iSurfIreland’s Eddie Moran is a Sligo native began surfing and bodyboarding at Strandhill Beach in his early teens before moving on to the other reefs and beachbreaks of Sligo.
In 2010, Eddie began working as a sought after surf instructor in the Strandhill area. A few successful seasons of surf coaching convinced Eddie to leave his carpentry trade to become a full-time surf coach.
Seamus ‘Shambles’ Mc Goldrick grew up in Strandhill and began bodyboarding at the age of 12. At 15, Seamus competed for the Irish team at the Junior Eurosurf where he picked up the nickname ‘Shambles’. Seamus studied Physics and Chemistry in Trinity College Dublin where he got his degree in 2006. The university was supportive and allowed for time off for Seamus to represent Ireland in the men’s bodyboard category at the Junior Eurosurf in France in 2002, the European championships in Spain in 2003 and Portugal in 2005 and the World Championships in Ecuador in 2004.
Eddie and Seamus set up iSurfIreland School of Surfing in Strandhill in 2014. Their school is located right on Strandhill beach, one of the best beaches to surf and learn to surf on the west coast of Ireland.
Where do you live? Why do you like it?
We live in Strandhill Co, Sligo. With an endless amount of uncrowded beach and reef breaks within an arms reach of Strandhill there’s nowhere else we’d rather live.
When did you start your business and what inspired you to do this?
We are both self-employed. We set up iSurfIreland in May 2014.
We’re both life-long surfers and have a great love for the ocean and teaching surfing so after working part time for some of the surf school’s in Strandhill we decided to set up our own school.
What were your start-up costs? How did you get the money, and what did you use it for?
We started out very small with 7 boards and 50 wetsuits that we bought with personal savings and with the help of ESG grants from the back-to-work scheme we were able to pay our first year insurance, pay Irish Surfing Association fees and we got our logo stickered on our vans.
Where is your market? How have you targeted international markets?
Our market is roughly 70% local and 30% foreign. We haven’t really targeted international markets, but we advertise with Failte Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way.
How long did it take you to get your business off the ground?
We are in our third month of our third year in business and still don’t feel we are fully off the ground or have reached our full potential but were very close and are looking forward to what the future is going to bring.
How do you promote your business?
Through our website and social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
If you had it to do over again, what, if anything, would you do differently?
Nothing. Every mistake is a learning curve.
What do you love most about being your own boss?
The freedom and sense of security and be able to do things your own way at your own time and pace is always a good feeling.
What are the main advantages and disadvantages of relocating / living in the West in terms of working and living?
There are no disadvantages for us, We drive to work under the majestic Knocknarea mountain looking at views of Sligo Bay with Coney Island, Rosses Point and Benbulben mountain looking back and when we arrive at work we get to play in the ocean all day, every day is an advantage.
How do you find accessibility to where you live and access to public transport / road networks / airports?
We generally don’t use public transport and drive to wherever we need to go. The road networks in Ireland are improving all the time and Knock Airport is only a 45-minute drive from Sligo which is really handy.
Why do you love where you live?
Sligo has everything to offer for everyone, no matter what you’re into or like you will find it here, with rivers, lakes, mountains the ocean if you’re an outdoors person you will find everything you need and with the buzzing town with great nite life you will always be entertained.
What advice would you give to anybody thinking about a life in the West?
The west of Ireland is an addiction, you will never have enough, I have known people to come here for a weekend and stay 10 years. Come try it you will not be disappointed.
To find out more about iSurfIreland visit isurfireland.com