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Companies that offer Surfing
& Windsurfing services in BC
The epicentre of
surfing on Vancouver Island is in Tofino (Long Beach), which provides
the best surfing in all of Canada. Long Beach is a beautiful 20-km
stretch of beach between Ucluelet and Tofino on the west coast of
Vancouver Island. There is also a hard-core clique of riders on Southern
Vancouver Island, but the surfing conditions and facilities don't
match those in Tofino and Long Beach.
at Long Beach
in the Gulf of Alaska generate most of the tastier surf that lashes
the coastline of British Columbia from late September through March.
Other swells come all the way across the Pacific from Japan, or
are caused by more localized weather systems. In summer, the distant
Southern Hemisphere swells have a lesser effect, particularly on
Southern Vancouver Island, which is blocked by Washington's Olympic
Peninsula across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Tofino / Long
Tofino is the most popular surfing destination in Canada, offering
year-round surfing enjoyed by surfers of all ages and abilities.
The Tofino area is very accessible, and provides waves throughout
the year, boasting world-class waves on occasion. Because of its
wide expanse and western exposure, Long Beach is the beach of choice
for freewheeling, Maui-style windsurfing when the ocean gets riled,
particularly in winter months when the storm season produces the
best peeling surf. Long, rolling waves on Vancouver Island's isolated
west coast provide terrific surfing opportunities. A thriving local
industry in Tofino caters to surfers who dare to ride those 12-foot
beauties into the remote beaches of Pacific
Rim National Park.
The ocean temperature
here hovers at nearly 50 degrees F throughout the year - and can
reach up to 58 degrees F in the summer - so it hardly matters what
month it is: it's the waves that count. Tofino does boast the highest
annual mean temperature in Canada, which may help remove some of
the sting if you think about it hard enough while you're paddling
out to catch one more wave. All surfers and visitors should be aware
that a full body wetsuit and booties should be worn year round.
Parks Canada insists that all surfers know this, as the majority
of their rescues are for people not wearing wetsuits. A wetsuit
makes a great raincoat, and if it's raining - as it quite often
is in this area - being in the water surfing is the best place to
be! The wetsuit technology of today makes it possible to go for
a two-hour surf session without the hint of a shiver. Surfing is
popular in the winter months, with the surfing businesses operating
throughout the year - even offering popular Christmas Surf Packages.
For the uninitiated
surfer, there's a host of cool instructors in Tofino and Long Beach
ready to help you discover the most thrilling way to get the Pacific
up your nose! Long Beach is suitable for beginners and intermediate
surfers, but for their own safety, new surfers and beginners are
advised to take a surf lesson as an introduction to surfing and
to the local conditions. The ocean is always unpredictable and taking
a lesson will increase your level of enjoyment. There are 3 surf
schools in Tofino, and one in Ucluelet, where surfing instruction
is offered, and they'll also fill you in on local etiquette when
joining the manners-conscious lineup offshore. You can also rent
boards (surf and body styles) and wetsuits in Tofino.
Tofino hosts an annual surfing contest organized by the British
Columbia Surfing Association (BCSA).
The surfing conditions and facilities don't match the constant surf
and thriving surfing community based in Tofino and Long Beach. The
southern island wields inconsistent and unpredictable surf days, unlike
Tofino's numerous open ocean swells. No Surf Schools are located in
the Southern Vancouver Island area.
Jordan River is located in Juan de Fuca Provincial
Park, along the West Coast Road (Highway 14) approximately 60
km northwest of Victoria, and is home to the informal Jordan River
Surf Club. Jordan River Locals tend to be turf conscious (make that
surf-conscious) and are rather protective of their place in the lineup.
Any attempt to drop in out of turn risks a wrathful encounter.
Jordan River waves only work on one tide, and specific wind and swell
directions, so visitors may not encounter surfing conditions if only
visiting for a couple of days. This spot breaks overhead about 3 times
per year on average - in winter - providing super long rides. There
are three different spots to surf at Jordan River - Sewers,
The Point, and Rock Piles. The ideal board for local
conditions is slightly longer and wider than normal, and with three
fins, which makes catching and controlling waves easier in less-than-optimum
Sombrio Beach also provides wilderness surfing, located approximately
30 km northwest of Jordan River on Highway 14. If you decide to join
the lineup offshore from Sombrio Beach, expect heavy conditions as
you drift in the swells next to huge kelp beds. A gigantic rock commands
the base of the breaking wave at Sombrio and dominates the path that
faces a surfer after takeoff. A persistent mist often enshrouds the
locale, creating a spooky ambience. Both Jordan River and Sombrio
Beach are day trips from Victoria and Sooke.