iSurf News

iSurfIreland Summer S’Cool Camps 2017

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Summer Arrives in Strandhill

This is Eddie and Seamus from iSurfIreland surf school in Strandhill and welcome back to our blog. Summer is here and that means our 2017 summer camps are back on for the next ten weeks for u 18s.

2017 summer camps

Learning to surf with iSurfIreland

2017 Summer Camps

Now that children have some well deserved time off school why not get them active in the outdoors on one of iSurfIreland’s popular five-day surf camps?

Your child will have lots of fun in the ocean learning to surf. Participants also get to learn about the wind and tides and pick up essential water safety and ocean awareness. Beach games and eco-walks are also part of the program. Parents can relax in the knowledge that our camps are personally supervised by iSurf managers Seamus and Eddie who together have over sixteen years coaching experience and who know the area well.

2017 summer camps

Our Summer S’Cool program ensures your child has a safe, structured and fun environment to learn in. Plus, we have the best team of expert local instructors who are able to encourage and motivate young people in the ocean.

Summer Surf

With the summery weather and the warmer water temperatures there are more people than ever enjoying the waves at Strandhill.  It is also amazing to witness the progression of some of our junior and senior surfers from last year, which is what we like to see.

Both of us have been getting plenty of summer surf sessions in between our surf classes each day. Eddie has been busy fine tuning his longboarding style in the perfect waves we have been getting in Strandhill. Here is a photo of Eddie cross stepping his board taken one morning last week by resident Strandhill photographer Anna ‘Banana’ Valente.

2017 summer camps

Eddie practising his longboard moves in Strandhill

Wild Atlantic Way Champion

Seamus recently attended a Wild Atlantic Way seminar in Sligo and gained his certificate to say that he is a Wild Atlantic Way Champion and can help you make the most out of your trip on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, especially when you are on the world famous Surf Coast here in Sligo. In case you don’t know, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route which begins in Muff, County Donegal and finishes up in Kinsale in County Cork.

2017 summer camps

Shambles goes to the Hospital

Shambles also released the last video blog in the Shambles Goes to Hawaii series. This last one is called Shambles goes to the Hospital, with good reason. Shambles was in flying form after surfing Pipeline in Hawaii and jetting back home to Ireland. But, he had a nasty wipeout at his favourite reef in Bundoran which put him out of action for a few weeks. But just like Rileys, once he recovered Shambles was straight back out there looking for more.

Check out the clip here.

World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day 2017 was on June 8th. iSurfIreland were proud to be a part of a very successful beach clean up in association with Clean Coast on the coast of Leitrim, the county with the shortest coastline in Ireland. All it took was a couple of hours for thirty or so local residents and surfers to pick up over a ton of marine litter from the Tullaghan coastline, which was then kindly removed by Leitrim County Council. This fun event was a massive success and we are looking forward to the next one.

2017 summer camps

The Clean Coast crew and their big haul

We will keep you updated on how our summer is going in our next blog. Until then, we look forward to seeing you on the beach. And remember, don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

Eddie and Seamus.

Easter Surf Camps 2017

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Easter Surf Camp with iSurfIreland

This is Eddie and Seamus from iSurfIreland and welcome back to our 2017 blog. In this instalment we want to tell you all about our Easter surf camp in Strandhill, April 17 -21st, for kids who are off school on their mid-term. This surf camp is being held ahead of our summer surf camp, which kicks off in June when the schools are out for the summer.

iSurfIreland midterm camps

Our daily pre-surf beach talk

Easter Camps

The five-day surf camp is held Monday – Friday from 10 am – 12 pm at Strandhill Beach. For people who can’t commit to the full five-day camp, a three-day camp option is available. In addition to lots of fun in the ocean practising surfing, participants also get to learn about the wind and tides and essential water safety. Beach games and eco-walks are also part of the program. All iSurfIreland surf camps are personally supervised by iSurf managers Seamus and Eddie who together have over sixteen years coaching experience.

