So where did we come from ?

In the early 1960s Tadgh Kelliher decided to put his mechanical genius to use and build a boat. He put in a converted Ford car engine and headed off to Fenit to test it out. Shortly after, Ted and Rae Kelliher became the first people in Kerry to Waterski.

The love of the water was passed on to the younger generations and continued through Sailing and Swimming and eventually Windsurfing in 1980.

  • Rae Kelliher - Waterskiing in Fenit

    Rae Kelliher – Waterskiing in Fenit

  • Richard Kelliher - Windsurfing in Derrynane c. 1984

    Richard Kelliher – Windsurfing in Derrynane c. 1984

In 1985, when people were talking about Live Aid, the British Coal Miners, Gorbachev  and Boris Becker, The Kelliher family were discussing ‘Surf N Sail’.

At the time Windsurfing was in its infancy and equipment was hard to come by. More and more people wanted to get into Windsurfing and so the demands for new boards, sails and accessories were increasing.

Bic Marine, yes, the Biro people, had just bought Doufour’s windsurfing division and was going head long into the watersports industry.

Surf N Sail

At the start of the summer of ’85 the doors of Surf N Sail opened to the public, in exactly the same place it is today, except back then it was more like a Shed than a shop.
  • Windsurfing Lessons in Fenit c. 1988

    Windsurfing Lessons in Fenit c. 1988

  • Bruce Kelliher - Railriding Killarney 1985

    Bruce Kelliher – Railriding Killarney 1985

As the original ‘Surf Shop’ in Kerry it quickly grew into ‘The Place’ to get kitted out for Windsurfing.  Offering a full range of equipment, from Bic Marine (now Bic Sport), Gaastra Sails, North Sails, Helly Hansen Life Jackets and Harnesses and much more. The sport of Windsurfing had finally ‘arrived’ in Kerry. Windsurfers were appearing on beaches all over the County. The Easter Board Sailing Bonaza was held in Fenit in 1985 with windsurfers travelling from all over the Country to compete.

Since then Surf N Sail has grown in strength and size to carry a full and varied range of Watersports equipment. There have been many ‘Firsts’ in the 30 years of Surf N Sail. Not just the Windsurfing but we sold our first sit on top Kayak, the Rob Roy, in 1987, we started Wakeboarding in 1995, PowerKiting in 1997. As soon as Kitesurfing came on the scene back in 1998, we were on it. The first SUP or PaddleBoard in Kerry was as far back as 2006 and yes, that was us.

This is not a trumpet blowing session but a way of saying that, when you have a love for the ocean and a need to spend time on the water, you will find any means necessary. The definition of a Waterman is given as, ‘A person who participates in multiple watersports and will engage in any of these various forms of Watersports depending on the conditions’.

Graham Kelliher - Windsurfing

Graham Kelliher – Windsurfing in Fenit c. 1984

So, you’re likely to find the Surf N Sail team at the beach, practicing what we preach, and having fun on anything we can get our hands on so long as it gets us on the water. Our in house motto is ‘The Wetter The Better’ and that should say it all.

If you need advice on Surfing, Kitesurfing, Kayaking, Windsurfing, Sailing, SUPing, Sea Swimming, Triathlon, Skimboarding, Bodyboarding, Wakeboarding, Waterskiing, Jetskiing, Bodysurfing, or any other watersport you can think of, drop in and we’ll be happy to advise.

See you on the Water!