Surf spot: Strandhill, Sligo

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Strandhill in Co.Sligo is considered one of Ireland finest beach breaks and is one of the countries most popular surf destinations. The town has a long tradition of producing some of Ireland’s top surfing talent. Thankfully this tradition continues to this day with Strandhill being home to many of the countries top shredders.

Strandhill is host to the annual Co.Sligo Open surf contest on the July bank-holiday weekend. This contest attracts top surfers from home and abroad and is widely regarded as the premier contest to win every year.

Strandhill is a classic beach break set up with over a kilometer stretch of quality mulit-peak beachbreak lefts and rights. Like most of the North West’s best surf breaks, it works better on an offshore wind, but it can handle and will hold its shape on a light to moderate onshore wind.

Strandhill is best surfed at 2-6 feet on an incoming tide with best conditions at mid to high tide. Summer through autumn offers the best shaped sandbanks. It is surfable over 6 feet, but the rip and paddle out can be very difficult to contend with. Along with the beach break itself the Strandhill area offers some surprising hidden gems on bigger days, all you have to do is go on a small search or befriend a local willing to let you in on their secret spots!

Things to watch out for

  • Strong currents from 2-3 foot plus surf, the current increases considerable with the movement of tide and increase of swell.
  • Be award of protruding rocks throughout the beach and also the sea front break water can produce backwash on bigger high tide days. It can also be a hazard while entering and exiting the water a high tide.
  • Busy on weekends and during the summer months, Strandhill can get pretty crowded with surfers of all levels including several surf schools. Always respect and be conscious of fellow surfers in the water.
  • Strandhill is good for beginner surfers at 1-3 foot, from 3 foot plus it is more suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers.

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