 

iSurfIreland midterm camps

Spring is in the air

With the evenings now getting longer, children are spending more time our doors. iSurfIreland is all about encouraging children to rediscover their love and wonder for the sea now the winter period is over and learn about the amazing Irish coastline.

iSurfIreland midterm camps

Fun spring surf sessions

Experienced Local Instructors

iSurfIreland camps allow participants get to fully enjoy their ocean experience safe in the knowledge that they are supervised by trained beach lifeguards and experienced surf instructors who know the area well.

iSurfIreland midterm campsiSurfIreland midterm campsiSurfIreland midterm camps
 iSurfIreland manager, Seamus Mc Goldrick, says, ‘A fun and structured five-day camp is the best way to introduce your child to surfing because each day camp participants build on the previous day’s knowledge.’

iSurfIreland midterm camps

Our five-day midterm camps costs €100 but a three-day option is available for €55. All surfing equipment is included in the package, just bring a towel and swimming gear. Changing rooms with hot showers are also available.

Call Seamus on 087 7471915 to book your place today or email isurfirelandsurfschool@gmail.com

Slan and Mahalo from Seamus and Eddie.

Shambles goes to Hawaii

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Exciting times at iSurfIreland

It has been an exciting month at iSurfIreland with our very own Seamus ‘Shambles’ Mc Goldrick being invited to a big pro contest in Hawaii ahead of the opening of the 2017 tourist season. In this blog, Shambles gives an account of his trip to the Mecca of surfing on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii and gives you an insight into what it is like to represent Ireland at the highest level.

Shambles Hawaii

Shambles flying the flag at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii

” Since I started bodyboarding at twelve years old in Strandhill I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and surf Pipeline. Last February, I got a chance to do exactly that when I received an invitation to compete at the Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational. Mike Stewart is a living Hawaiian legend, a nine-time world bodyboard champion and founder of Science bodyboards. Watching videos of Mike ripping it up in Hawaii at Pipeline is what inspired me and my friends to get into the sport in the first place all those years ago.

In 2011, after gaining some international publicity, I produced my first professional bodyboard video ‘Shambles: a day in the life, and subsequently got in touch with Mike Stewart and his UK distributor, Matt Daniels, who to decided to take me on board. I have been happy riding with the Science Bodyboard’s team ever since.

Shambles Hawaii

Shambles and Mike Stewart in Sligo, Ireland

I never thought when I started bodyboarding I would ever be sponsored by Mike Stewart never mind get to meet the guy but that is exactly what happened when Mike came to visit me and fellow Science teammate Shane Meehan in Ireland in late 2011. As my bodyboard career was going from strength to strength I decided it was the perfect time to set up my own surf business with Eddie Moran in Strandhill. Teaming up with Science helped me build my bodyboarding career and iSurfIreland gave me the opportunity to begin coaching members of the public, sharing my knowledge and spreading the message of water safety and ocean conservation so we have safer and healthier beaches.

In February 2016, national champion and Science teammate Shane Meehan got invited to the first ever Mike Stewart Pipeline invitational in Hawaii, which was a massive achievement for an Irish bodyboarder. Then, in March 2016, I had a near career-ending wipeout at one of my favourite surf spots, Riley’s, in County Clare. Thanks to the quick thinking of my friends on the day I was safely transported to Limerick hospital after a brave rescue by the coastguard rescue helicopter and treated for a fractured femur. My incident even featured in an episode of Stop, Search and Seizure on Sky Living!

The support of my friends and family was indispensable and Eddie kept iSurfIreland running smoothly in Strandhill so, after six months of rest and physiotherapy, I eventually returned to the water in Strandhill and gradually became more able to start coaching surfing again and even catch a few small waves. Fast forward to January 2017 and world champion bodyboarder Pierre Louis Costes came to Ireland to surf Riley’s and I decided that it was as good a time as any to return to the place where I had been so badly injured the year before. My mate Fionn Rogers even posted this short video from that session. It was an amazing couple of days and it felt great to overcome my injury by returning to Riley’s.

Shambles Hawaii

Shambles back in action at Mullaghmore

The next time another one of my favourite waves called Mullaghmore broke I felt confident enough to go surf it – and catch one or two nice waves – although it had been more than twelve months since I last surfed the place. Soon after that, I got the email every bodyboarder dreams of getting. I received an invite to the Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational  – the world’s most prestigious bodyboard event – being held on Oahu, Hawaii  from February 25 – March 10.

