… nothing better than starting the surfday with a MC Hammer warm-up routine!! And a little chat on a stone wall in a random Irish town on the Wild Atlantic Way!
For the third year in a row the NOMB Surfcrew returned to the world famous D-Place, a little town in the Northwest of Ireland. Home to some amazing waves, James Palace, Good Old Lee and the best Irish bar north of Dublin. But let´s start at the beginning.
The crew met early on Saturday morning at Dublin airport. And what a crew it was on this years Ireland trip. Annette from Germany, Basti our Canarian campchef, Ian from New Zealand, Sebastian from Germany, Sean from Australia, Thomas from Switzerland, Thomas Thorsten Merkel from Germany and headcoach Angie of course. After a coffee break and a supermarket shop the crew headed straight to the homebase: James Palace. There is no better name for this beautiful cranky Irish house that comes with the best host ever, James! The view from James Palace is incredible, looking straight at Killer Point, the surf break right in the heart of the D-Place. Killer Point didn´t work this year but there are some great memories of ripping it last year.
From the road straight into the water! With a pitstop at Narosa Surfschool, where the crew picked up boards, surf equipment and local surfguide the legend Good Old Lee, the NOMB Surfers headed straight for the first surfsession. Other than in the years before the Atlantic Ocean swells had a westerly direction this year. Bringing to life spots that the NOMB Surfcrew had only surfed a couple of times before. Up in Northwest Ireland you can find some great beachbreaks, in unbelievable settings. How about this one??
The focus of this 7 days intensive surfcamp was to improve the surfing skills of the NOMB Surfers. As the group had an advanced level of surfing local guide Good Old Lee took them to some great and clean shaped waves. The Atlantic showed off during the week with waves of all different sizes: everything from kneehigh to overhead (our double overchest how Lee would say). A couple of sessions the crew encountered even glassy conditions, the rest of the time offshore winds were shaping the waves.
Head surfcoach Angie couldn´t believe the luck that was thrown at her. Having clearly shaped waves made it possible for the surfers to precisely work on their skills. While Annette and Sebastian perfected their timing, positioning and line in the wave, the rest of the crew started working on surfing´s most important manoeuvre: the bottom turn. Once a surfer is able to manage take-off and timing and travel down, or even along, the face of the wave the bottom turn is the next step. Through compressing, leaning into the turn and extending the body the surfboard travels through the trough of the wave and then up the face. The bottom turn is not an easy manoeuvre to learn, it takes time and 1.000 of waves to manage to get it right. Luckily IRELAND INTENSE was run as an intensive surfcamp, giving the NOMB Surfers loads of watertime.
On day 5 the surfcrew was challenged with a large ground swell rolling in and howling offshore winds. You think they would chicken out?? No way, they could´t even wait to get into the water! Campchef Basti took the wipe-out skills to another level with this beautiful wipe-out, titled ´The falling tree´.
Generally Ireland is not know for it´s warm weather, especially in November. Back in the D-Place the NOMB Surfers always always get asked: You are here for surfing? In November? What´s wrong with you??? But actually, cold water surfing is not that bad if you are well prepared and equipped. Here is a little list of what you need to bear the cold temperatures:
a 5.4mm wetsuit
a hot soup for in between sessions
a cracking warm-up routine
The surfteam was fully equipped and therefore managed to sneak in two surfsessions per day. Campchef Basti made sure that everyone´s soup flask was filled up with a hearty and hot soup to warm up. Surfing with booties, hat and even gloves takes a little while to get used to but generally after a couple of surfs you are used to it.
The week passed really fast, filled with loooads of surfing, photo analysis, a breathing & breath hold session, yoga and surf theory sessions. Basti spoiled the group with nutricious and tasty food, chilling out in front of the fireplace or a trip down to the legendary Patsy Dans finished the great days out in the cold Irish waters.
So what is it about this warm-up routine?? Mc Hammer?? Are you joking?? Well, find out for yourself.. hihihi..
IRELAND INTENSE has been another epic NOMB Surftrip! Thanks to the surfcrew for joining us, you guys rocked! Thanks to James for your beautiful hospitality and a big thanks to Good Old Lee for another year of excellent guiding and coaching, we will be back!
