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Surfing in Canada

Surfing in Canada may not be included in the world's top surfing destinations; however, it does offer beginner and intermediate surfers the opportunity to perfect their craft. Wherever there are breaking waves you'll find surfers enjoying themselves. If you are new or fairly new to the sport there are surf schools that offer surf camps and surfing lessons for all skill levels. Surfing equipment is available to rent if you don't have your own. Canadian surfing is mainly located on each coast as well as the Great Lakes region.

History of Surfing

Surfing originated as part of Polynesian culture as they embraced the sea and the bounty it provided. The chief was normally the best surfer and got to choose the best boards and the best beaches. Surfing played a part in the mythology of these people as well as playing a big part in their religious ceremony.

Not unlike the culture of today's surfers.

Surfing Terminology

The wave rising out of the ocean and you start paddling out to meet it. You're a little apprehensive, a little fearful but determined to meet the wave head-on. It's you against the wave as it attempts to "wipe you out" but you hang in there. You surf the "pocket" staying just ahead of the're picking up speed now. You "cutback" and bank "off the lip"...its man or woman against nature...the way it should be.
  • Tube Riding refers to the surfer positioning themselves inside the hollow of the wave and "surfing the tube or barrel" of the wave.
  • Getting Air occurs when the surfer rides off the lip into the air and comes back down and continues to surf.
  • Duck Dive involves dipping the nose of the surfboard into the water and diving through the oncoming wave.
  • Cutback is a surfing maneuver that involves cutting back against the breaking wave.
  • Over the Falls occurs when the surfer wipes out and the wave throws them in circular motion...sometimes referred as "the wash cycle".
Canadian Surfing Equipment
  • Surfboards include the traditional surfboard, bodyboards, longboards, shortboards, wave skis, funboards, kneeboards, and surf mats.
  • Boardshorts or surf trunks
  • Neoprene wetsuits for surfing in Canada – available in long-john wetsuits, shorties, summer wetsuits, winter wetsuits, and drysuits.
  • Rash guards
  • Neoprene boots, shoes, gloves, and hoods for cold water Canadian surfing.
Canadian Surf Schools
  • Surf Sister Surf School has been offering surfing lessons to individuals of call ages since 1999. Operating on one of the best beaches in Canada at Tofino, British Columbia, they offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfing lessons by the day or weekend or you can sign up for their specialty surf camps. The specialty camps include the Billabong Surf Camps, Teen Surf Camps, and Yoga Surf Camps.
  • Pacific Surf School also operates out of Tofino, British Columbia where you can receive surfing lessons on Vancouver Island's rugged west coast shoreline. You can receive surfing lessons for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill sets or participate in their surf camps. Beginners receive surfing lessons in the fundamentals of ocean awareness, safety, surfing technique, and surfing etiquette. The surf camps are 4 or 5 day events and all surfing equipment is provided.
  • Endless Ride Surf School is located in Victoria, British Columbia and offers their flagship "Endless Ride Sweet Package" including 4 hours of surfing lessons, surfboard and wetsuit rental. Other surfing packages include the Pura Vida Yoga Surf Camps, Grom Surf Camps for kids, Office Space Surf Camps for corporate outings, and the VIP club for private instruction.
  • One Life Surf School out of Three Fathom Harbour, Nova Scotia offers surfing lessons and surf camps for groups and individuals. Surfing equipment is available for rent if you don't have your own. Surfing lessons include instruction on the best surfing equipment, maintenance, safety, and etiquette as well as "on the water" surfing lessons.
Canadian Surfing Destinations

Other summer activities in Canada that can be enjoyed at these surfing destinations are: Best Spots for Surfing in Canada
  • Lawrencetown Beach in Nova Scotia is an intermediate level Canadian surfing destination with Atlantic Ocean beach breaks.
  • Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia has arguably the highest vertical tidal range in the world and is an intermediate level Canadian surfing destination.
  • Wyldewood Beach at Sherkston Shores near Fort Erie, Ontario is a Canadian surfing destination for intermediate level surfers. Located on Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes, where the wind can be extremely powerful while breaking on the beach.
  • Wasaga Beach is the world's longest freshwater beach on the shores of Georgian Bay. This Canadian surfing destination offers beginner level surfing with beach breaks. While not the best surfing in Canada, it offers a number of other activities such as people-watching on the beach, volleyball, water sports, Canadian hiking trails, and camping in Canada.
  • British Columbia is known as having the best surfing in Canada. Popular surfing destinations in B.C. include Tofino, Licksy's, Sebastion Beach, and the Campbell River.
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