last edit: April 2021
Dollymount is amazing by low tide: you will have to walk a little bit with your kite up from the launch area to the water, but you will find perfect little and bigger waves.
By high tide, Dollymount is also really nice, a bit choppy.
In both cases, the great thing with Dollymount is that you have so much space: once you launched your kite for the launch area, you can quickly go far and find a lot of space to kitesurf comfortably.
When low tide
Wind S or SE is perfect and safe.
There are ferry waves coming every time a ferry is arriving or leaving Dublin port. I would not suggest to check ferry schedule beforehand as on a regular day there could be about 3 ferries every 60 minutes, so in any regular session you would have opportunities to ride those waves.
To catch those waves you will need to sail quite far from the shore, so I would recommend those waves for advanced kitesurfers.
When high tide
Wind SW is not great because it tends to be gusty and choppy.
Waves by high tide are never proper rideable waves. However note that the closer you get to the pier, the flatter the water will be because it got protected from by the pier. That’s why quite often there is a lot of experience kitesurfers enjoying the flat near the pier.
The rocks around the launching area, could be dangerous when launching and landing. However they are quite far so it should not be a real concern.
The two yellow poles delimiting the launching area (see details below) can partly be in the water, which makes them dangerous, especially if you’re a beginner.
The Kite Launch area is marked by the kitesurf sign and delimited by the two yellow poles.
By high tide, the poles could be partially in the water, which make them quite hazardous, especially because as they delimit the launch area they will bottleneck a little bit the kitesurfers getting out and coming back.
Those poles are are known as ‘special marks’ (for more info see page 17). The yellow X’s mark the poles as cardinal markers when viewed from sea.
Kitesurfers aren’t allowed to launch/land outside the area. Dublin City Council had considered stopping kiters using Dollymount: this area was a compromise.
There are not such markers in other beaches because they might not be within Dublin City Council’s remit (for example Burrow is in Fingal) and/or kitesurfing might be more tolerated.
By high tide, it could be tempting to try kitesurfing in the area around the wooden bridge. However, this is forbidden as Bull Island is a National Nature Reserve and kitesurfing there is strictly restricted to the beach side.
I have never seen kitesurfers there and it seems a bit dangerous with rocks.
With your own car
Reaching Dollymount with your own car can be a little bit tricky so this part is going to be especially long for this particular spot to be sure to cover all the different situations step by step.
Step 1 : the wooden bridge
To reach Bull Island, you will have to cross a one-way bridge with alternate direction: the Dollymount Wooden Bridge.
It can get quite packed especially when weather is great (great not only for kitesurfing but also just to hang out at the beach), but most importantly the bridge might be closed now and then, for example for maintenance or traffic congestion. Sometimes it is only closed for cars, and/or cyclists, and/or pedestrians.
There is no single source to check if the bridge is open/close so I would recommend to browse the kitesurf groups and the internet before heading to Dollymount.
Step 2 : the height restriction
After the wooden bridge, there is a high fence restricting access for vehicle higher than 2.2m.
This is important to note if you plan to access with a campervan.
Step 3 : parking your car
You want to park as close as possible to the kitespot so that you carry your gears on the shortest distance possible.
However, due to traffic and/or heavy rain, the access to the car park is sometimes tricky and you may have to fall back on a further car park.
As a result I put on the map on the next page the top 3 spots to park depending on the conditions. Those car parks are free.
By public transport
- Take the bus 130 with direction “From Lwr. Abbey St. Towards Castle Ave.” : [BUS 130]
- Hop off at the stop: [Bus Stop No. 1752 Clontarf Rd, Seaview Point, Stop 1752] (the closest to the wooden bridge)
- Walk to the launch area: [PATH]
Good to know:
– Costs for the bus: X.
– Walk is all flat, with pavement at the beginning and sand in the end. It is definitely not the best walk to do carrying your gears but it is doable (I’ve done it plenty of times – a good warm up!).
Opinions from kitesurfers
“Dolly on S or SE in mid to low tide is just paradise and very safe”Gareth Hanley
Contributors to this article
Maciej Aleksander Kedzierski
How it looks
All pictures below are by Maciej Aleksander Kedzierski | Instagram @studio81sport
See you at the beach!