Check our Facebook album for more photos of this great trip. And maybe book yourself into one of our upcoming trips. Next stop: TENERIFE TAKE-OFF!
Day four on the intense surfcoaching trip in Ireland. Breakfast time. The smell of fresh coffee and insense is filling the living room. Chef Basti is preparing breakfast in the kitchen, NOMB surfers Thomas and Sebastian are chatting away with the sun lighting up Killer Point, the surf break just in front of the homebase. The rest of the surfcrew is still in bed, relaxing those challenged muscles, dreaming about waves.
The first three surfdays have been amazing. Small, clean and light offshore waves made it easy for everyone to find their bearings and catch loads of waves. Up here in Northwest Ireland there are mostly beachbreaks, producing nice A-frames. Most of the time it´s only the NOMB Surfcrew in the water, noone else around. Sharing waves between the 6 NOMB Surfers, headcoach Angie, campchef Basti and local surfguide Lee is a guarantee for everyone to catch waves.
Talking about waves, yesterdays first surfsession had a slightly different aim: survive 😉 Local surfguide Lee took the crew to a stunning remote beach, which was picking up a ´slightly´ bigger swell. A challenge for all the NOMB Surfers. Needless to say they mastered it brilliantly. Those who managed to get to the lineup experienced a heartstopping moment or two when the bigger sets came through. But that´s how you improve in surfing: reach and step over your limits. Well done NOMB Surfers!
The crew is fullly enjoying their time on the green isle. Getting changed with sheep around you, having cows (and bulls) watch you from the distance, things like this only happen in Ireland. Leaving the cars in the sheep field ´carpark´,a 10min walk through fields and crossing fences and the NOMB Surfcrew found themselves here: PARADISE! What a a day!!
A delicious dinner prepared by campchef Basti and a trip to the local pub rounded up a perfect surftrip day here in Northwest Ireland. 4 more days to go, excited about whats going to happen next. We will keep you updated!
For the third November in a row the NOMB Surfcrew will head of to Northwest Ireland to shred the cold Atlantic waves.
´It´s soooo beautiful up there, we just have to return over and over again!´ says NOMB Surf´s headcoach Angie.
´We were so lucky to discover a little paradise called the D-Place. Home of our local guide Lee and some other great characters. How good is it to walk into the local pub and see some familiar faces. They always remember us, not many people head up to the D-place in November to surf´ says Angie with a smile.
Being the third time up there it´s now time for our local surfguide Lee (aka Good Old Lee or the Lee-gend) to introduce himself. Our time up there wouldn´t be half as much fun without him!! Lee knows all the spots, he´s a ripper in the water, always up for a joke and a laugh, and a really nice guy!
Clap you hands for Lee:
Sharing my surf experience is great fun. I’m happy in 1ft or 10ft surf and like to share that stoke with people.
It’s best to improve your approach to waves rather than let conditions of surf dictate whether you’re having a good time!
´The ocean provides the natural stage for surfing performance where your mind coordinates body and equipment to achieve speed, grace and harmony with the moving energy and power of the waves.
The ocean is a dynamic force of mother nature that draws you in time and again for a thrashing, a lesson and some of the most intense, exhilarating rides of your life´ (Richard Bennett – surf psychologist)
So surfing is all about being in the ocean you think? Well, times change and with the first ever WSL championship stop at Kelly Slater´s Surf Ranch next weekend the artificial wave topic is on fire. There are waves in inland California, in a crazy waterpark in Texas, in rivers all over Europe and even on lakes (!).
Riversurfing is a sport for it´s own. The Eisbach in Munich, Germany, for example has a vibrant and established surf community of riversurfers. To name only one of Germany´s many river surfspots. Rumors are that a riverwave is being planned in Switzerland as well. A treat for the landlocked Swiss surfers. NOMB Surf´s campchef (and professional physiotherapist) Julez is a motivated riversurfer in Munich and always has great stories to tell. Like the one where she installed flashlights on the bridge across the river, in the middle of the night, in winter, with 2 degrees outside temperature. How is that for dedication?? Check out Julez ripping the river..
Surfing on a lake isn´t new either. The Great Lakes, sandwiched between the USA and Canada, produce decent swells and a thriving lakesurf community can be found up there. Check out our recent surfblog about the waves on the great lakes.
