Surfing Ireland- An Unforgettable Experience

Posted By: T-John Casiello
Posted On: October 19th, 2016
Attending: Letterkenny Institute of Technology

Ever since I have arrived in County Donegal all I have heard is how good the surfing is here. It is often called the surfing capital of Ireland and people come from all over the world to surf on Donegal beaches. Some of the more popular spots are on the southern part of the county. These spots include Bundoran and Rossnowlagh.


Thanks to my community partner, Paul, I was able to accomplish a goal of mine, to surf in Donegal. Paul set everything up perfectly; I helped coach a young group of girls in Ballyshannon then hit the beach in Bundoran with a local surfer, Barry.


For those that don't know me, next to basketball, surfing is by far my favorite thing to do. Some of my best days ever are when I get to paddle out on my board. There is something about surfing that I love. I'm not sure if it's the challenge of catching a wave that is always changing, or if it's the relaxation and beauty of being surrounded by water, the beach, or sea life. All of this with the sun normally rising or setting in the background. So to be able to get that feeling once again out here in Ireland was the greatest thing. Most importantly, it felt like home.


Let me tell you a little bit about my surf session. First, prior to going out I looked at the conditions and it appeared to be very solid. Reports were calling for 5-8ft swells. Well let me tell you when I got out there they were every bit of 7 or 8ft. That’s definitely a little bigger than I am used to in Wildwood, New Jersey. Also, I knew I wasn't in surfing shape, I haven’t surfed since August, but the paddle out was just brutal. My arms were gassed by the time I got past the break. Then, after resting and gaining my stamina back the first big set came and it was a bomb…wipeout. Bad. After that, I was a little more conservative; I stayed off the really big ones. I didn’t think it would be a good idea to be getting hurt all the way out here Ireland.


Overall, I had a blast. The wave in Bundoran is definitely a difficult break when it gets that big, but I was able to get a few good rides in. Regardless, it was an unbelievable time. The sun was out the entire time too! Combine that with the abundance of high green cliffs in the background and it was an unforgettable sight! In the end, I could have gone out there, not caught a single wave and I still would have had an awesome time. It is those kinds of experiences that I will never forget.


I really hope I can get out a couple more times while I am here.


Thank you Paul and Barry for a wonderful experience!

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