Ireland: land of Guinness and surf | Photo: Creative Commons/Lee Ciaran

It's not just the land of potatoes, rain, and Guinness, you know. One of Ireland's best-kept secrets has been out of the bag for some time now: this country has world-class surf.

There are 3172 kilometres of coastline, and the southern and western shores are the first point of contact for waves originating in the remotest parts of the North Atlantic, kicked up and driven on by the relentless Gulf Stream; shaped on arrival by pristine reef.

Kelly Slater and the Malloy brothers braved the bluster, and with too many great surf spots to name in one article (and more being discovered all the time), here are five to get you thinking about following suit.

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El Salvador: explore the uncrowded perfect waves | Photo: Hotel Rancho Estero y Mar

With the advent of Google Earth and GPS technology most of the good right-hand point breaks in El Salvador have become crowded, but in the county of pupusas there are surf gems still to be explored.

El Sunzal is the most crowded point break nowadays, with usually 65 surfers per session. Punta Roca, perhaps the best wave in the country, gets around 30 surfers per session on good surfing day.

Las Flores and Punta Mango are probably in the 40 surfers mark per session. The less stellar point breaks like K59, La Paz, El Zonte, and Mizata have crowds averages of 20, but the take-off zone is more limited.

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