There are a number of surfers scattered across the Western Isles with the majority residing on the Isle of Lewis but others spread down through Harris as far south as Barra. Although access from the mainland is restricted via ferry the Outer Hebrides have hosted in recent years international surf events with the Celtic Watersports Festival held in 1999 consisting of teams from Cornwall, Isle of Man, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, Euskadi (Basque Country) and North Portugal along with a further International Hebridean Surf Festival in 2001. The islands which are home to the ‘Outer Hebrides Surf Association’ receive quite a bit of surf tourism in particular over the summer months and have a locally run surf school provided by ‘Surf Lewis” Like the other out of reach Scottish Surfing destinations the Isles have attracted families to move to the area and adapt the surf lifestyle.
Although the Outer Hebrides and Western Scottish Isles block the majority of swell from the mainland there are numerous ‘nooks and crannies’ between islands that allow swell to travel through offering good surf on some secluded west mainland areas. The Isle of Skye also has one of the youngest developing surf communities within Scotland.
The region identified as Argyll encompasses a variety of different surf regions both mainland along the Kintyre peninsula and the isles to the west such as Islay and Tiree. Due to its relatively close proximity to Glasgow and the central belt the region offers a close escape for weekend and short visits and the surfing scene supports a healthy tourist industry offering conditions for all levels. Glasgow itself has two surf businesses ‘Clan Skates’ and ‘Boardwise’ and is home to the Glasgow University Surf Club. Tiree has become renowned for its windsurfing and kite surfing potential with numerous surf, windsurf and kite surf schools such as ‘Suds Surf School’ and ‘Wild Diamond.’ The island has a tight community of water sport enthusiasts, where ‘Wild Diamond’ surf shop provides hardware and has been home to numerous watersport competitions. Likewise on the Kintyre peninsula where ‘Breaks surf shop’ is well stocked and surf instruction provided by ‘Live on the edge’ and ‘Kintyre surf school’.