Portballintrae in Antrim is an exposed beach break that has fairly consistent surf, although summer tends to be less consistency.
There are really two breaks. One in the rivermouth, which suits bodyboarders (short, hollow), and one down the beach, which can give longs rides.
Surf history: The north coast of Antrim is littered with beauty spots, tourist attractions and surf beaches. Most of the surfing tradition on the Causeway coast is based around the towns of Portrush and Portstewart. North of Portrush lies Portballintrea beach. It is home to the north coast’s most consistent waves and is the perfect challenge for an aspiring intermediate surfer.
In the water: Portballintrea is a small beach but it has some great waves that pack plenty of power and punch. Bodyboarding is popular at the river mouth on the south end of the beach. Most of the surfers tend to surf the first three peaks after the river mouth.
The wave itself comes out of deep water and has good lefts and rights. The beach picks up lots of swell and is popular when the rest of the coast is small. On small days Portballintrea can get pretty crowded as it is the most consistent wave on the north coast with wave riders of every type flocking there, especially on the weekends. On a bright day the coast of Scotland is clearly visible from the water and makes for a fantastic backdrop.
On land: The Antrim coast offers so much to do on land, from the Giant’s Causeway to Carrickaree Rope Bridge and Bushmills Distillery, to name but a few.
Most surfers base themselves in the surfing epicentre of Portrush which has three surf shops and three surf schools. The Harbour and Wine bar overlooking West Strand are a perfect place for a night out of food and drink. Rogues bar across the road has also got great music and atmosphere. For the more adventurous there is always Kelly’s, Ireland’s biggest nightclub on the outskirts of town.