The Mayo surf school with a difference

The Tonn Nua surf school near Belmullet, is back open from May, whether you’re a fairweather surfer or a beginner the crew have got options for you and your friends and family.

Owner Declan O’Connor dubs it as a “unique surf lesson with a touch of the Irish language” with every age, level and group welcome. “Since we are based in the Gaeltacht (Erris area) and our staff speak fluent Gaelic you might even get to master a few local words.”

Declan is also launching a clothing range, picture cosy post surf hoodies and sunny beach day tees, which will go on sale next month.

Declan says: “I’m launching some clothing with my surf school. The t-shirts and hoodies are all organic cotton and printed locally. The clothing and my surf school are very oriented around Gaeilge, sustainability and the ocean.”

The t-shirts will have Tonnta Fiáine, meaning ‘wild waves’, printed on the back and the surf school logo on the left upper chest and will come in a variety of colours - Ash, Apple Green and Aqua Blue. T-shirts - adult €30, child €25, hoodies - adult €50, child €40.

Declan says: “I will be putting a percentage of the profits towards getting first aid equipment and training equipment for the beach and surf school. With Glosh beach, where I operate lessons getting busier and busier these last few years, it is very important that people can enjoy the beautiful area safely.

"In the future I would love to have an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) at the beach and be able to run courses locally to get more people trained up in using them.”

Tonn Nua Surf School, meaning ‘new wave’ in Gaelic, is the first and only dedicated surf school in the Erris area, and is based out of Glosh Beach, a breathtakingly stunning beach on the Mullet Peninsula.

If you want to surf for the first time, want to improve your skills, have fun, learn a cúpla focail, Tonn Nua Surf School has what it takes.

Declan says: “It is a big ambition of mine to get more people to enjoy the surf and Gaeilge together.”

Lessons are two hours long. All equipment and a qualified instructor is included in your lesson price and you don't need to be a strong swimmer. Group lessons are €30 for 16 years or older and€25 for 15 years or younger. Private Lessons cost €60 per person.