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Surfing Portrush: Surf Spot Guide

There is surf for everyone at Portrush. It consists of two beaches: West Strand and East Strand, both of which favour different conditions, providing left and right peaks. At the western end of West Strand there is also a fickle left hand reef break, called Blackrocks, which can fire when the right swell direction and other factors line up. Portrush is one of the most popular surf destinations and holiday resorts on the north coast of Ireland, and for that reason it can get busy, especially during peak seasons.

Portrush - What Waves, When

Blackrocks is a left hand reef break which favours mid to high tides. It is said to be one of the north coast’s best waves. It has a steep takeoff, barrel and then some shoulder to play on. Blackrocks is suited to experienced surfers only.

West Strand is a beach break offering left and right peaks that are fun for everyone. The wave is suitable for beginners, until it gets quite big, then intermediate and experienced surfers are best suited to it. It works best on the mid tide push, picking up north to northwest swells.

East Strand is punchier than West Strand. When it’s firing, there’ll be barrels that are heavy and fast for a beach break, but that doesn’t happen all too often. Lefts and rights are on offer, pick your peak and have fun. This break requires solid swell to get going and it works best on the mid to high tide.

Portrush – Out of the Water

There are surf shops and surf schools in Portrush offering lessons, equipment hire and purchase. Most of the surf lessons happen at West Strand, due to its beginner friendly nature.

There is good choice for post-surf refreshment, pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and more.

If you’ve got any energy left after a hard days surfing at one of Portrush’s spots, there’s plenty of nightlife, especially on the weekend.

Portrush has a comprehensive range of accommodation, from hotels, guesthouses and BnB’s to hostels, camping & caravanning.


  Epic when it’s on at both Blackrocks and East Strand
  Good choice of waves, surf options for everyone


  One of the north coast’s more popular surf areas
Rips when bigs.


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