What are you talking about I hear you exclaim? Is this another delusional Irish man thinking he is living in Hawaii rather than on the edge of the wild North Atlantic? That may be the case, but apart from the lean tanned torso’s and bikini clad beauties adorning the beaches… oh yes and the year round heat, we have everything else!!! We have waves to match the best of Hawaii around Clare, Sligo and Donegal on Ireland’s west coast, stunning beaches, beautiful coastline and no one forgets about the post surfing entertainment (or is it no one can remember the post surfing entertainment!). But most importantly, it is the most weather proof sport imaginable as I found out on a recent afternoon with the West Cork Surf School near Clonakilty in West Cork.
I was sadly celebrating the coming of my 40th year, so a few friends and I decided we would have a different Saturday afternoon without the wives, girlfriends and children. To add to the rising gloom in my head as the day dawned, grey clouds swirled and boiled across the heavens unleashing torrential downpours that left us feeling we may have to break out the surfboards to get to the beach. Needless to say optimism levels of getting in to the water were not particularly high until we met the guys at the surf ‘hut’ who were anything but pessimistic in fact they seemed positively buoyed by the fact. ‘You will be wet in about 5 minutes anyway, so no whinging and get in to the wet suits’. Before we knew it about 40 others and I were divided into groups. Luke, our surfing mentor/guide/instructor/dude (I forget the lingo) had us on the empty beach practising our ‘paddling & popping’ with widening grins before hitting the waves. True as their word, rain? What rain? we paddled, fell, drank sea water, paddled some more, fell some more before finally getting 4 seconds of standing on the board like a new-born taking its first steps. But that was enough to keep us trying for the next two hours of just sheer good fun, getting up, being ‘wiped out’ and occasionally feeling like Keanu Reeves in Point Break… well sort of anyway!
Point of all this is that surfing is easily the most weather proof sport out there and therefore the perfect Irish Summer sport and ideal for all the family irrespective of any fitness level. And….. GREAT fun 100% guaranteed.