What´s new is that there is an artificial wave in a lake. Earlier this year the world´s first man-made lake wave opened it´s doors in Langenfeld, Germany. Our NOMB Surfteam was curious and headcoach Angie and NOMB Surfer Kiki spend a really fun day surfing. They even brought their little fan club, NOMB Surfer Jan was cheering from the outside and taking pics and videos.
This is Angie on her first ever try on a standing wave.. A little bit shaky still..
´It´s crazy, the dynamic of the wave is totally different. The water is flowing into the other direction and instead of going up and down the face of the wave you first have to learn to sort of slide sideways along the moving water´ said Angie after her first session.
The first few waves of the ladies were a bit bumpy, trying to adjust to the wave. But really quickly it clicked and our NOMB ladies were traveling along the wave. Kiki and Angie were so confident that they directly booked themselves onto the following session: the big wave session! They simply pump more water through the same system, creating a steeper wave with more face. Using a smaller board and having more face proved to be a lot easier. And both surfergirls were flying along the wave, doing turns and having a hell of a time. Thanks to the great staff at Surf Langenfeld for the intro and the good vibes.
Surfing in any kind of wave is fun, doesn´t matter if you are surfing an ocean wave, a man-made wave or one made by mother nature outside the ocean. This weekend at Kelly´s Surf Ranch in California we will see some extraordinary technical surfing, in a wave that´s totally predictable.
And that´s exactly the difference. Ocean waves can never be predicted. Surfing in the ocean means fine tuning your body and mind to all the constant changes around you. In the ocean we as surfers are really little, surrendered to the power of mother nature, thankful for every wave produced. Some say this is the essence of surfing, others say it´s all about surfing as a sport. It´s a never ending discussion and we believe that there is no right or wrong. Everyone surfs for their own desire and reasons.
Still, however fun it was to surf in a lake, we here at NOMB Surf prefer surfing ocean waves, and that´s where you can find us 😉
When planning the next surfholiday most people think about Spain, Portugal or even Bali. Beautiful places with great waves and warm water. That´s what everyone wants. The big downside however would be the masses of surfers in the water.
So why not think outside the box a little bit and search for rather unknown surf destinations? You might be surprised to find something like this..
WELCOME TO IRELAND!!
The little nation in the North Atlantic Ocean is better known for it´s beautiful landscape, Guinness and loads of craic (Gaelic for having a great time) than for waves. Sure, you might have heard about surfspots like Lehinch or even Bundorran. But you probably didn´t know that Ireland has a vivid surfcommunity, a surfing federation and even national surfchampionships.
The Stormrider guide, also know as the surfers bible, puts Ireland together with the UK, this is what they think about the British Isles:
´With an incredibly varied coastline and almost every imaginable kind of beach and reef set-up available the UK and Ireland offer a huge variety of waves to the surfer prepared to suffer cold in the winter and a regular battering from strong coastal winds. North Cornwall and Ireland offer the most consistent coastlines, although the variety of rock reef and dominant offshore winds in the North East make the most of every drop of swell. While a shallow continental shelf drains a little power from incoming systems the North Atlantic in winter is the most prolific swell generating area on the planet so with a little imagination waves can be found almost everyday outside the less consistent mid summer months.´
Talking about offshore winds they forgot to mention the ever changing weather conditions. During a surfsession you might encounter rain, hail, blasting sunshine, fog.. And then it starts all over again.. Mix in a few rainbows and you´ll find yourself sitting in the line-up staring at breathtaking surroundings and wandering how much more mother nature can show off within such a short timeframe. Not to mention the waves.
You think that´s exaggeration? Well, find out for yourself..
What makes Ireland so special as a surf destination are great waves for sure. But more than that it´s the atmosphere in the water. Nowadays there are masses of surfers pretty much everywhere you go. With a whole lot of them not knowing or not respecting the basic rules of surfing. How often do you paddle out and the line-up welcomes you with an edgy silence?
Well, stuff like that doesn´t happen in Ireland. If you do find other surfers out there you will find a great vibe as well. Traveling surfers are being greeted and welcomed as part of a great surfing session. If you respect the locals and show good etiquette it´s not uncommon that you are called to the peak and invited to share the waves.
