AdventureSmart - Surfing Its year-round mild climate and long miles of ocean beaches make BC’s Vancouver Island a surfer’s paradise. From Tofino’s renowned Long Beach to the lesser-known breaks at the south end of the Island, riders from around the globe are learning what the locals have known for years – Vancouver Island’s west coast is a world-class surf destination!

On the opposite coast, the various breaks in Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia offer beginner and intermediate surfing in the warmer months.

As with any surfing locale, potential hazards lurk with every wave…especially for those venturing out for the first time. Cold water combined with rip tides and crowds can be a dangerous mix.

Ensure that you are armed with the requisite skills and knowledge before you catch the endless wave...

The Right Gear

Taking the Essentials:
  • Flashlight
  • Fire making kit
  • Signalling device (i.e. whistle)
  • Extra food and water
  • Extra clothing
  • Navigational/communication devices
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency blanket/shelter
  • Pocket knife
  • Sun protection
Leave a Trip Plan with responsible party, family member or friend.

Take equipment specific to surfing:

  • PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
  • Full wet suit, booties, gloves, and hood
  • Rash vest
  • Surf helmet
  • Board suited to your ability
  • Leg leash
  • Flexible fins and soft tip for your board
  • Sunglasses with lanyard
  • First time out? Take lessons at an accredited surf school to understand the basics.
  • Improve your swimming skills and get certified in CPR, First Aid and Lifesaving.
  • Always ask locals about when and where it is safe to surf.
  • Check the sea conditions, including the tide timetables and weather.
  • Always surf within your abilities.
  • Never dive off your board - it may not be as deep as you think.
  • If you do get into trouble, don't panic, stay with your board and raise an arm to attract help.
  • Never surf alone.

Photo: Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism (banner); Tourism BC/Tom Ryan

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