If you think that California is the only surfing mecca on the West Coast of North America – think again! Once you head out to the north of the continent, you will find the hip town of Tofino in British Columbia, Canada. Tofino is situated in a picturesque location on Vancouver Island. Surfing enthusiasts make their way to this Canadian town for some serious surfing action. The surfing crowd becomes bigger during spring and summer when air temperatures are warmer and more comfortable.
The waves at Tofino are not just for the pros. Most of the beaches also generate beginner-friendly waves especially during summer. You also have the option to join one of the town’s surfing schools like the Tofino Surf School. Attending these schools, which offer lessons and surf camps, is a great way to meet people as well as learn the fundamental surfing moves. Surf shops are abundant in Tofino, so if you did not bring your own surfboard equipment, renting is not a problem.
Tofino exudes a different vibe for a surfing town as it is tucked in a wilderness setting. But you can still find a number of comfortable accommodation options such as luxury inns. At Tofino, there are about 35 kilometers of beach stretch conducive for surfing. The beaches around town are sandy and have flat bottoms, which is perfect for a wide range of surfing levels. Some beaches are only 5 to 10 minute drives from downtown. Aside from driving, it is also possible to bike to these beaches.
To enjoy one of most popular beaches for surfing beginners in Canada, drive about 8 minutes from central Tofino and to the Chesterman Beach. Aside from being very popular, Chesterman is also conveniently accessible. The beach is divided into the South and North section, and is equipped with a parking lot and toilet facilities.
Another well-loved surfing beach in the area is Cox Bay. Because of its consistent yet smaller summer swells, novice surfers will find this charming bay quite amazing. Long Beach is about a 25-minute drive from Tofino, but this does not stop it from being the most famous beach in the region. Some of the main reasons behind its fame is the beach’s 16 kilometer sand and its waves that cater to all surfing levels.
If you are looking for the most gigantic waves to challenge your skills, then Tofino is the ideal spot in winter. During this time, the biggest, strongest and most consistent waves are being generated but the air temperature are generally low. Because the water is also fairly cool, wearing a wetsuit is a must along with other accessories like gloves and boots if you want some quality time in the water.
Tofino is host of several festivals and surfing events. One of them is the Queen of the Peak held every October. This is the only all-female surf contest in Canada, and it’s mainly held for charitable purposes. Tofino, during this competition, exudes a very festive atmosphere. Thus, it’s one the best times to visit the town.
And even though you are in Tofino mainly to surf; you can also go for whale-watching excursions if you happen to be here from March to June. During this time, several gray whales that migrate to the Bering Sea from Baja hang around the coast of Vancouver Island.