A Slapdash trip to the Windy Country by Dylan Stott / Trying to Paddle Ireland

NYSEA crew meets up with international field for a couple days of windy madness in the Guinness country.

You can’t put chains on a wild animal. Well, I guess you can try but someone’s going down. With 2 days of huge cold surf and 60+ mph side offshore winds this crew put it all on the line and tried to paddle into the beast.

NYSEA caught up with NY local and now Ireland full timer Dylan Stott for the full scoop below.


The Pre-sesh: It was tough making the call. Sure the charts looked good for Saturday, but it was only Tuesday, and there is nothing to count on here in this part of the world. Surf charts are like soothsayers of old. So based surf chart witchcraft I told Will Skudin to come, and bring the NYSea crew of Kurt Rist, Cliff Skudin and Mike “Nelly” Nelson with him. The day before the crew showed up I paddled into a great one at Mully. She nipped me right in the end going over a ledge, but I gained a lot of confidence from that ride. But not enough to paddle on the next day, when hurricane force winds tore sideways through the lineup, creating havoc on the occasional twelve footer. Nor the day after, when it was double the size, and conditions were even worse.

Day 1: Windy as Hell. The boys went out and met up with Tom ButlerNic von RuppConor MaguireBarry Mottershead and surfed it until the tide was way too high. I was cold and tired and told Will it was over. And after only moaning a little bit, Will got on the ski to go in. Everyone got a couple really good waves and it seemed to be a success – but was it?

Day 2: Even Windier. I awoke to the house being shaken by the wind and a stale morale. The night before the slide show from Nelly was pretty grim. Every shot looked like he had a jellyfish stuck on the lens. Nelly ran head on into a problem every water photographer here has faced, the five tons of water suspended in the air between the photographer and surfer. This happens every time the wind is up above twenty knots. Day 1 was fifty knots plus. Day 2 had gusts that topped out at sixty-seven knots, that’s category one hurricane strength winds. Yet the NYsea boys, Kurt Rist , Cliff Skudin and Will Skudin accompanied and inspired by Tom LoweTom ButlerNic von RuppPatch WilsonJayce RobinsonNoah Lane  charged out and had the heaviest, most balls to the wall session yet seen out there. This might be early to say yet, but this Saturday’s session changed forever the approach to Mullaghmore in the fifteen to twenty foot range. It was the busiest, and most scared I had ever been doing safety patrol, and if it were not for the help of Paul Okane I would have been bogged down. It is important to have enough safety skis, with talented drivers in big waves.

The De-brief: As you can easily imagine, Nelly did not do any better out at Mully the second day. Ol’ Lady Mully hands punishment out in dollops to the media as well as the athletes, Ireland is not without compassion, the last day of the trip the wind finally stopped and the sun came out. Like Robins at the first sign of spring the boys popped out for a session at a sunny, three to four foot slab. Nelly had a field day for the air had a very small amount of water in it. – Dylan Stott

Photo Gallery by  Camila NevesShannon QuirkLois Crighton and Ian Mitchinson.  Also short video of the action HERE by Ian Mitchinson/ Red Bull.