Tell somebody you’re dropping everything and leaving home behind to live and surf on Oahu’s North Shore and you’ll rarely get much of a rise. “Yeah, jump in line,” is probably the response you deserve. The waves are perfect, the water is always warm, and at least when the surf slows down you’ll be living in your boardshorts or bikini. Surfers are supposed to leave it all behind for paradise. And paradise is tropical.
Or, if you’re Barry Motorshead or Noah Lane, paradise is a cold and dark but very, very beautiful island in the North Atlantic.
Ireland isn’t exactly the picture perfect image of a surfing Mecca. Even when the waves look perfect, they somehow still look mean. And how many times has it been mentioned that it’s pretty much always cold there? “When the waves are on, yeah it’s great,” says Irish Surf Pioneer Barry Britton. “But I mean there are periods you could go a month and you wouldn’t get a surf in with the weather so rough, and it’s horrible.”
So how, and why, did two men — one from South Africa and another from Australia — move from already wave-rich parts of the world to the Emerald Isle?