The price you pay are often gnarly weather conditions. 5.4mm wetsuit, booties, a neopren beanie and even gloves are the basic surf equipment to brave Ireland´s winter waves. That´s our equipment outside James Palace, on our first ever trip to Ireland.
But if braving the cold is the price you have to pay for a exploring great waves, mind blowing countrysides and friendly locals, we think that´s a small price to pay!!
Surfing once was about being a community, about sharing the stoke and about respect for the ocean and other surfers. In recent years there has been a shift in surfing with surfing been seen more as a sport and a holiday activity than a way of life. The essence of surfing is often being forgotten or ignored. The result are overfilled line-ups, bad vibes and aggression.
We here at NOMB Surf believe in surfing and it´s original idea. That´s the reason why we run our surfcoaching trips to unknown surfing destinations and outside the main seasons. We always work with a local surf school to respect and leave a benefit for the local community. We believe in the importance of sustainable tourism and are educating and encouraging our guests to do the same.
Our next surfcoaching trip ´Ireland Intense´ will be run to Northwest Ireland, home of the famous D-Place and the Lee-gend, our local guide. There are only a couple more spaces available on this carefree intensive surfcamp trip. Get in touch to secure your surfspace and get lost with us in Ireland´s beauty.
And are there actual surfers out there lakesurfing? Might there even be a lakesurf-community?? Loads of questions pop into the head thinking about surfing on a lake. The answer is yes,yes and yes! Innovative surfers have been shredding lake waves for more than 60 years by now.
Thinking about it, it makes sense. Waves are created through friction of the wind on the water surface. All you need for a decent enough ground swell is enough distance from the center of the storm to the shore. So what if the lake is so big that if it blows at one end clean waves pop out the other end?
Guess what, it works!!! Welcome to the Great Lakes!! Sandwiched in between the USA and Canada the Great Lakes consists of 5 interconnected freshwater lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Look at the shear size of those lakes. Impressive, no?
So now we know there are waves. But are there surfers out there surfing them?? You will be surprised to find out that there is a vibrant community of lakesurfers.
There are surfshops in prime locations along the shores of the lakes offering surfing lessons, rental equipment, clothes and (most important!) swell information. Third Coast Surfshop in St. Joseph for example is a cool shop on the towns mainroad. The staff are super happy to provide travelling surfers with their local knowledge and even take their time to explain you the swell forecast model found on their website. Legends!
The Great Lakes surfing community even has their own surfmag. It´s called Great Lakes Surfer´s Journal!! You will never imagine the waves you find inside. Check them out on Facebook or Instagram and get your own copy of this great surfmag. Totally loving their Facebook profile pic.
Would you have guessed that a lake can produce waves like this??
(pic: Great Lakes Surfers Journal)
So who are those girls and guys who brave freezing cold water and sometimes hailing winds to catch some waves?? Meet Lake Surfistas for example. A group of active female lake surfers. Their slogan is ´Embracing the Sisterhood of Great Lake Surfers. From 32F to 32C since 2006´. Judging from their Instagram account they really go out and shred. You go ladies!! Check them out on Instagram and follow their surf adventures.
It´s amazing to see how girls are really pushing the sport of surfing these days. From Big Wave Surfing (just look at the recent Puerto Escondido Challenge) to freezing Lake Surfing!! Here you see the Lake Surfistas ladies frothing on an epic lakesurf day!
(pic: Lake Surfistas)
So when is the best time to go? Get your thick wetsuits, booties and gloves ready, it´s definitely the winter months that are pumping most. Makes sense, more storms, more waves. There are some smaller swells even in summer, great for those who want to learn surfing. But the real action is in the winter.
Summer on the Great Lakes might look like this. That´s NOMB Surf´s headcoach Angie ´wave hunting´ on Lake Michigan yesterday. No luck this time but she will be back, that´s for sure!!
And you never know, there might even be a NOMB Surfcoaching Trip to the Great Lakes on the horizon. Because that´s what we do best: take you to off the beaten track surfing destinations and boost your surflevel through the roof!!
Sign up for our Surfnewsletter to stay up to date with what´s happening at NOMB Surf. Wishing you all great waves, especially you, the Great Lakes Surf Community!
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