Established in 2002

Established in 2002 by Former Irish Champion and Pro Surfer John McCarthy, Lahinch Surf School was the first of it’s kind on the West Coast of Ireland. Joining John, his wife Rachel, and manager Stuart is their crew of stoked instructors. You won’t meet a nicer bunch of surfers along the Wild Atlantic Way!


John started the first kids camp in the west of Ireland in July 2002. Founded upon Irish Surfing Association guidelines, all our Instructors are Irish Surfing Association Qualified Surf Coaches and IWS/RLSI Lifeguards. We keep close to the heart of surfing. Our guys are experts in the water and most importantly, patient and attentive surf instructors.

Since the success of the Kids Camp and Adult Surf Lessons in the summer of 2002, Lahinch Surf School has become a full time, all year round, operation to where in summertime our staff swells to 12 people as we teach surfing in Lahinch. 
It would be fair to say, LSS has a group of the best and most highly qualified surf instructors in the World, right here in County Clare.

Our aim at Lahinch Surf School is to patiently take you through the complete surf experience and to have a lot of fun while doing it. Our Motto is “Friendly, Safe and Fun!”

John McCarthy

John has been surfing since the age of 10 and started competing on the Irish Surf Team at the age of 13 and holds national junior and senior titles. John has competed all over the world, at European and World Surfing Championships and has travelled to Hawaii, Australia, Africa, Central and South America and all over Asia in search of the perfect wave. That perfect wave happened to be closer to home, you can watch the perfect wave under the cliffs of moher here. In October 2007 John was one of a group of surfers who pioneered the “Aileens Wave” under the Cliffs of Moher.

Having qualified with a Degree in Science from W.I.T., John spent 5 years living abroad and working mainly in Japan until he decided to retire from the office job for a life based on surfing the west coast of Ireland. In June 2006 John did what no other Irish surfer has done and won a Bronze Medal in the European Senior surfing championships.

You can check out Johns V-Log at

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