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What you need to know about surfing in Sligo
Your next surf break is waiting for you on Sligo's beaches.
The towns and beaches of Sligo welcome surfers of all levels with open arms. With so many wonderful surf schools and traditional pubs to warm up in afterwards, you’ll be planning your next trip here before you leave.

Here’s what you need to know about surfing in Sligo, whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer.

What makes a beach better for beginner surfers?

Picking the right beach is one of the most important things to consider when learning how to surf in Ireland. Long, open, sandy beaches tend to have predictable waves that can make it easier to paddle out and catch your first wave. Beginners have lots of options for learning to surf in Sligo.

Learn to surf at Strandhill Beach

Strandhill is one of the most popular surf towns in the country. While the areas around Strandhill are known for their big waves, Strandhill Beach itself is perfect for novice surfers, with the long stretch of sand seeing small consistent waves that make it easier to master standing up on your board. 

Start your first day with a lesson at Strandhill Surf School, where you can also just hire your board and wetsuit for the day and have a go yourself. Three other surf schools - Sligo Surf Experience, Rebelle Surf and Atlantic Surf School - operate from the back of the gleaming National Surf Centre right on the beachfront. Inside you'll also find changing rooms, a surf shop and dedicated lesson and demonstration spaces upstairs. Outside the glass-fronted buildings are public showers.  

The lively streets of Strandhill are dotted with fantastic restaurants and traditional, welcoming pubs. Cosy up by the turf fire in The Strand Bar after your lesson and treat yourself to a well-earned hearty homemade meal.

Two surfers walking along Strandhill Beach in Sligo holding their boards
Catch your first wave on Strandhill Beach in Sligo.

Beginner friendly surfing at Enniscrone Beach

Another great place to learn how to surf in Sligo is Enniscrone Beach with an amazing 5km of beach-breaking waves along its golden sands. Paddling out at Enniscrone is a breeze thanks to the gentle waves, yet they’re powerful enough to pick you up and carry you back to shore. 

Take a lesson or hire your surfing gear from North West Surf School and 7th Wave Surf School

Surfing at Strandhill beach in County Sligo
Enniscrone Beach is the ideal destination for the beginner surfer.

What makes a beach better for experienced surfers?

Experienced surfers tend to look for reef-breaks and large sand-breaks further out to sea. These are usually riskier places where you really need an in-depth knowledge of the sea. These types of waves should only be attempted by experienced surfers and there’s plenty of them in Sligo.

Surfing barrels at Easkey

More advanced surfers will be drawn to the two reef breaks at Easkey which have been attracting surfers to Sligo since the late 70s, and even hosted Surfing World Championships events. The right-handed reef break is the more popular of the two waves here. Dependable year-round and in the right conditions it can be one of the best in the world. Epic barrels, crystal clear waves and reef breaks are the order of the day at Easkey.

Surfing a wave at Enniscrone Co. Sligo along the Wild Atlantic Way on a white surfboard
Easkey is the perfect spot for the advanced surfer looking for a challenge.

The small village of Easkey is well-worth checking out after your session. Stop by Pudding Row, one-time winner of the best café in Ireland, and warm up with a home cooked meal - exactly what you’ll need after a day in the surf.

Big wave surfing at Mullaghmore Head

Mullaghmore Head, Ireland’s most popular big wave surfing spot, is for experts only. Expect to see huge waves, some as big as 40ft, exposed rocky reefs and surfers being towed in on jet-skis. With lots of lookouts all along the coastline, Mullaghmore Head is a brilliant place to come watch talented and brave surfers take to the water.

Surfer with a massive wave behind them in Sligo
Watch surfers tackle monster waves in Mullaghmore.
See more of Sligo

Once you've surfed all the waves to be found in Yeats' Country, discover more spots to check out in Sligo, both on and off land. 

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