Globally renowned as a top-class surf spot, Ireland’s northwest coast rivals the likes of Australia and Portugal in its standard of big wave surf.
The water temperature around Ireland’s coast is cooling down at this time of year. While many of us are hanging up our swimming suits and taking a break from the sea dips for the next few months, Ireland’s surf community is just warming up for the season.
To surfers, the stormy weather means extra fuel for big waves off the northwest coast, with many keen to ride the big winter waves, including Donegal-born Red Bull surfer Conor Maguire.
Last week, he took to the waves in Mullaghmore as onlookers watched on in amazement. Just watch as this talented Irish surfer tackles a huge 40 ft (12.2 m) wave off the Sligo coast.
One of Ireland’s best wave riders – various impressive feats
Conor Maguire is a 29-year-old surfer from County Donegal. He began surfing at age 11 and has proven himself to stand among not only the best surfers in Ireland but the whole of Europe.
Since 2015, he has been nominated for six World Surf League Big Wave Awards. He has also been recognised by the Big Wave World Tour with three nominations in three different categories at their 2016 awards.
Perhaps his biggest achievement to date, however, came in 2020, when he successfully surfed what many called Ireland’s biggest-ever wave off the coast of Mullaghmore in County Sligo. You can watch the original video here.
Irish surfer tackles huge 40 ft wave on Sligo coast – battling the elements
While most of us are wrapping up warm and choosing to stay indoors, Ireland’s surf community are heading to the coast with their wetsuits and surfboards in tow.
With reports of epic swell set to hit the Sligo coast last week, Conor was first in line to hit the waves. The Irish surfer impressed photographers and nearby onlookers by tackling a huge 40 ft (12.2 m) wave off the Sligo coast.
However, to Conor, the wave was nothing more than practice as he warms up for the swell off Portugal’s coast in Nazaré, a spot known by the global surf community as the home of some of the biggest waves in the world.
The best surf in Ireland – plenty of spots to ride the waves
Located on the northwest coast along the famed Wild Atlantic Way, Mullaghmore is an epic surf spot in County Sligo that sees surfers travel from far and wide to enjoy the swell.
Quickly gaining momentum as one of the world’s prime big-wave surf destinations, people travel from all over the world to see what it’s all about. The spot’s global popularity has grown steadily since Billabong hosted Ireland’s first-ever big-wave surf contest back in 2011.
No doubt the shots of Conor Maguire, the talented Irish surfer who tackled the huge 40 ft (12.2 m) wave off the Sligo coast last week, will just help to increase this spot’s popularity.