Surfing In Kerry

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"Catch a wave" and "Hang Ten" sound like simple instructions - until you try to stand up on your surfboard! Kerry’s diverse coastline hosts many surf spots from beach to reef to point. The most popular locations are Ballybunion, Castlegregory, Inch, Banna Strand, the Causeway Coast and Waterville with several surf schools and shops in the County.

The best months in County Kerry for surfing are April to May and September to October. During the winter months there is cold weather, water temperature below 5°C and often-huge swells, or during the summer, long flat periods.

Surfing is a surface water sport where a person (the surfer) moves along the face of a breaking ocean wave (the surf). Surfers originally used long, cumbersome wooden boards but now ride lightweight synthetic boards that allow a greater degree of manoeuvrability.

The surfer begins at the point where the waves begin to form, then, facing shore, paddles toward the beach with an oncoming wave. When the wave catches the board, the surfer stands up and glides along the wave's crest—or, in the case of a large wave, in the "tube" formed by its overhead curl. Surfing is a phenomenal sport that can literally be picked up by almost anyone at nearly any age. A few surfing lessons can have just about any water bug hurling down the waves in no time flat, and finding out through first hand experience what all the fuss is about.

Each variation of the surfboard was designed for particular types of waves, surfing conditions, and skill level. Longboards were originally the only type of surfboard available, and an entire generation learned to do some pretty radical things while handling these gigantic boards.

Longboards are the easiest surfboards to learn the art of surfing. Longboards are more stable than shortboards, and catch waves with less effort on the part of the beginner surfer. Some people swear by longboards for their entire surfing career, claiming that they are faster and simply more fun. And that's the whole point, right? Others feel that longboards are great for learning, but after a year or two, a "no longer newbie" surfer can get more out of shortboard or a fish or a fun board.

A fun board is also called an egg, named for its egg-like design. The fun board, as the name implies, is designed specifically for just hanging about in the waves and having a good time. It will not perform miraculous feats of trickery, but it will pick up the waves easily and provides a good deal of stability down the crest.

The fish is a little smaller than a fun board, with a tail called a swallow tail and fins known as twin, it can perform some feats of water based amazement and is mildly less stable down the crest when compared to the longboard or the fun board. Famous surfers used it during the late 90s and early 2000s, making it more popular than it was in the 70s when it was first introduced.

The gun is a distinctive board. It resembles the longboard in length but it is thinner, less stable, and (also called the Thruster) likes large, intimidating waves. The gun can perform tricks when used by highly skilled surfers, but for a beginner, the gun would need waves that most beginners would find overpowering.

Beckersurf

Of course, anyone who wants to master more than the basics can sign up for a few more surfing lessons. Finding out every titbit of information available about surfing and surfboards is not only beneficial to the surfer or potential surfer, but it's a great deal of fun.

Jamie Knox Watersports is based in Brandon Bay on the North side of the Dingle Peninsula. It is an ideal location for the watersports enthusiast, with a range of beaches. Visit their shop, Bed and Breakfast, or take a lesson with them.

Beckersurf


Their well-stocked watersports shop provides a wide range of quality equipment from various manufacturers. Lessons are available from qualified instructors in surfing, windsurfing & kite surfing for the novice or aspiring pro! The shop is open year round, and they run lessons from April-November. Catering for ages 8 and up, their aim is to get you up and going as quickly as possible.

Hire of surfing & windsurfing equipment is also available. Pedallos & kayaks can also be rented from the beach during July & August.

Finn McCool's Surf Company is Europe's most westerly surf shop, which means they get waves first. Located on Green Street in the centre of Dingle Town - equidistant to the three major surf breaks on the peninsula - they are ideally situated to cater for all your surfing needs. They offer the best insider knowledge of the local coastline, daily weather and swell updates and an extensive range of leashes, ding repair kits and wax etc. Everything a travelling surfer could need.

They also offer budget wetsuit and board hire. And even if you are not a surfer, feel free to come by and browse through some of the latest fashions from all the leading surf companies and pick up one of the famous Dingle Surfing T-Shirts.

Surfing Banner

What better place to learn to surf than on one of the most beautiful beaches in Kerry? Kingdomwaves Surf School operates at both Inch Beach and Banna Beach, two long sandy 'Blue Flag' beaches surrounded by the Kerry Mountains. Both beaches have a variety of breaks to cater for novice, intermediate and advanced.

Lessons are suitable for all ages and abilities, with qualified instructors and a high emphasis on safety. Irish Adventures offer a variety of options for sea kayaking, canoeing and kayaking in Dingle Bay, Lakes of Killarney, Kerry, Ireland.

Qualified and experienced instructors run all their kayaking. If you have a good location near you, then they can come to you with their new fleet of Necky sea kayaks. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced, why not try kayaking. Families, groups, hen and stag parties, individuals. Options of Half and Full Days.

Irish Adventures also offer:

Kayak the Lakes of Killarney

Explore the Lakes of Killarney by kayak, this trip starts at Ross Castle, visiting Bronze-Age copper mines and has options of visiting the 6 th Century monastic site on Innisfallen Island. 10am Tue, Weds, Thurs & Fri Weekends & afternoons also available Half Day €50 per person Full Day €75 per person

Sunrise & Sunset Sea-Kayaking

Experience the peaceful waters of Dingle harbour and Dingle Bay at its most tranquil hours, these trips also visit Fungie and sea caves. Times on request, €50 per person Sea kayaking day trips

Ventry to Dingle

Enjoy this amazing paddle under the isolated cliffs that protect Dingle harbour, under the watchful eye of Esk Tower. Enjoy a packed lunch as a isolated beach only accessible by kayak or boat. This trip also visit Fungie and explores many of the sea caves on route. Duration 5 hours. Departure 10- 3.30 Cost €80

Kayak with Fungie

Enjoy a half-days kayaking in Dingle Harbour, see Fungie the Dolphin at the mouth of the harbour and explore some the many sea caves. Times: 09.30 to 12.30 and 2.00 to 5.00 Half Day €50 per person

Their contact number is: Ballinaboula, Dingle, Co. Kerry - Tel: 00 353 (0) 874190318

Ballybunion

There is an excellent surf school in Ballybunion. The surf school is based on Ballybunion's south beach - recognised as one of north Kerry’s best surf spots for the last 20years, its picturesque location and world class surf breaks insure your trip to Ballybunion will be one you will never forget! Surf lessons are run from the beach café where you can enjoy a hot drink and snack after your lesson and avail of our changing facilities.

You can also have a Seaweed bath after!!

With four miles of golden blue flagged beaches Ballybunion offers waves for beginners, intermediates and the Atlantic cliff break provides exhilarating surf for the seriously advanced.



Inch

Surfing and swimming on Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, south west coast of Ireland is also very popular. County Kerry's Inch Beach, a 4 mile long sand spit of the finest most wonderful golden sand.

Even by Kerry's standards, it is a truly wonderful and magical place. While Ireland is renowned for its endless, unspoilt and undeveloped sandy beaches, Inch Beach wins "best in Ireland" by a country mile. It was made famous as the setting for its unforgettable role in the film Ryan’s Daughter - a must watch film for anyone contemplating a holiday in this part of Ireland.

Anascaul River mouth in County Kerry is a fairly exposed beach break that has very consistent surf and works all around the year. Offshore winds blow from the northeast with some shelter here from north winds. Tends to receive a mix of groundswells and windswells and the best swell direction is from the southwest. Waves at the beach break both left and right. Surfable at all stages of the tide. It's sometimes crowded here. Take special care here if it gets very crowded.

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Kerry Surfing Stories



When i finally arrived back in Kerry after my trip to the UK for Weymouth Speed Week the forecast was showing 20-30 knots winds from the South East which is perfect for Scraggane in Castlegreggory as the wind is offshore and flattens of the water so you can get some pretty decent speeds here.

When i arrived it was only 12 knots gusting to 18 knots so i decided to use my Starboard I Sonic 111 with 40cm Vector Maui Fins Canefire Fin and 7.3m KA Koncept. I also rigged up my Starboard I Sonic 86 with 34cm Vector Maui Fins SL9 Alfa fin with 6.4m KA Koncept in case the wind picked up and got into my wetsuit and went out on the water.

The wind was very gusty so hard to get any decent speeds but i managed a peak speed of nearly 28 knots which considering i was underpowered in the lulls was reasonably good and i had a good session on the water. After a while i decided to call it a day when the wind started dropping off which was a shame as i know i could have got speeds over 30 knots of the forecasted wind came through but still good to get out on the water.



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