What is it all about.
Surf Summit is a conference based on the west coast of Ireland on the weekend of 6th, 7th, 8thNovember following the Web Summit in Dublin. The event is a chance for attendees of Web Summit to experience the Wild Atlantic Way through the eyes of some of the most experienced locals who live their lives in the outdoors. This year the event will be held in Co. Sligo which boasts an incredible array of lakes, rivers, mountains and one of the best coastlines in the world for waves and all in a compact area meaning little/no travel time.
Sligo is a short 2.5 hours from Dublin meaning the attendees will reach Sligo early on Friday afternoon.
Over three days the attendees will take part in a number of events in Yeats country that include Stand Up Paddle boarding on the lake isle of Innisfree, surfing in Strandhill, mountain biking along Benbulben, hiking Knocknarea mountain and freediving in Mullaghmore.
Why will it be awesome?
Sligo is a melting pot for new start-ups, innovation and creativity. In recent years the area has seen resurgence in artists, illustrators and new business. The Surf Summit will be a chance for Web Summit attendees to meet some of these locals, experience life along the Wild Atlantic Way and take part in some of the best action sports in the country. Over the course of three days attendees can discuss new ideas, new technologies and get valuable time with potential investors while on the water, on a bike or overlooking some incredible views.
— Atlantic Equipment (@EquipAtlantic) October 13, 2015
For those that don’t know about the Irish surf scene tell us why Irish surf is pretty impressive
Ireland has now become known as the ‘cold water Indonesia’ with some of the best point breaks, slabs and reefs in the world. From north Donegal as far south as Cork and in every nook and cranny in between, Ireland hosts some of the best waves ever seen on the planet with thousands of new breaks yet to be discovered. Empty line ups (if you know where to look), friendly locals and a warm fire after a freezing surf are memories many travelling surfers now find themselves looking for. It may not be the tropics but Ireland is the perfect destination for a surf mission!
From late September to April some of the world’s best surfers now rate Ireland as high priority on their hit list when the swell is right. Carefully watching weather patterns from as far off as Hawaii and Australia these pro surfers fly into Ireland at the drop of a hat armed with camera’s, drones, media and full teams so that they can capture a story of adventure, danger and of course Guinness! These stories end up on our screens in surf media around the world days later captured in short edits and features which help to put Ireland on the map as a world class destination. More and more the mainstream media has taken to these stories as they watch in awe at these surfers who tackle up to 40foot waves dressed in rubber suits.
— iSurfIreland (@iSurfIreland) October 3, 2015
What’s different about Ireland and Indonesia is the consistency. During peak season you can travel to Indo and more than likely score epic waves more days than not. (You can also enjoy a cold bintang in a pair of shorts)
In Ireland, it’s just not that simple. Long range swells travelling across the Atlantic Ocean means that surf can be hard to predict and at times fickle. When it comes it is world class, but there is no doubt that it is less frequent. Couple this with bitterly cold winters, hard driving conditions, huge tide variables, small country roads and some really dangerous waves it’s easy to see that surfing in Ireland is not for the faint hearted!
Over the three days of Surf Summit attendees that have never surfed before will learn to surf with one of Sligo’s Surf schools while the experienced surfers will go in search of Irish gold. We will have some of Irelands best surfers on hand to offer advice on where to go, when to surf and how best to score each spot.
— Pudding Row Sligo (@PuddingRowSligo) October 13, 2015
Is it just outdoors events or tech too?
Surf Summit will begin on Friday with a welcome dinner and drinks in the Model Niland centre. Shore Shots Irish Surf film festival will also be on hand to showcase the very best of Irish Surfing cinematography of the past years. This will be followed by a pub crawl where attendees will get to experience some of Sligo’s rich music scene. Bands already confirmed are ‘Rackhouse Pilfer’ and the ‘Odd Socks.
Fourth Surfboards will be on hand to showcase the skills of making a surfboard and we will have demonstrations from Air Dog. Over the course of Saturday the attendees will experience all that Sligo can offer when the SUP down the river, surf the local beaches or hike the mountains. On Saturday night Garrett McNamara and Easkey Britton will take to the stage with more speakers to be confirmed this week.
What were the highlights of last years event?
There were simply so many highlights last year from people being taught to pour the perfect pint of Guinness on arrival on the first night and hearing an opening keynote from An Taoiseach Enda Kenny. We were blessed with crisp sunny weather for the activities on Saturday. Our activity highlights were kitesurfing in the lakes of Achill and surfing on the picturesque Carrowniskey strand. Finally on Saturdaynight we had some incredible speakers including Andrew Cotton who told some scary tales about life and survival as a big wave surfer.
Do you have some great images of last year’s event?
Check out the Insta hashtag from last year from back in November 14 for loads of fun photos.