You Surf Where?



Story & Photos by James Murray

Surfing, while still considered a relatively new sport to Vancouver Island, has been steadily growing in popularity over recent years. With hundreds of kilometers of undiscovered breaks, Vancouver Island is a resource rich playground for those seeking that rare unnamed spot. When the swell, current, and wind direction are all working harmoniously, the conditions have been known to reach world-class status. Known more-so for it’s long-board friendly waves, Canada’s surf epicenter beckons the call for all skill levels to come out and try their hand at harnessing the raw power mother nature has to offer.


When given the opportunity to get to know some of the folks who do partake in the act on a regular basis, you realize they are some of the most core individuals one could have the pleasure of meeting. Wrapped in 5mm of neoprene, locals face the frigid waters with utter enthusiasm, charged by the contagious stoke one inevitably gains through wave riding. Having to share the waters with sea otters, seals, grey whales, and Orca, the average on-looker often finds lunacy the only correct mental state achievable while isolated in the watery abyss.

With many surf spots found only by trekking through deep old growth forests, the ability to truly immerse yourself in all of your natural surroundings is all too attainable. Learning to become a true woodsman and waterman go hand in hand for the Pacific Northwest surfer; yet another draw for many who have chosen to follow this lifestyle altering passion. Dealing with everything from fixing board dings, to starting a fire with rain/snow saturated wood truly forces you to become as resourceful as possible in such remote locales.

Trying to describe the sensation of catching and riding a wave is difficult, due to everybody obviously experiencing a unique situation. However, feeling the glide as you float across the wave, and the sun begins glistening off the face of the continuously curling formation, a certain type of euphoria is experienced. All previous thought becomes temporarily vanquished, and suddenly the ride is done. The rush of adrenaline, mixed with the calming qualities of traveling in such a fashion, creates a highly addictive combination. The paddle back out only allows time for minute amounts of nostalgic thought. The result? The continued search for that perfect wave.surf2

There is no other place in the world that I’ve surfed which quite compares (albeit not in wave size) to what Vancouver Island has to offer. Many people, as I’ve previously mentioned, find pursuing such a lifestyle in said region ridiculous. As far as I’m concerned, the conditions as extraordinary as they are will only continue to help maintain the contingent of true loyal surfers, set on sharing their love of wave riding and natural beauty.

Further Info:

University of Victoria surf club: