Having hosted PWA world wave champs for 3 years in the early ‘noughties,’ the Dingle peninsula has been long established as a world class wave- sailing venue. But it’s not all hardcore. There are sheltered free-ride bays and a choice of launch spot to delight pro and novice wave-sailor alike. And as for the scenery …
The Dingle Peninsula is surely one of the most charming and picturesque places in the world. On the north side you have the 14 mile sweep of Brandon bay open to everything the Atlantic has to throw at it.
The south side is a bit more gentle and is the option for wave sailing when the swell is from the south. The beach of Inch is a ‘must see.’ About three miles long, it’s shallow shelf produces easy SUPing and surfing waves.
And when a light northerly coincides with some sun, a strong katabatic wind can shoot down the cliff.
We stay in three rented cottages on the shores of Straggane Bay a spot on the Maharees so beautifully unpoiled that it defies description.
For meals, we self cater for breakfast, take lunch on the hoof – usually a picnic sandwich wherever we’re sailing. Then in the evening it’s impossible to beat the gorgeous offerings of Spillanes pub. I challenge you to find a better steak anywhere in the world!
It’s a road trip – everyone drives over with their own kit. You need a vehicle or a share of one because every day we study the weather map and drive to the beach that best suits what we want to do – be it wave riding, jumping or working on some skills on flat water.
Jamie Knox, the long established and very colourful local figure, does have a shop and hire centre nearby – so you can supplement your quiver and buy spares.
The price of the rental cottage, includes the use of SUPs and surfboards, when available, from Jamie Knox.
Bring your own. Jamie Knox does have a small selection of Goya boards and rigs for demo/hire.
Surfing, SUPing for all levels in and out of waves; biking; horse-riding; golf at Castlegregory’s beautiful 9 hole course; incredible walks and sight-seeing. It’s paradise for those who embrace the outdoors.
If you take the wild road over Brandon mountain through the Connor Pass, you drop into quaint old Dingle town, famed for its seafood restaurants and cluster of classic pubs … and for ‘Fungie’ – its most famous resident – an Altantic bottle nosed dolphin who for the past 30 years has colonised the harbour.
You can visit him (and he rarely lets you down) on one of the tour boats. Better still, windsurf or SUP out to him.
On a quiet day, if you take a drive around the peninsula, you will not stop gasping at the vistas.
Suggested minimum standard: waterstarting and planing in straps and harness on a sub 100 ltr board. Confident swimming in, around and under breaking waves.