Surf Trippin in El Salvador

What a strange journey life can provide us with by times. Throughout the decade from 1980 to 1990 the main evening news in Ireland divided its attention between atrocities here at home and in the equally tiny country of El Salvador. I became fascinated by the plight of the peasant people of this tiny central american country and got to read detailed accounts of what was going on in this hidden corner of the globe thanks to a weekly column in Hot Press magazine written in trenchant style by  our current president Michael D Higgins. I have always been proud to be Irish when travelling abroad and am mindfull of the sacrifice of previous generations which have allowed me to travel with one of the most respected passports of all , but never more so than recently , when visiting El Salvador a few short months after our president was honoured there  for his outspoken critisism of the war crimes perpetrated there in the 1980s. Pictures and a full account of time spent in this remarkable country to follow.

Posted in Products | Leave a comment

Spanish Point Surf Report July 1st 2012

looks like theres finally going to be some waves around this week with tues, wed , and thursday looking promising.Winds will be variable so keep an eye on wind forecast for small periods of offshores. Tides ared big and low in the middle of the day so mornings and evenings will be best. Lots of run off from the rain so might be worth scouting the river mouths when the waves finally arrive.

Posted in Products | Leave a comment

Spanish Point Kids Camp

Kids Camps start this monday and run every week from monday to friday through July and August. Camps cost 80 euro for the first child and 60 euro for subsequent kids. Booking can be done at 086 8625564 or by email at

Posted in Products | Leave a comment

Price Promise

We are offering a price promise on all harware in store. Bring us the link to the best price you,ve found online and we will match it. This gives you the security of a full aftersales service along with internet pricing. So go ahead and give us a try

Posted in Products | Leave a comment

more news from nowhere ….birth of a sandbank

  1. normally six feet under

    birth of a sandbank

the right with the left breaking in the background

For years we,d been looking at the rivermouth in Spanish Point wondering why it never seemed to produce a proper sandbank. From time to time a miniature version of a classic sandbank  set up would appear, only to be washed away by the next storm. We became resigned to our fate as the poor relations with the best close out beach in the area. Even so it didn.t stop us from wondering what would happen if the stars aligned and  conditions conspired to allow a bank to form. No harm in dreaming , right? .

                                                                                                The month of December proved one of the worst in recent memory for surf in the Clare area with non stop South Westerlies and consistent Northerly swell. The only waves to be had involved a six hour round trip to Sligo which everyone seemed to undertake at least once.  These conditions lasted so long it felt like it would never end.  The only time I ventured onto the beach during this spell was to walk the dog who was going  nuts from being cooped up for days on end .  It was on one of these mercy missions that I first noticed changes I had never seen before.

                             Not to be too cosmic about it or anything but it dawned on me how closely linked we are to natures rhythms by our love of surfing. I mean a simple thing like wind direction , so pivotal in the life of a surfer,  means nothing to the majority of people .  In fact the majority of people wouldn,t be able to tell you what way east is never mind view it in the pseudo spiritual way we do . We are right up there with the muslim world in our reverence for a point of the compass. You only have to look at the glazed over expression on the face of your loved ones when the conversation turns to surf matters to realise how little of our passion is shared by the outside world.  If it stopped there , an obsessive intrest in wind direction, it might not be too bad but thats just the start. Theres also tides ,barometric pressure ,swell direction and the final nail in the coffin , a knowledge of the phases of the moon the sure sign of a bona fide nutter. Our lives are woven tightly togther with the cycles of nature in such a close bond we never even think about it , a weird combination of ancient shaman and nerdy meteorologist .  Which all brings me back to the rivermouth and its significance as the meeting place of mountains and ocean

While walking the dog on a part of the beach known locally as The Goleen [not unlike the english word Gully]  I saw sections of reef I,d never seen before , sections of reef normally covered by six feet of sand. Beyond these sections of reef going north towards the rivermouth was a boulder field up to two hundred metres long which  would  also normally be under six feet of sand. That folks ,is a lot of sand. The first realization that this could be it , what we,d been waiting forever for was about to happen dawned like a dim light switched in the far distance. So , thousands of tons of sand had dissappeared but where had it gone and would it improve things in Spanish Point ?

There has always been a bank in the rivermouth but its never been that good . It was too far out and only worked well at dead low tide  on a swell with lots of North in it. When this happened the rip made it practically unsurfable.  That is not to say that people didn,t try   but believe me if it was any good  it wouldn,t have remained a secret for long, being on the main road .Anyway,  in a move that makes the artficial reef  builders look like awkward thumpers Mother Nature dumped all that sand from the goleen onto an almost there sandbank and turned it into the genuine  article, a  high bank with well defined sides giving the fastest longest lefts ever seen in Spanish Point . So with the goofballs taken care of all that remained was a long fast right to keep the regular guys happy. Que mother nature in creative mood and thats what happened next. In classic knock on fashion the river , finding its route to sea blocked , was forced to change course sculpting a second sandbank on its new course, leading to a long fast right hander on the northern side of the rivermouth .

