Safe Surfing in Lahinch
Always check the tide times. The waves will be breaking on the rocks 2 hours before high tide. Remember that you must also get out of the water and if the tide is too high you will be washed up on the rocks and risk serious injury.
This happens all too often in Lahinch. If you are a beginner confine your surfing to the area in front of the car park between O'Looneys and the first lifeguard tower.
With every wave that breaks there is water pushed in towards the shore. This water must go back out again and usually does so in the form of rips or strong currents. In Lahinch the current builds up from O'Looneys towards the surf shop and when it hits the rocks in front of the surf shop turns sharp right and heads straight out.
This rip is the most consistent on the beach. If you are inadvertently caught in this paddle across it to get out of it. There is also another rip further down the beach beyond the main slip. This varies more due to shifting sand bars.
Rips are usually visible as areas where the waves do not break when viewed from high on the prom. When you are in the water they are more difficult to spot but if you find yourself being swept out paddle parallel to the shore to get out of it. The rips are usually not very wide and do not generally go too far out. Their power increases with the size of the waves. Make yourself aware of the existence of the currents and their locations.
Tide times for Lahinch can be checked in the daily papers, Lahinch is 5 minutes earlier than Galway.