed are a hearty type that relish in the often frigid waters. Here, pro surfer Wilem Banks enjoys the emerald green barrels that Ireland has to offer.
The Cliffs of Moher
One of many famous Irish destinations, the legendary Cliffs of Moher, tower above the waves below. The cliffs, located in the Burren region of County Clare, stand 120 feet above the ocean and rise to 702 feet at O'Brien's Tower. Though open to tourism, the direct area is largely unsettled by people.
Getting back home
Getting to many surf spots is half the challenge of Irish surfing. Here, surfers hike back up a cliff after a fruitful day of slab surfing at a spot called "Aileens" near Doolin, Ireland.
The wait for swells
Relics of past civilizations dot the landscape of coastal Ireland. Here, the County Clare ruins offer plenty of exploration in the wait for swells.
At the bottom of many cliffs, the emerald green waters of the North Atlantic boast tremendously consistent energy. Here, Fergal Smith gets barreled and rides it out till the end.
The rocky shoreline provides the perfect perch to enjoy an Atlantic sunset after a long session at the local County Clare spot known as "Bumbaloids." Originally a bodyboarding location, the area opened up to surfer Fergal Smith in the mid 2000s. "I remember the first time I saw Bumbaloids, I wanted to surf it straight away but I knew it was way beyond my skill level," said Smith. "Watching bodyboarders Dan Skaj and Jack Johns getting blown out of holes in the ocean was something I had never seen before in Ireland and wondered if I would ever be able to ride waves like that." Eventually, he did, ushering in a new era of big wave surfing for Ireland.