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Amazing Blizzard Surf Conditions

With a huge swell set to smash the entire coast of Europe I was watching the weather forecast like a hawk. The storm looked set to annihilate everywhere with a west facing coastline from Ireland to the Azores over a few days. The winds were bad for almost everywhere except one place I figured might have a small window of opportunity at dawn. Leigh, Charles and I set off at 4am for a long drive into the storm. We travelled through freezing conditions and then at a cross roads I decided to go a route which would be quicker but there was a risk of snow. Sure enough snow was thundering down by 6am and we were struggling to get through on the narrow roads. My guess is we were the first and last vehicle to cross that road before daylight. Several cars were stuck as we worked down the last few miles off road.


We were greeted by freezing surf with a brisk offshore wind. I was slightly hesitant to surf because the elements were just so harsh but after studying the swell I got in to the deep blue windswept perfection alone. After a few great rides my session was cut short when my leash broke and I lost my board to the storm.



Al Mennie surfing. Pic by Charles McQuillan

Al Mennie and Charles McQuillan surveying. Pic by Leigh Hawthorne

Charles loves this weather

Al Mennie surfing in Ireland. Frame Grab by Charles McQuillan


Leigh Hawthorne The Keeper of The Waves


Al Mennie. Pic by Leigh Hawthorne