Peter Conroy: The Unstoppable Surfer from Ireland
"I live life, day to day, minute to minute, second to second, with a smile and an open view on the world "
A lot of people live fairly tame lives, doing jobs that don’t require a ton of risk or physical exertion, then coming home to quiet nights of TV and safe hobbies. Not Peter Conroy. Working as a full-time firefighter in Dublin, Ireland means that his days are spent saving people from life-threatening injuries and burning buildings. As if this wasn’t hardcore enough, Peter saves his modest earnings from work in public service to take part in his true passion: Big Wave Surfing. With Ride of the Year Nominations and numerous sponsors proud to be associated with Peter Conroy, it’s clear that all of his passion is paying off, and the surf community is benefitting.
To put it lightly, Peter Conroy wasn’t cut out for a desk job. Already a competitive swimmer and lifeguard by age 16, Conroy gravitated towards an intense lifestyle from an early age, and was always drawn to the sea. Growing up around Clare Beach put him in close proximity to one of the world’s top big-wave surf locations. Specifically, Mullaghmore Head, an area in Ireland that’s massive waves make it an absolute nightmare for anyone who’s not a big wave surfer. High-tide is important at Mullaghmore Head, because low-tide means rocks are protruding just below the ocean’s surface. It’s in this cold, violent death-trap in Ireland that Peter Conroy took his surfing skills to a world-class level.
“I want to know I’m alive”
Life of a Dublin Firefighter Paramedic
In America, emergencies require a response from paramedics as well as firefighters, but that’s not the case in Dublin. Serving the duties of both a paramedic and a firefighter, Peter Conroy and his coworkers are expected to master the responsibilities of both positions. Peter expresses his love for this intense lifestyle in part one of his Red Bull series, This and Nothing Else. “I love going to work. You never know what’s going to happen.” Nothing is off the table, as Peter responds to everything from shootings to fires in Ireland’s toughest city.
Making Surfing Safer for Everyone
While on the topic of Peter Conroy’s superhero lifestyle, it should be mentioned that his rescuing skills aren’t limited to land. As co-founder and chairman of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club, Peter has put in long hours in some of the toughest seas in the world, and has become a highly-respected expert in deep sea rescue. Luckily, Peter’s not the type of guy to keep his lifesaving knowledge to himself, and he regularly teaches free classes to surfers on rescue and first aid fundamentals. Rescue techniques involving jet skis are particularly vital to anyone who films, surfs, or assists in surf sessions. Additionally, details like the best way to approach someone and preliminary lifesaving steps are crucial skills that can save surfers’ lives. The waves of Ireland are cold, huge, and dangerous for a multitude of reasons, but the top-notch Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club maintains a high-degree of safety. Other popular surf spots with massive, dangerous waves, such as Teahupoo or Cyclops, could benefit from motivated experts like Peter Conroy.
Ride of the Year Nomination at Mullaghmore Head
Peter Conroy stated that he wanted one perfect barrel in his lifetime. On January 21 of 2013, Peter’s first attempt ended in getting crushed beneath a massive wave. However, his second folded into a perfect barrel that looked to be at least five times his height. At a high-speed, Peter Conroy kept his poise and control flawless, and emerged from the once-in-a-lifetime barrel. At that moment, the years of surfing in the merciless Irish seas reached their peak, as Peter Conroy met the opportunity to surf a legendary wave, and more importantly, had the skill to successfully conquer it. The ride earned him a well-deserved Ride of the Year nomination from Billabong.
Featured on This and Nothing Else
With an inspiring lifestyle and top-caliber surf vids, a lot of people are interested in seeing more of Peter Conroy. Peter’s episode of the surf-focused Red Bull show called This and Nothing Else, follows him through the various aspects of his life, each more intense than the last. Nonetheless, Peter’s experience is clearly different than any other surfer’s, because he comes across as a high-level professional who considers all angles of surfing and safety. When you’re dedicated to surfing, it’s easy to be inspired by the passion that Peter brings to each aspect of his life.
Unstoppable Love of Surfing
Growing up near the cold, destructive, 49 ft waves of Mullahmore Head would scare most people away from surfing. The waves are subject to a combination of winds known as the Viking Storm, and are undeniably lethal. Peter himself has sustained injuries including broken ribs and a fractured skull while pursuing the perfect barrel. All of this only serves to motivate his passion to catch the greatest waves out there. Peter is the living embodiment of the fact that limits are our own creations, and you don’t have to let difficulty, time, or excuses stop you from achieving your goals. From hardworking fireman who surfs, to one of the top surfers in the world, there’s no stopping the rise of Peter Conroy.
Without friends, you’re nothing”
This powerful need to help people and keep high-quality friends takes many forms in the life of Peter Conroy, and is undeniably a key part of his success. By his own admission, catching big waves alone would be less fun and not as memorable, so he relies on his close-knit, expert team to man the skis and cameras. On the shore, the citizens of Dublin rely on his expertise to pull them from windows and ease their pain at their worst moments. In the sea, he’s teaching other surfers valuable methods of how to stay safe and rescue friends. Ultimately, no one else on the planet could live the life of Peter Conroy, as he earns surfing nominations, saves lives, and proves that to be the hero, you have to put in the hero hours.
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