Shambles Hawaii

On the back of returning to Rileys and Mullaghmore I knew I was ready to go and compete at Pipeline. I knew the trip would require me to do some fundraising but talking with my sister I decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I organised a successful music night in the Dunes Bar with special guests Rory O Dowd, Ian Borderly and Emma Burke. The community of Strandhill has always supported the local surfers when they attended international competitions, but I still was pleasantly surprised with the great turn out on the night. The fundraiser was a great start but the trip only became a reality when four amazing sponsors agreed help with travel expenses: Magicseaweed – the leading surf forecasting website – and Go Strandhill, Mammy Johnston’s and NOC Carpentry – all from Sligo. My dream of competing in Hawaii would not have happened without this support, so I would like to thank everyone in Ireland and abroad who contributed and especially Sinead Mc Goldrick, Peter Mc Corry, Ed Temperley, Neil Byrne, Neil O Connell, Daniel Mc Garrigle, Neil Walton and Jane Chambers plus David O Hara for their assistance.

It all happened very fast. Once I knew I had got an entry into the event I had ten days to fundraise, secure sponsors, do the media, book flights and sort accommodation. I don’t think I have ever had a busier ten days in my life, but in hindsight, it would have been very silly not to accept this invitation to surf in Hawaii and go represent Ireland for a second consecutive year at the big contest at Pipeline. The support I received was nothing short of amazing. It was all so exciting and after tying up the last loose ends, I packed got my boards, threw some t-shirts in a bag and headed with my dad to Dublin airport. I took a camera with me to keep a video blog.

Shambles Hawaii

Phot: @pablojimenez_photo

I arrived in Honolulu Airport on Oahu more than twenty-four hours later. I got my bags and rental car and met up with Cornishman and fellow Pipeline invitee Dan Skajarowski, a good friend from County Clare. As it was very late, we headed straight for the north shore and slept in the car at Waimea car park for a few hours, got up at dawn, had a quick coffee and headed straight for Ehukai Beach park at Pipeline beach. We were both super excited because the forecast was for good surf for the next few days. There is certainly a special energy at Pipeline and it was all pretty surreal as we checked the waves and prepared our equipment to go for our first surf. There were about fifty of the world’s best bodyboarders and surfers already in the line up catching any good wave that came through. I spotted the man himself – Mike Stewart – and paddled over to say hello. Mike immediately began sharing his in-depth knowledge about Pipeline and told me the best places to sit and what waves I should try and catch. A little while later the Hawaiian water patrol arrived on jetskis and told everyone to leave the area as the contest was about to start.

           Shambles HawaiiShambles HawaiiShambles HawaiiShambles Hawaii

Dan and I made a little camp on the beach and waited for our first heats. I sat and watched the heats before mine very carefully in order to study the conditions. The Pipeline contest was composed of back to back heats that lasted twenty minutes. In the four-man heats, the top two progressed to the next round and the bottom two are eliminated. You can catch up to ten waves in your heat but only your two highest scoring waves are counted. Each wave is marked out of ten with low scores awarded for an incomplete rides or wipeouts and a perfect ten being given for a successfully completed wave that the judges felt couldn’t have been surfed any better. The judging criteria is based on the speed, power and flow of the manoeuvres performed on the wave.

Shambles Hawaii

My heat winning wave in round two at the Mike Stewart Pipeline Invitational

In my heat there was a young up and coming bodyboarder from California and two well-established competitors from Austraila and the Canary Islands. I knew it would be a tough heat and the pressure was on. It had always been my dream to compete at Pipe and now that it was minutes away from happening I was trying to stay still and calm and simply focus on the present moment. Me and the other competitors paddled out and shook hands in the channel and wished each other well. The camaraderie and good sportsmanship on display made me proud to be a bodyboarder.

