What’s this all aboot, eh? Canada’s all about hockey, moose, and mounties right?
At least not anymore that is—surfing has taken off like wildfire on the shores of our
neighbors to the North. Whether it’s new wetsuit technology that allows people to surf
longer in harsher environments (and Canada is as harsh as they come), or the surfing media
looking for the next big “Secret Spot” cover blurb, you can’t deny a good thing when you
see it—Canada, especially the British Columbia province, has world-class surf.
And it should. Canada has the most coastline out of any country in the world—151,485
miles of it, there are 52,455 islands within the country, and it’s shores are pummeled
relentlessly by North Pacific storm systems.
Yet it still seems like a novelty.
After all, when was the last time you had to pack a rifle along with your 5/4 wetsuit, hood,
gloves, and booties to fend off scavenging wolves? But that’s the thing, when you see
photos of the place it looks like a cold-water version of Indo—complete with draining
barrels, fishing boats, beautiful landscapes, and out-of-our-world wildlife. Just substitute
Sumatran tigers for Black bears.
“You can be out surfing, look in, and see a few big Black bears flipping over rocks looking
for crabs”, says Tofino, British Columbia surfer Sepp Bruhwiler of the wildlife. Orca
whales, wolves, and eagles also call the area home—like a colder version of the Garden of
But, just like anywhere, paradise has it’s price.
“It’s definitely growing at a really fast rate. The last two years have been insane—there’s
nowhere to park in the summertime and pretty soon there will be parking meters
everywhere. It’s kind of turning into Whistler (famed B.C. ski resort) up here” adds Sepp.
And as you can imagine, there’re a few sour locals. “There are a couple guys who are
pretty angry with us for exposing the spot, but what can you do?” asks Sepp.
The “angry guys” are the minority though, and generally, Canadians are a friendly bunch.
“There’s not a lot of localism here. Everybody’s welcome, so people aren’t afraid to come
up here—we get all kinds of people. It’s a small community and everybody is pretty chill,”
Very chill. 49 degree water will do that to a surfer. Canada, there’s more to it than you
Need Caption! See photo!