Surfing on Achill Island

Keel beach is the perfect safe place to learn to surf. A gently sloping beach that is exposed to swells travelling from the south and west means that we have waves of some sort almost all year around. There are no hazards under the water and prevailing south westerly winds tend to push novices back to shore rather than bringing them seaward. In summer time ,a defined surfing area is watched over by Mayo Co. Council beach lifeguards. Barring the sea being completely calm, then the only time that we can't run lessons on Keel is when the swell is too big, or if its too windy.


Kids Surf Camp. In July and August (and weekends in June) from 10.30am until 12.45, we run a daily summer camp for kids aged 8-16. Our aim is to provide a safe, fun learning environment where we work hard to ensure all the kids taking part have the opportunity to learn, practise and develop their skills. The camp runs from Monday-Friday inclusive and can be booked on a weekly or daily basis (we can't guarantee that there will always be space to take in kids day to day especially in the busy weeks but we do try!) We believe that water safety,wave and beach knowledge are fundamental building blocks to lifelong enjoyment of the sport, so we include all these topics informally throughout the week.

Lessons for All. For older kids and adults, we run classes on Keel beach all year around. These are suitable for individuals or groups wishing to learn to surf, whether for the first time, or to build upon previous lessons and experience. We can look after you whether you are by yourself or part of a larger group. We can help with accommodation and offer you a good rate on surfboard and wetsuit hire if you fancy taking your newly acquired skills back onto the water.

Gerry has been surfing for over 20 years and has worked as a lifeguard on beaches from north Mayo to Kerry including six summers on Keel beach. He is still a currently qualified beach lifeguard and an Irish Surfing Association qualified coach. The surf school is the original Irish Surfing Association approved school on the island, and one of only a small number in Mayo. Approval means that we meet or exceed the industry standard on issues of safety, equipment, tuition, child protection etc, and the ISA routinely inspects us to ensure that these standards are maintained. Gerry is usually around to help you with advice and a fair smattering of local knowledge.

Surf Lessons usually last around an hour and a half of actual water-time. You need to leave up to two and a half hours for getting changed and on-shore instruction. We provide all the equipment, you just need to bring your swimming costume and towel and lots of enthusiasm!