When the hooter sounded and the heat got underway, I found two waves with scoring potential but each wave ended in a wipeout. Eventually, I found a nice set wave that offered up a nice barrel followed by an airbowl for an invert air. With a combination of a scoring tube ride and an aerial manoeuver I knew I was in a strong position. I backed up my high score with a quick barrel on an inside wave with a few minutes to go, but it wasn’t until I was walking back up the beach and the announcer gave my name in second that I knew I had done enough to progress to round three. It had not been an easy heat but I was over the moon I made it through. Dan surfed brilliantly in his first heat and came in first place making it through to round three in style.

Shambles Hawaii

Dan cruised through his round two heat in first place.

In my round three heat, I was up against three local Hawaiians.  I wished the Hawaiian guys the best of luck as we got in the water and the guys were very respectful although fierce competitors. Conditions weren’t as great as my previous heat but I did manage to secure a good wave with two solid man0euvers on it. I knew if I got a second solid score I would have a good chance of progressing to round four but it wasn’t to be. As the last five minutes ticked down I was in third position and no waves were on the horizon. It was a sinking feeling but in the end it was down to mother nature. The buzzer went without me catching another scoring ride and I knew my Pipe dream was over. As I sat on the sand analysing my loss, I decided I would do everything I could to return to Pipeline next year and do better. I believe I still did well for someone who had broken their femur less than a year ago, but I also knew I could do better and go further in the competition.

Shambles Hawaii

Shambles pulls in in round three

Dan also came third in his round three heat and while we were both happy with our round two performances we each wondered at the what ifs. You can see the highlights of day one of the competition

You can see the highlights of day one of the competition here.

Dan and I went and surfed at Pipeline again as the sun was setting. Afterwards, as I sat on the sand enjoying my first Hawaiian sunset I remarked on what a special and memorable day it had been.

Shambles Hawaii

The next day, myself and Dan arrived to the beach to watch the finals of the drop knee and women’s bodyboard divisions. You can watch the highlights of the second day of competition here. It was an intense and entertaining day of competition. The conditions for the drop knee final were epic and many people on the beach were calling it the greatest drop knee final in history. After this, the waves went flat for a few days so Dan and I took off to explore the rest of the island. When the surf came back up, we had the unforgettable experience of watching the final day of the event at Pipeline live from the beach. The contest went off in epic conditions. We saw some amazing heats and an unforgettable ten point ride by current world number on Pierre Louis Costes from France. I even got the chance to do the commentary for the finals with Mike for Facebook Live on Science bodyboards. In the finals, Jeff Hubbard from Kauai managed to beat fierce competition from Iain Campbell from South Africa, Alex Uranga from the Basque Country and Ben Player from Australia to become the new Pipe champion for 2017.

It was an amazing day, not just for ourselves but for the entire global bodyboard community. Dan and I spent the rest of our stay getting up at five am to try and get to surf Pipe before the crowds. On the north shore, there are loads of great places to eat and everyone seems to be into surfing and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The people are super friendly and everyone, not just the surfers, are keen to show you the meaning of Hawaiian Ahola, a word with many meanings, but to us it meant hospitality. Before I knew it, I had to drop Dan to Honolulu Airport so he could begin his long journey back to Ireland. I was sorry to see him go but I knew he was busy with getting his surf school, The Green Room in Lahinch ready for the season ahead. Come to think of it, I only had two days left in Hawaii myself.

Shambles Hawaii

Shambles on a Pipe bomb. Photo: @pablojimenez_photo

Usually on a surf trip when one of your mates leaves to go home early that is when the best surf of the trip arrives and, unfortunately for Dan, that is exactly what happened. I arrived to Pipeline on my last day to be greeted by an eight to ten foot north-west swell. It was my last day in Hawaii so I was going to make the most of it. I surfed Pipe three times that day and I only managed to get whiplash from a severe wipeout once, so I was pretty happy with that. As all good things come to an end, I had to say good by to Hawaii and my beloved north shore for now and promise her I would return again some day. It was a crazy trip so thanks to all my supporters and all the amazing people I met in Hawaii, and thanks in particular to Mike Stewart for the inspiration and the opportunity to come to Hawaii.

