Meet Conor Maguire
What was it like growing up in Bundoran?
Growing up in Bundoran was fantastic. Obviously living in a rural area on the west coast of Ireland has its set backs but for me, the advantages definitely out-way the disadvantages. It is cold and stormy here for most of the winter but in between storms are little glimmers of magic. We’re extremely privileged to have some of the best waves in Europe on our doorstep along with some really good surfers. This has helped me progress over the years and has encouraged me to surf bigger waves. The surrounding hinterland is absolutely stunning and is the perfect place for an adventurous mind to wander. Luckily, like minded people are also drawn to and live in the area so there is never a shortage of people to go exploring with.
Photo here and above by Tim Burrow
How did you get into surfing?
I got into surfing when I was 11 with my friend, Iarom Madden, down at our local surf shop, Bundoran Surf Co. We had amazing instructors who loved surfing as much as we would grow to. They ripped and showed us how fun it could be. Like many, we were hooked after our first session. Having a friend to bounce off and compete with definitely helped us both to get better.
..and when did you get into surfing big waves?
There wasn’t a set date I got into big waves. Growing up in Bundoran exposes you to a large variety of waves varying from small beach breaks to big wave death slabs like Mullaghmore, with everything in between. I always loved the feeling of being out of my comfort zone and the rush of adrenaline. Every session I would try catch the biggest wave I could get my little arms into. I watched Richie Fitzgerald, a local surfer, and Gabe Davies pioneer Mullaghmore when I was younger. It left me in awe and made me obsessed with what it must feel like to surf a wave of that size. For years to come I surfed bigger and heavier waves until I finally built up the courage to paddle out at Mullaghmore.
Photo by RedBull/Szymon Lazewski
Many people see surfing as a sport, some as an art, others as a culture and so forth. How do you view surfing?
I view surfing as something that is just a part of my life now, like walking or talking. It has had such an impact on life that I’d be lost without it. Surfing has brought me to some amazing places and I’ve met some amazing people through it and the ocean. It have given me self-confidence and a sense of belonging. My closest friends all surf and have a great appreciation for the ocean and nature in general.
Who do you look up to?
I look up to many different people for different reasons. Irish surfers who have pushed themselves forward in surfing are a huge inspiration to me. I would consider people like Greg Long and Ramon Navarro very inspirational as they appear to give to surfing and the ocean which has given them so much. Plus they’re absolutely mental! I find Alex Honald a very inspiring character. He comes across as a very humble individual despite all he has achieved. His mental game is second to none. Even watching him free climb gives me the shivers.
What have been the highlights of your surf career so far?
My career highlights have been travelling to remote locations and scoring waves, surfing huge waves at home and being given the opportunity to consider surfing my job.
Photo by Tim Burrow
Do you have other skill sets or areas of passion except of surfing?
Yeah I’m quite passionate about travelling, photography, food and healthy living.
You recently joined us as a SufEars ambassador after suffering from surfer’s ear, tell us more?
I’m delighted to be a part of the Surf Ears team. Growing up in the cold, harsh climate of Ireland meant exposure to cold water and strong wind from the beginning of my time in the sea. This is the perfect breading ground for Surfer’s ear. Having water constantly stuck in your ears, swishing around inside you head is quite irritating and thankfully SurfEars have stopped that. Although I’ve already begun my Surfers Ear journey, having SurfEars protecting my canals with certainly slow down the process. I would recommend a pair as soon as possible.
Photo by RedBull/Szymon Lazewski
Thanks Conor, we look forward to hear more from you!
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