Posts Tagged ‘tide’

Surf spot: Strandhill, Sligo

Friday, March 6th, 2009

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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.

Surf spot: PMPA Point, Bundoran, Donegal

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Bundoran is often referred to as a ‘Ireland’s Surfing Capital’. The towns coastal area is blessed with a large range and variety of beach, reef and point breaks. From the World class reef break of the Peak, to the ever consistent Tullan Strand, Bundoran has a wave for all styles and levels of surfer


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PMPA POINT

PMPA is situated at the south end of the bay. It boosts a freight train stand up left-handed barrel. PMPA is definitely for experts only. It’s a very shallow slab of rock onto reef with a vertical takeoff and dredging tube all the way to the end of the reef… or “Wilsie’s corner”, as the locals call it.

PMPA is very popular with local and visiting surfers alike. It can get busy with surfers, body boarders and water photographers all trying to ride or capture one of its cavernous pits. It breaks best on a straight west swell on a high tide and offshore wind.

Things to watch out for

  • PMPA is a very shallow wave and claims its fair share of broken boards and broken skin every year.
  • The wave allows very little room for error and is not a place you go to practice your turns.

No prizes for guessing why it’s actually called ‘PMPA point’…

Surf spot: Bundoran (Inside Left), Donegal

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009
Bundoran, Co. Donegal, Ireland


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Just to the north of the peak is Inside Left. On good days its offers a long left with barrel sections. The wave can be fickle but when it’s on, it’s definitely on.

Inside Left is a low tide only wave. It breaks along a shallow ledge of reef producing a hollow take off and barrelling first section, followed by a long pealing wall. Inside Left can be tricky on take off on very low tide, but offers a great platform for turning and manoeuvres. It is definitely for intermediate to advanced surfers only.

Watch out for the shallow sea urchin filled pools on entry and exit. Booties are a good idea!

Surf spot: Blackspot, Bundoran, Donegal

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Bundoran is often referred to as a ‘Ireland’s Surfing Capital’. The towns coastal area is blessed with a large range and variety of beach, reef and point breaks. From the World class reef break of the Peak, to the ever consistent Tullan Strand, Bundoran has a wave for all styles and levels of surfer
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Blackspot

Situated at the very south end of Bundoran on the Donegal-Leitrim border, Blackspot offers two waves for the price of one. At low tide it is a short, very hollow, slabbing left-handed barrel and at high tide it turns into a long double hollow section right-hander.

Blackspot needs a swell from 3 foot upwards to work properly. Light offshore wind and keeping an eye on the tides are essential for surfing here.

Things to watch out for

  • Blackspot has a pretty tricky entry and exit area with slippy rocks and swell ebbing and flowing for several meters over the rocks.
  • Watch out for shallow sections at both ends.

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