Shambles Hawaii

Photo: @rutepenedo Wonderland Productions

Leaving wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed getting back to Strandhill for our weekend surf sessions with our regular winter surfers. The day after I arrived back it was Eddie’s birthday, then we had great craic taking part in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Sligo Town. I was surprised and delighted when one of my waves at Mullaghmore was given an entry into the Nomad Bodyboards Big Wave award, again being the only Irish man in the competition. Check out my entry here.

Most recently we attended a screening of the award winning environmental documentary ‘Atlantic’ in The Model Sligo in association with County Sligo Surf Club plus the fantastic Rennafix-Zero Gravity Skate-a-thon fundraiser. But I will still miss Hawaii and wish to go back there next year.”

If all this talk of Hawaii and bodyboarding has left you motivated to give it a go and get in touch. iSurfIreland are the only surf school in the country offering regular bodyboard lessons from professional coaches and instructors using top brand equipment. It may not be Hawaii, but Sligo is certainly a bodyboarder’s paradise. Until next time.

Slan and Mahalo.

Thank you 2016, Hello 2017.

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iSurfIreland Surf School 2017

Winter swells kickstart the season

Dia Dhuit and Cead Mile Failte (Hello and Welcome) to the start of our 2017 blog from iSurfIreland surf school managers Eddie Moran and Seamus Mc Goldrick. In between all the amazing January swells, we have been very busy preparing for the 2017 season, which should prove to be the biggest and best yet for iSurfIreland. If you haven’t got in for your first surf of the new year don’t worry, come join us on some of iSurfIreland surf school’s awesome Winter Surf Sessions. We are now open for business and are available for booking seven days per week. We are delighted to see plenty of returning customers and improving surfers have been braving the elements to come surf with us in December and January with lots of great surf sessions going down.

iSurfIreland surf school 2017

Premium surf lessons @ iSurfIreland

Thank You for 2016

First off, we want to thank each and every customer who came and surfed with iSurfIreland in 2016 and made the year such a success.

At the start of the year, we were thrilled to feature in a video by the hit Youtubers the Vagabrothers when they came surfing with us in Strandhill. iSurfIreland surf school also featured in the hit Sky One TV series Stop, Search, Seizure when the program interviewed Shambles about his rescue by Shannon 116 rescue helicopter.  We recorded a hilarious video with Mohill GAA and we also featured in a new ad with Ryanair promoting Sligo.

Adventure Fest

iSurfIreland was very proud to be a part of another Adventure Festival with Rennafix and I think Rennafix were stoked with the shiny new stage Eddie built out in the charity’s new festival site. With their new stage, Adventure Fest 2017 will not be one to miss.

iSurfIreland surf school 2017

Eddie and the Rennafix crew working on-site before Adventure Fest 2016 with the new ‘secret stage’ in the background.

 

The salt water package for Adventure Fest included an educational guided meditation with John Graham at Mindcalm before hopping on your surfboard and strutting your stuff in the ocean followed by a tasty and nutritious breakfast at Shells Cafe.

 

iSurfIreland surf school 2017

Even with a broken leg, Adventure Fest was a lot of fun.

2016 Highlights

The highlight of the year for us was successfully running our Surf S’Cool summer camps. We met lots of amazing young people, the waves were great all summer and we had tons of fun each day with our beach games, educational eco-walks and our weekly beach clean ups, activities which got iSurfIreland surf school nominated for an Ocean Hero Award at the Clean Coast symposium in Dublin in December. So, we would like to take an opportunity to give a massive shout out to all the participants and of course all the mums, dads, grannies, grand-dads and guardians who make it all possible.

 

iSurfIreland surf school 2017

iSurfIreland’s fun Surf S’Cool summer camps

Our next Surf S’Cool camp is during the Easter Break in Mid-April, so if you know someone who you think would like to get involved just send us an email.

