surf canada - tofino main surf locations

Tofino surfing: Surf Canada!

I think most people are over the misconception that Canada is a surf deprived country. This usually comes from folks who have never surfed and think that you need to fly to Hawaii and paddle into a 20 footer before you're really doin' it. We do share the same ocean so just because were above the 49th parallel doesn't mean the surf stops there. Our coastline in Tofino may rarely have that perfect "tropical surf power punch" that sends other locations into the surfing books, but there are very good reasons why surfing has taken off around here…

The area around Tofino is fully exposed to the Pacific Ocean and so believe it or not you can actually surf everyday year round. The water may be a little chilly, but in the last 10 years wetsuit technology has come a long way making surfing and other watersports a lot warmer and more comfortable.

Tofino's beaches and coves are balancing between majestic mountains and a very powerful body of water, making for a genuine wilderness surfing experience. Mix that with a laid back lifestyle and it's no wonder this area has developed its own unique surf culture.

The coastline in the Tofino area is made up of beaches and coves separated by rocky headlands and sand spits that point in all sorts of directions, so not every spot will show the same conditions on the same day. Finding surf is all about being in the right place at the right time, so this requires an open mind and understanding of the local conditions.

Spring to Fall has great conditions for surfing in Tofino and the days are longer allowing more time to search around. Remember that tidal changes are extreme and swell can grow larger by the hour. A quick change of location can sometimes improve your session.

Main Tofino Surfspots

Whether you’re new to surfing or visiting the area, this guide will tell you where to head out on your search for waves:

Chesterman Beach:

Two beaches that come together making two very different spots. A favorite for the beginner or when other spots are too big. They can still be very powerful and tides and swell are sure to change what may seem small and playful.

Cox Bay:

This areas “wave magnet”. Picks up most swells and can be very difficult to get all the way out when its larger. Will be affected by wind in the afternoon. There are strong rips at either ends of the beach.

Long Beach:

A good spot for summer swells with lots of room to move and plenty of parking. There’s a big rock island to the south and currents and rips are strong here. This is a huge stretch of beach, so if you want to be alone just head down a little further than everyone else. Lifeguard towers operate in the summer months.

Tofino Surfing Articles 

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Tofino surf spots are highlighted in this Tofino surfing article from Tofino Time magazine.

tofino time january 2003