A few months ago, filmer Ben Weiland and photographer Mark McInnis had to make a choice. There was a storm formulating in the western Pacific that looked like it could send some serious swell to Taiwan. Then there was another storm on the other side of the world, in the Atlantic, spinning its way toward Ireland.
With a little encouragement from Barry Mottershead, a South African turned Ireland surfing savant, Weiland and McInnis rolled the dice and jetted east for the Emerald Isle, with pros Cody Thompson and Justin Quintal, from Florida, and Nate Zoller, from California.
It was a smart move – a few days later, the western Pacific storm exploded, slamming into Taiwan with record winds, flooding and very ugly surf. In Ireland, on the other hand, fun early-season swell was filling in.
In keeping with Chasing the Shot tradition, Mottershead guided the crew to a few nooks far off the beaten path. What awaited was a bit of Irish heaven: green hills, ancient castles, and good waves with few to no other surfers around. Above is the first leg of the journey – next week, you won't want to miss the second.