                                                                        While neither of these waves are classics of their type  , its the fact that here at all thats remarkable. From a certain close out to long fast sections is the stuff that surfing dreams are made of. All that remained was for a decent long period  swell to arrive accompanied by some favourable winds and natures handiwork could be put to the test…….which is exactly what happened next.  So all that remains to be seen is how long it will last. Those of a pessimistic  nature rekon it will be washed away by the next storm while we optimists   …………  check the Gallery section for lots more photos.

Posted in Products | Leave a comment

teenage kicks and drama queens

In much the same way as a river flows to the sea so too are we drawn to the mystery and drama of the ocean, forming  what is a unique bond with the waters that surround us.For most the attraction ends with a springtime stroll on the beach or a summertime dip with the kids. No such flirtation for the surfers amoungst us however, with attraction quickly turning to obsession.  Yet some things ,like the river and the ocean are constant.Check out what is surely the first ever surf report from Tahiti

  then I saw a man paddling in a small canoe so quickly and looking around him with such eagerness of each side as he sat motionless and was carried along at the same swift rate as the wave till it landed him on the beach.  Then he started out emptied his canoe and went in search of another swell.  I could not help concluding that this man felt the most supreme pleasure while he was driven on so fast and so smoothly by the sea.                  Captain Cook circa 1700

In surfing terms Ireland is a young nation and  growing.  We are however coming of age. The novelty factor is beginning to wear off as international exposure increases year on year. Our arrival at the top table is announced in typical Irish style, with   great welcome for ourselves. Viewed through the prism of  corporate exploitation we are innocents abroad ,fresh meat  ripe for the picking.  There is little new about any of it with the same shabby con job having played out in many of the great surfing nations. We are maturing pretty  quickly though and starting to show some of the street smarts of the moody teenager.

                                                                As surely as the river finds its way to the sea, Irish surfing will continue to grow and develop and just as with the river a lot of rubbish will be carried along in the flow. Now and then though the river will carry something  truely extraordinary into our lives. So it is in the surf world which regularly throws up inspirational charachters from poet to artist, visionary to lunatic, the kinds of people who see past the rubbish and help to inspire the rest of us. It,s often said that drama and art function as a mirror to reflect our lives back to us.  That being the case there is no lack of drama in the life of the  irish surfer.  The oceans many moods reflect  back to us our own constant state of change and adaptability.  The variety of personalities the sea presents to us makes for never ending drama, from  shimmering playmates to steely eyed monsters and from groomed lookers to corrugated psychos ,we have it all in Ireland  , a surfing soap opera as addictive as the real thing.  All we ,re missing is  a moody  teenager……….

For the first time in thirty years of surfing this past winter i,ve found myself lacking in inspiration at times.  Surfing in an ever growing pack has left me a little cold(in more ways than one). The mentality needed to succeed in this type of atmosphere is driven ,aggressive ,and neccessarily greedy.  This is a stage on the growth path of surfing where the sport begins to evolve into a more mature version of itself. ,and  consume itself Its a lot of things including inevitable but one thing its not is inspiring.  So therin lies the dilemma.   For me though I am beginning to make sense of it. Now when I have a good session  I tend to hold onto the memory a little longer than I used to and am a bit more reluctant to surf in less than ideal conditions afterwards ,mentally polishing precious memories for future reference.  But its not just the waves that inspire anymore and its a deeper well I am drawing on now .By times the ocean itself can be enough to keep the love affair alive. The obscured horizons of foggy mornings evoking the feelings of youth ,long forgotton memories that had no beginning and no end when warming spring air confronts the winter sea, low tide gatherings of oystercatchers in gossipy groups all to the soundtrack of the seagulls curious cry, can help to satisfy a need while we wait for the next clean swell ,one that defies computer modelling and much to the confusion of the spoonfed generation………………arrives a day early Continue reading

Posted in Products | Leave a comment

Coded Surfboards

just had a visit from Shaun Nicholas who delivered a shiney new board from the recently formed Coded surfboards.  A South African native Shaun has been shaping boards for years and brings the number of shapers based in Clare to three.  Along with fellow South African Ian Johnson and adopted son Tom DH  Sean is adding to the wealth of  board building talent based in west Clare.

Posted in Products | Leave a comment

XCEL Accessories

dont forget we wre now stocking a full range of boots and gloves from XCEL

Posted in Products | Leave a comment

XCEL Wetsuits

We are thrilled to announce that for the first time this year we will be carrying a full range of XCEL suits and accessories for both men and women.  These award winning suits have been well proven in these waters so why not come in and check them out .

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Surf Lessons at Spanish Point

well the season is well under way now with lessons in full swing at the beach. We are particularly pleased to say we have had lots of local kids attending camp over the last few weeks with stand out progress from Diarmuid Meade Cormac and Michael Murray and Darragh Flynn to mention a few. A couple of days of perfect conditions saw the lads putting their skills to the test and aquiting themselvs brilliantly.  All in all a very enjoyable week, with special thanks and congrats  going to Dexter on winning the most handsome surf instructor in Spanish Point…

Posted in Products | Leave a comment