Activities & Adventures Surfing

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Tofino is Canada’s surfing capital for good reason: with over 35 kilometres of beaches, surfers of all skill levels have access to year-round surf.

Choose from different beaches and enjoy the laid-back, inclusive surf culture: there are roughly the same number of women and men who ride the waves here. Whether you paddle out for a sunset session with friends, or a dawn patrol (early morning surf) to prepare for a competition, Tofino truly is the place to hang ten or smack the lip. 

Beach safety

There are no lifeguards on the beaches in Tofino or Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Before you visit the beach, learn how to stay safe from potential hazards like riptides and unexpected waves. 

Person looking at the sunset with their surfboard resting on their head
Looking down at surfers on their boards on the green ocean

Sandy beach breaks

One of the unique features of Tofino surf breaks is that they are along sandy shores, making it the perfect place for a beginner surfer to learn. While other breaks around Vancouver Island have rock reefs or coral in warmer climates, sand is a more forgivable environment to learn in. 

Person smiling in a wetsuit on the beach People walking with their boards on the beach with the sunset in the background Small child laying down on a board riding a small wave with their parent holding onto the board Interior of people having coffee in a restaurant looking out to the beach through the windows Graphic of Surf Language in nuu-chah-nulth

Surfing 101

Person riding a wave on a surfboard
Teenager being held on the shoulders of his friends at a surf competition

Come for a comp

Surfing can look so easy, and there is no better place to get inspired than when you watch a competition. There are 2 annual surf competitions in Tofino: Rip Curl Nationals in the spring (usually in April) and Queen of the Peak female surf competition in September. The Bruhwiler Kids Surf Classic is a one-day event with competitive and “expression” (non-competitive) sessions, run annually by the multi-generational Bruhwiler surf family.

Events calendar

Catch a break

Take a lesson to feel confident in the surf and rent your gear to hop back in the ocean the next day…and maybe even buy a board to keep the stoke alive.

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