Getting to & Catching The Wave

Responsible Surfing in Lahinch

Before entering the water watch the waves and currents, waiting for a lull in the breaking waves. Enter the water where a wave has finished breaking and paddle out via the sides of the breaking waves.

Wave priority For areas where there is a sandy bottom, waves often break in different ways, and it is necessary to pass through the foam of the breaking waves to the best position for catching waves. To do this when you are a beginner, paddle hard towards the broken wave gaining as much speed as possible.

When the wave is directly in front of you, grip your board by the rails and let the wave pass over you.

As you improve you will learn to duck dive which is covered later. When paddling through waves, always keep the nose of your board pointed directly at the wave.

Always know where you are in the water by taking a mark on the land. If you find yourself in a rip taking you further away from land do not panic, paddle perpindicular to the rip to get out of it.


A surfer riding a wave has the right of way over a surfer paddling out. If a collision looks inevitable while you are paddling out, dive under the wave to avoid the surfer coming at you. For beginners the best way to learn to stand up is to practice in the broken white. As you improve, you will move further out to catch the waves before they have broken, watching the horizon for swell.

When you have improved, and are ready for the unbroken waves. Start paddling well before the swell gets to you, bringing your speed close to that of the approaching swell. As you feel the swell rise beneath you, paddle harder. If the swell is quite flat with little slope, you are too early for the wave and no matter how hard you paddle you wont catch it. If the wave is steep and almost about to break, you are too late.