Charity Fundraiser

iSurfIreland surf school also hosted a successful fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research in Strandhill in October as our contribution for breast cancer awareness month. Over €1000 was raised for charity and we would like to thank all those who got involved or donated money.

iSurfIreland surf school 2017

Over €1000 raised during Breast Cancer Awareness month

Meeting the Champs

Eddie got to meet three-time world surfing champion, Mick Fanning, when he visited Sligo.

iSurfIreland surf school 2017

Eddie and Mick

Shambles nervously returned to the water at Rileys, the wave that snapped his femur back in March, where he got to surf with the best bodyboarder in the world at the moment, Pierre Louis Costes, two-time world bodyboard champion. Shambles reckons he will be fighting fit for the start of the summer season.

iSurfIreland surf school 2017

Shambles and Pierre Louis Costes on a cold January morning at Rileys.

iSurf Competitions

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page for our monthly giveaways in 2017. Congratulations to Jamie Kivlehan, the winner of iSurfIreland surf school’s January online competition and we look forward to seeing you in the water soon. Meanwhile, we are making the most out of the perfect winter swells on our brand new Fourth surfboards high-performance longboards, so if we see you in the water make sure you come and say hello.

Slan,

Eddie and Seamus @ iSurfIreland

iSurfIreland surf camp Top 5 Reasons

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iSurfIreland’s Top Five Reasons why you need to book your child into a surf camp this summer.

#1: Experience in the ocean.

iSurfIreland surf camp

Ireland has an amazing coastline and iSurfIreland is all about encouraging people to increase their ocean experience. During the summertime children rediscover their love for the sea and so is the perfect time to get them in the water. iSurfIreland summer camps allow participants get to fully enjoy their ocean experience safe in the knowledge they are supervised by trained beach lifeguards and experienced surf instructors who know the area well.

iSurfIreland surf camp

Our Summer S’Cool program ensures your child has a safe, structured and fun environment to learn in. Plus, we have the best team of expert local instructors who are able to encourage and motivate young people in the ocean.

#2: Learn a new skill.

iSurfIreland surf camp

Every child in Ireland has the potential to become a surfer, we live on an island and no one is more than an hour and a half from the coast. Surfing in Ireland is now a mainstream recreational activity and Ireland is world famous as a cold water surfing paradise. Whether your child is looking for a day’s fun or to pick a life lifelong skill, our five-day surf camps are the perfect learning environment.

iSurfIreland has top quality surfing and bodyboarding equipment. The bodyboards are always a favourite for our surf camp participants. Bodyboarding allows them to catch more waves and have more fun. We want each camp participant to feel included and we have all equipment to suit every child’s interest and ability.

iSurfIreland surf camp

#3: Lifelong water safety awareness.

While we can’t guarantee your child will become a pro surfer, we can guarantee that your child will leave our Summer S’Cool with life long water safety awareness. All the necessary precautions are taken to ensure your child has a safe surf session each day. Every lesson begins with a beach talk where the potential dangers of stepping in the ocean are discussed and students are taught the best way to stay safe around water by professionals.

iSurfIreland surf camp

Your child will learn about the winds and tides, how they affect the sea and how to identify dangerous rip currents on a beach. This water safety awareness will stay with your child for the rest of their lives. During the week, there are always a few wipeouts but these experiences only serve to teach our students respect for the waves and the ocean.

#4: Surf camps make children more confident

Learning to surf tests a young person’s grit and resistance. Your child will have to be willing to make responsible risks and persist in the face of challenging situations. This helps them improve on skills that will become important in later life. Their reward is the thrill of catching and riding a wave.

The process of learning the surf, the surfing environment itself and the need to practice autonomously aid a child’s mental and physical development, which helps develop the skills necessary for success. Our surf coaching provides an ideal balance of fun personal challenge and independent learning.

#5 Fun in the sun on Strandhill beach.

Ok, we can’t promise you the sun but we can promise you the fun. At the end of the day, your child’s top priority this summer is to have as much fun as possible before they go back to school. Surf camps are a great way for your to meet new friends. And while playing the Playstation may be fun, we know parents would prefer to see their child doing something active outdoors during the summer months.

iSurfIreland campsOur mix of beach games, learning and surfing seem to do the trick, they put a smile on their faces and gets them involved in a healthy and positive outdoor pursuit.

More than just a surf  camp @ iSurfIreland.

To book now or for further information please call 0877471915 or 0876523351 or email us at isurfirelandsurfschool@gmail.com