Can't wait to catch those Tonnta Fiáine.
Tonn Nua Surf School, based in Belmullet, Co. Mayo, reopens to students in May for the summer season. The school prides itself on having fluent Irish instructors, so that you may learn a few phrases while you learn to surf. Tonn Nua, meaning new wave, is a surfing school for everyone "whether you’re a fairweather surfer or a beginner" and seeks to teach a little Irish as it's based in the Gaeltacht area. The same rule applies with your level of Irish; it doesn't matter if you're fluent or are just hanging onto what you learnt at Leaving Cert level.
The school is based on Glosh Beach, a 15 minute drive from Belmullet. Owner Declan O'Connor says this of his combined passion:
"It is a big ambition of mine to get more people to enjoy the surf and Gaeilge together."
Kerry-born Declan has been surfing since he was 10 years old. After working in Coláiste Uisce for many years he decided to open Tonn Nua Surf School in 2019.
Lessons last 2 hours with a minimum of 90 minutes spent in the water, between 1pm and 3pm. Included in the cost of your lesson is all the equipment you will need too, including your surf board and wetsuit. You don't need to be a strong swimmer to participate as lessons take place in waist high water.
For group lessons it costs €30pp, and €25 if you're under 16. Private lessons cost €60pp.
Something to keep in mind if you're thinking of this year's staycation. If Mayo is on the cards, why not try out Tonn Nua Surf School, and learn some Gaelic while you're there.
Header image via Sustainable PR