#SurfcityLahinch- Part 1

by Alison, 10/05/2015

Yesterday my friend handed me a sticker which read #Surfcity Lahinch. Much like the Wild Atlantic Way he is rebranding something that already exists but in an incoherent and tangled form. To create the Wild Atlantic Way all that was done, was the addition of some road signs and the production of some beautiful videos and articles. For now #SurfcityLahinch is a much smaller project however it follows the same concept of appreciating something we are surrounded by on a daily basis, promoting and sharing it with others. Whether we grew here or flew here, we love this little town and its surrounding waves.

Why surf city? Lahinch is one of the major surfing towns in Ireland but unless you are already a surfer you might not truly appreciate that at first glance. Sure there is the beach, surf shops and surf schools but there is also a golf course and a golf shop. To me what makes this town a surf city is the waves and the people. The people who have grown up here and cannot imagine ever living anywhere else, the people who have consciously decided that they want to move and live here, the people who drive here during the week, in the evenings and on the weekends. All of these people choose to live / travel regularly to a relatively small town on the west coast in order to surf the waves. However much you love to golf, I have yet to know somebody who has uprooted their whole life, passed up job opportunities, taken the leap into owning their own business or spent every spare moment travelling just to be near a specific golf course.  

So that's the people, what about the waves? Whatever your level of surfing Lahinch's location is pretty perfect. The town has a beach break that is perfect for learning on, with a number of reef breaks within easy walking distance. The surrounding area has a great selection of beaches and reefs which range from fun to bone crunching. The last weekend in April epitomised how perfect this area can be when great weather, epic surf and good people come together. 

On the Saturday the West Coast Surf Club  held the annual Kenny's Open. This day was about the people. In an individualistic sport, where everybody is competing for a limited amount of waves and is hoping to avoid the crowds it can be hard to feel part of something more. The West Coast Surf Club is definitely trying to change this. From kids leagues to club BBQ's they are trying to foster a sense of community. The Kenny's open is a perfect example of this as all ages, all genders and all styles of surfing compete against each other and the judging is only formalised in the final round. For the rest of the competition there is no points system instead the best two surfers are judged on pure gut reaction.

The small size of the waves meant the competition moved to a beach further down the coast but due to the good weather this kind of enhanced the atmosphere that we were setting up camp for the day. 

As the tide pushed in, the wind dropped, the sun lowered and the surf became a playground. These sparkling peelers were definitely worth the wait.

As much as I the love the surf shots from the day, this day was about the people and if you want my favourite images from the day it's these. These are the smily happy people you might just be lucky to get to know if you come to #Surfcity Lahinch.

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