My Top 10 Surf Spots in Ireland

As you can probably see from my blog I am interested in surfing, I used to surf  frequently before I started my masters. Have not been in the water since last August as I have had to sacrifice a lot of things I enjoy to do this course, but looking forward to getting back in the water this summer. So I decided to compile a list of my top 10 surf spots in Ireland. I have also surfed abroad in California, South Carolina and South West of France (All Photos from Google images)

1. Easkey Left (Sligo)


Left breaking over flat rocks, can surf at any tide

2. The Peak (Bundoran)


Flat rock, best surfed at low tide, short rights, longer lefts.

3. Tullan Strand (Donegal)


Beach Break , very consistent picks up the swell when other places don’t.

4. Carrowniskey (Mayo)( Surf here a lot)


Beach Break, needs a west swell to work

5. Rossnowlagh (Donegal)

20April 046

Beach Break,

6. Lahinch (Clare)


Beach and reef

7.  Mossies (Kerry)



8. Inch Reef (Kerry)



9. Strandhill (Sligo)



10. Brandon Bay (Kerry).


Beach Break


Scientifically designed shark deterrent wetsuits

As some of you may have noticed I am interested in everything to do with the sea from sea-life to water-sports. Recently I posted how the Australian  public  are notified by Twitter of the location of sharks when they get too close to the Australian coastline. The presence of sharks in the water is a major deterrent for many people, which prevents them trying new activities such as surfing or scuba diving, but this may soon change.

The other day I was looking through surfing websites, when I came across an article, where scientists have designed wetsuits that supposedly deter sharks. If this is the case this is a major break- through and will hopefully reduce the amount of fatalities and deaths that happen each year. It will also  reduce the indiscriminate killing of sharks. The new designs can be seen below:

 Professor Shaun Collin and Professor Nathan Hart have  been studying shark’s vision for a number of years and  are considered the world’s leading authority.  They made a number of significant  discoveries relating to sharks, they discovered that sharks see in black and white. When sharks are hunting they use a number of senses to locate their prey and vision also plays a vital role in the final stage of an attack. The scientists suggest that by disrupting a shark’s visual perception, an attack can either be diverted altogether or at least delayed to allow the victim time to exit the water.

Shark attack mitigation systems  also know as SAMS have been working with the University of Western Australia for a number years and has translated the scientific data into a range of shark deterrent designs.
The two design variations either present the wearer as potentially dangerous and unpalatable to a shark, or make it very difficult for the shark to see the wearer in the water. The shark deterrent technology can be applied to products such as wetsuits, skins and stickers for diving air tanks, surfboards, kayaks, skis and more. I think these new designs are pretty cool and would have no problem wearing one if I was surfing in warmer waters than the cold Irish waters.

There is also discussion about the shark shields that have been developed for surfboards.  How this works is all predatory sharks have highly sensitive electrical receptors called “Ampullae of Lorenzini” located in their snouts. These tiny gel filled sacs can only sense electrical current from prey at very close distances. A powerful but localised electrical field is generated by Shark Shield devices and causes the sharks gel filled sacs to spasm and the shark to flee the immediate area. There are no known long term adverse effects to the shark and as a result Shark Shield devices support the conservation of sharks by removing the need for culling or other lethal means of managing human and shark interactions.

They are now developing surfboards with the shark shield built into the fins. The new surfboard shark deterrent will revolutionize the surfing industry and is the first major innovation in surfing since the thruster and removable fins from FCS. Everyone will again be able to confidently surf any break without the intimidation or fear of sharks. These new innovation are meant to have no impact on current surfboard manufacturing or the shaping design processes and zero to minimal impact on surfboard performance. Not only will the new deterrent protect the surfer, but multiple surfers will create a virtual electronic shark barrier. The surfers will appear like an electronic mine field to sharks so all beach goers will benefit from this innovation too. How the electronic shark deterrent works is that is consists of two electrodes that use salt water as a conductor between the two, creating an electrical field that deters sharks.

Billabong Pipe Masters 2013

The 2013 ASP World Championship Tour is coming to a close with the final event the Billabong Pipe Masters rolling in tomorrow until the 20th. Pipeline is often referred to as the best wave on the planet. Known for its perfect, heaving top-to-bottom barrels and its close proximity to shore, not only is it the perfect wave for those willing to charge, but also for the spectators on the beach. The fascination of Pipeline is that with the perfection comes consequence. Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves on the planet. It has claimed more lives than any other wave in the world, one fatality a year, on average and inflicts numerous injuries and breaks boards for a hobby so it needs to be respected.

The event has been dedicated to Andy Irons who died 3 years ago, if he was alive today he would definitely be in contention for 2013 mens title.  This set out to be one of the events of the year as the title race is still open. Kelly Slater must win the event if he is to take the title which is well within his capabilities, as Mick Fanning is currently leading the world rankings so a 3rd place finish will see him secure the title.  If Slater beats Fanning this will be his 12th ASP crown, which I hope he does as he is one of my favourite surfers. But I would also like Julian Wilson to take this event, as he has been my surfer of the tour as he has been on form and doing some sick airs, but I don’t think his style is suited to Pipe. But it will be interesting to see what he pulls out of the bag. Julian Wilson was electric at Trestles earlier this year, launching massive aerials and fully-committed turns on both the lefts and rights of Lowers while posting some of the highest scores of the competition. The event can be watched live online through the ASP website, or your smartphone through the ASP or Billabong app.

Pipeline will also determine the final qualification slots for the elite 2014 ASP World Championship Tour. There are currently five surfers to watch sitting outside of the bubble for 2014 qualification .The list includes Miguel Pupo (BRA), 22, Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 28, Damien Hobgood (USA), 34, Dusty Payne (HAW), 24, and Yadin Nicol (AUS), 27.

Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Joel Centeio (HAW)
Heat 3: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Marcus Hickman (HAW)
Heat 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Kaimana Jaquias (HAW)
Heat 5: Yadin Nicol (AUS) vs. Kahea Hart (HAW)
Heat 6: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 7: Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Heat 8: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Olamana Eleogram (HAW)
Heat 9: Mitch Crews (AUS) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 10: Granger Larsen (HAW) vs. Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Heat 11: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 12: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)

Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. TBD
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Adam Melling (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. TBD

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBD