Windsurf Guide To Brandon Bay

Brandon Bay is a great place to windsurf with many different beaches all within 7 miles of each-other giving a huge amount of options for any given wind or swell direction. Often the amount of places to sail is a problem in it self. I often meet and see people who have sailed at the wrong part of the beach on any given day . So this is a guide to help you out when you come to Brandon Bay.

The Beaches.

Fermoyle  The last beach in  Brandon Bay going west.

Best Wind.
West wind, Windguru needs to be showing at least 25 knots for it to work well, As the wind is blocked by the hills. Can also be sailed at low tide NW wind cross on when the reefs on the Maharees are dry

Swell.  north or north west. Sheltered by brandon head so gets less swell than most of brandon bay. But if theres a 10m swell running it can still be very big !.

Tide.  Ok at all tides, Long walk at low

Good for. Jumping, riding. Not the most powerful wave. around good fun and a fair chance of  getting a clean run out with coming off the plane for jumps


Best winds. West  or  South West  *to much south will be to off shore*

Swell.  Gets anything from north  through to west, 

Tide.  All tides. Low tide sweat spot.

Whats it like.
Gets a bit less swell than Gowlane. Fun in west wind giving cross on port tack if it to small for a side shore session at Fermoyle. Can pick up the SW wind a little earlier than Gowlane giving cross off DTL when you could not sail Gowlane.
Easy parking on the beach.


Wind. South west 

Swell. North through to west  anything from 1M at  8 seconds will give a good wave.

Tide. Best on the push mid to high

Whats it Like.
More about riding than jumping. 
Everything from knee high  to mast +  DTL  heaven. Can be hard to get out  through walls of white water. Try a bit of volume and a small sail.  Easy to miss a session here keep a eye on wind-guru, any forecast  of SW wind it worth a visit works from 8 knots onward


Wind. South West, South south west

Swell. North West to North

Tide. Best at mid to high

What’s it like. Place to go if to offshore at Gowlane or to windy as it will have less wind here than Gowlane. Much the same as Gowlane but tends to close out.  Try going upwind of the parking area for better waves.

Outer Reef. Sorry no photo
Only sailed it a few times. Breaks like Mossies so could be epic.  Feels a vey long way out. Could be great in lightish winds with a jet ski to get you home if it all goes wrong. works SW wind low tide.

Back Beach.

Wind. South  or  North winds

Swell. West swell

Tide. Best mid to high

What it like. Hard to drive to without a 4X4 outside of summer. Gets south winds better than Dumps and can get better waves if a lot of north in the swell.


Wind. South, North and North West. South east

Swell. North swell

Tide. All tides

What it like
Works in lots of conditions. Drain pipe the bank to the right can give a great peak to sail. High tide  gives a good powerful shore break wave if your brave.
South winds give  good  DTL, but can be very  gusty. Small  swells in north wind are a lot of fun. North west will be a lot stronger here than at Fermoyle giving cross on starboard tack sailing


Wind. North or  North west

Swell. North west best, but north  to west will get into it

Tide. Mid to high. Sort of  works at low tide if you go down wind and sail beside the dry reef

What it like.   Easy sail out.Good for jumping  as a flat water run up to the wave. Very easy place to sail big waves  with out to much skill needed. Just watch the inside that get a good fast wave, short , heavy wave that can be a lot of fun or expensive!


Wind.   Best at North  with a little bit of east in it (very rare),  But  north and north west still very good

Swell. North west. needs around 4m to break.

Tide.  2 hours each side of high if you brave and know where the rocks are it  good at lower tides. 

What it like. Hard to sail really well but easy to sail. the sail out is easy, and you can sit on the shoulder and watch. Gives a heavy peak going in to a endless shoulder.  Mostly sailed with a bit onshore in the wind  but the way the wave wraps it not a problem.

Garry William

Wind.  North east winds

Swell. Picks up most

Whats it like.  Rare and Expensive !!

Hells gate

Winds  South west, West north ,west  and East winds

Swell. North to west

Tide. Most work. Small swells low is  best . Big swell low tide can be plain scary.  Dry on big spring tides

Whats it like. Home to red bull storm chase.Reef break, sail from Scraggane or the swim out from the small beach on the way to the harbor. Not sailed that much put works in lots of condition. Good  DTL in  a south west  wind when brandon bay out of control. Wave gets bigger the  closer you get to the Island . Can often  be a lot of fun in a west wind and North west giving a good mix of jumping and riding. 


Winds.  Everything works

Tides.  all work

Whats it like.  Good flat water option. Works  most of the time
Gives  super super fast speed strip in strong south  or SE winds. North west or  west give good free ride/style sailing when theres no swell around. Fun if the wind is off the scale and huge north swell which can give a shoulder high two turn wave

Sandy Bay.

Winds.  Best in North or south, 
Whats it like. Flat water fun sail here if to bumpy in onshore north winds at Scraggane

Tralee Bay

Winds. West  strong winds

Swell. North

Tide. One hour each side of high.

Whats it like. Winter  beach can give great sailing when brandon bay is massive.  


Too far for me being 12 miles from Brandon Bay! so not a place I know that well. Nice beach break that picks up south west  swells much better than Brandon bay. Well worth a trip if you find south east winds and no swell in Brandon you may find perfect DTL. in good waves. Also can get  very good  thermal winds . Look for light north wind days and lot of sun from 3pm onwards.  Image shows inch reef one of the longest rights in the world . Give me a call if it sailable !


Place to go if brandon super windy. always a not less here.  Need a big  North swell to work well.  works in west to south west winds.  Take a map  and find a place side shore on the day. Often a one hit close out,  but seek and you can find magic DTL watch out for coffin rock!!

Where to sail  a given wind direction.

North winds

Come through true to forecast.
1) Dumps, low tide or swell not the right size to make the reefs work.
2) Mossie (Needs a good swell from the north west or west).

North East Wind
Rare and mostly very cold. If you can cope with the temperature there is excellent sailing on offer. North Easterly's make the reef breaks cross off Starboard tack (1Hells gate (2 Garry William (3 Mossies

East winds.
Very Rare and not much swell.

 South East Winds
Good for speed sailing in Scraggane very very fast.  SE winds  most of the time come with SW or south swells which do not really get in to Brandon bay. Look at a map and you can find wave sailing with a 2 hour drive. If your very lucky and you get a west swell then Dumps can be epic cross off port- tack.

Scraggane “speed”

South Winds
Get blocked by the mountains. You really need  25 knots plus on windguru for any chance of  good action. The wind tends to lift the further you get from the hills so the back beach is often better than dumps

Back Beach
Fermoyle. “Speed if no swell”

South West
Lots of options. wind is funned by the hills so 8 K forecast can give great sailing cross off down the line port tack.
Kilcummon, picks up wind first, swell a little smaller
Gowlane, Best option on a normal SW windy day
Stradbally. If very windy there will be less here and more side shore.
Hells gate.  Brandon bay out of control can give good reef sailing
Smerwick. Will be 4.2 weather when 3.0m needed in Brandon + a lot less swell

West winds
Light west winds are a bit rubbish ! more wind on the Magharees but on shore  at surf beaches. I go to Scraggane with luck you can sail cross on Hells gate which can give a good riding  and jumping  cross on

Scraggane “flat water”
Hells gate
Tralee bay. (Huge north swell only)

North West
Only cross on sailing bit the wind comes through clean and strong so fun and reef sailing still good.

Mossies/ Shittys. (Waves wrap so still lots of fun)
Fermoyle. (less wind !)

1 comment:

  1. Great post!! Thanks a lot!! The only comment I have is that it would be very useful to include also a map indicating the position of each spot!




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