In July and August we are located at Keel Beach Outside of these months we will meet you at our location, approx 1 mile from Keel Beach.
2020 is an exceptional year and we are operating under very different conditions to those that we are used to.We have been working with the Irish Surfing Association, the Irish Adventure Travel Association and the relevant authorities and the following conditions will apply in 2020.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation we have had to adapt our operating procedures to ensure compliance with all guidelines for the safety of our staff and you our customers.
From July 1 st :
- We will no longer be able to provide on site changing facilities so we ask that where possible our students arrive ready to go.
- Where possible we ask that a family member accompanies any small children (under 9) on surf lessons.
- Social distancing must be adhered to at all times
- Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance to the centre
- Contact tracing form must be filled out prior to commencement of lessons or rental
- We ask that if you have your own long wetsuit you bring it with you and that you arrive no more than 10 mins before your lesson
- We promise to make sure all equipment and surfaces within the centre are clean and sanitised to the required standards to ensure the safety of all parties.
In July and August,you can just turn up and we will offer you our next available place.However our summer surf camp for kids is very popular, so even if you are just looking for a single session, it’s best to book in advance.We have a 1:8 maximum teacher:student ratio.This means that we may not be able to fit you into a lesson at short notice, so we really would recommend that you use our easy booking system to ensure your chosen day and time.You can book here.
We take bookings for single days, two days,three days,four days or a full week.
Our kids camp is an opportunity to teach our campers all they need to know about surfing,safety and the marine environment where they will spend the week.Over the course of a week, we will get to know your kids,show them the basics and possibly some more advanced techniques of surfing.We will let them know how to treat the sea safely, how to judge the sea state, wind and relevant conditions.They will learn about the marine life that they may encounter and how to deal with problems such as jellyfish and weaver fish.We make them conscious of the need for sun screening and warm clothing in the outdoors and they have the chance to make friends that they can spend time with during the rest of their stay in Achill.Our camp is soooo much more than just a surf lesson! Book a place now.
We supply all the equipment and instruction.If you have your own wetsuit you are welcome to bring it (we don’t recommend short sleeve/short arm wetsuits).Otherwise you just need your swimming costume,towel,warm clothing for afterwards and lots of enthusiasm!
Summer camp for kids runs from 10.30am until 12.30pm.Afternoon lessons begin at 2.30 and you will be finished around 4.30pm.
It is advised that you do know how to swim. You don’t have to be an excellent swimmer, just competent in the water. Beginner surf lessons are held in waist depth water.
Yes, we’re approved by the Irish Surfing Association -you can see our listing here, the only approved school on Achill and one of only a very small number in Mayo.We are fully licenced by Mayo County Council to operate on the beaches around Achill Island in conjunction with the current beach bye laws.
What does this mean?
It means that we have safety plans,normal and emergency operating procedures,suitable equipment,qualified instructors and comprehensive insurance.
Why is this important?
In order to ensure best practise standards of safety and education, the ISA monitor and regularly check the schools that operate under the umbrella of the national governing body for the sport of surfing in Ireland.While we always want to give our customers the best experience possible and we believe in using proper equipment suitable for the standard of the student,as well as making sure that we operate only in safe sea conditions, it is the responsibility of the ISA to check that these standards are being met.If they approve a school then it will have been inspected for procedures,equipment,safety plans,instructor qualifications and insurance.What this means for you, the customer, is that you can be sure if you use the school you will be learning in the best all-round professional environment possible.If it is not approved, then it has not been inspected by anyone and operates outside of any standards authority.
Part of the approval for the school is that our instructors have passed the ISA level one surf instructor course.This requires the instructor to pass a beach lifeguard qualification with either the Irish Water Safety Association or the Royal Lifesaving Society, obtain a certificate from the Irish Sports Council in child protection and complete the Irish Surfing Association instructors course.Gerry is the only ISA level 2 qualified coach on Achill he also holds a certificate in Remote Emergency Care and is a qualified Failte Ireland Marine and Countryside guide.
Your instructor will show you his current coaching card from the Irish Surfing Association.This is a small laminated card issued by the ISA ad carrying the photo of the coach and the validity dates of the qualification.You should ask for this as a matter of course.
At Blackfield Surf School, we have a great team of fully qualified and experienced instructors.We have more than 30 years of combined teaching experience at all levels from beginners through to coaching at National level.