Gearoid McDaid – The Great Emerald Hope

The name Gearoid McDaid probably means very little to the majority of those reading, but not for long. This Irish teenager has quietly exploded onto the European scene with effortless grace, power and flare. He grew up surfing the diverse setups of Ireland's West Coast and is a great measure as to what Ireland has to offer the surfing world in the coming years. With world-class waves on tap it was only a matter of time before Ireland produced 'the next big thing' in European surfing. We caught up with the man who is prophesied by many to be just that.

Questions by Luke Hart. Answers by Gearoid McDaid.

Hi there G-man. How's it going sham?

Hey, yeah I'm good now.

OK, so lets talk about the elephant in the room first. How the hell do we say your name?

[Laughs] It's a tough one. I'll write it as it sounds; Gar-odge.

Boom, glad we got that one all sorted. So a lot of people will have been hearing your name lately and watching your vids. How did it all start for you, and how long have you been a mutant shredder?

It all started when I was really young and my dad was pushing me in on a bodyboard. It fully clicked that I loved it when I was about 10, and have been surfing everyday there's waves since then.

How has it been growing up among the waves at home? Do you think it's carved your style into what it is? What's your favourite wave?

It's been great growing up in Ireland with the variety of different waves we have, from fun beachies to some of the heaviest slabs in the world. I think having all that variety of waves around has really progressed my surfing to what it is today. Favourite wave has to be the peak. The most fun lefthander there is; long walls for carves and hacks and you can usually find a sneaky barrel off the first section too.

You surf it like a computer game man. Would love to see a comp there with you in it. Who do you look up to in terms of surfing?

Someone I look up to from Ireland would have to be Cain Kilcullen. He rips on every wave in Ireland and it's always great to surf with him to see how he surfs all the waves around. Then obviously all the top guys on the 'CT like Julian Wilson, John John and Jordy.

I suppose it’s every young sufer’s dream to make the ‘CT someday, and I’d love to think that I could make it.

So, no pressure but are you going to make the 'CT? I mean, is it something you would aspire to do in the future?

[Laughts] I suppose it's every young sufer's dream to make the 'CT some day, and I'd love to think that I could make it someday.

It's hard work, but you've got the skills. So what's the plan then? are you doing many of the comps this year?

My hopeful plans for the year are to compete at all the European Pro-Junior comps in summer, and then head over to the UK and do the UKPST comps too. After that I hope to be able to get away somewhere warm for the winter to train. It all depends on funds though.

Yeah, I wanted to talk with you about that. I know times are hard trying to make it in surfing. It's an expensive game with only the very elite making it. How have you found it without out a major financial backer?

It's pretty hard, but I have a lot of people who support me and have helped me get to all the places I've been . I had a pledge page up which did really well; I'd like to thank all the people who contributed to that. Obviously I have one of the best board shapers supporting me as well, which always helps.

So people can check your pledge page out and contribute to the fledgling career of the a future world champion?

Well the time is finished for contributing on May 10, and it would be great if anyone could contribute to help out. (Pledge HERE. If you contribute you'll be helping me get to all the comps this year, and your contributions aren't for nothing; you will get a thank you present, which gets better with the more you contribute.

Do you feel any pressure from your dad or people hyping you up? It must be hard to try and to live up to the expectations of so many. how do you feel about it all?

Yeah, sometimes it's hard, but I never get any pressure from my dad, and sometimes it can make me more confident going into comps when people are hyping me up! [laughs]

Well good luck with it all and we look forward to watching your career as it grows. Can you sign us out with any shout outs?

Just thanks to all my sponsors who are supporting me this year, and I hope everyone likes the new clip, yeeeeew!

All photos Ian Mitchinson