If you are looking for the best places to surf in BC then you are in the right place. Did you know that British Columbia is home to the best cold-water surfing? With stretches of untamed coastline, if you know when and where to go, you are bound to catch a wave or two!
Where are the Best Places to Surf in British Columbia?
Vancouver Island is home to the best surfing in BC. With miles of exposed coast, it offers year-round surfing.
Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim Region offers miles and miles of surfable beach break. It is the most well-known area in Canada for surfing because it is very accessible, and provides waves throughout the year. On a good day, dozens and dozens of surfers can be seen off shore, waiting for those Pacific Ocean swells.
It does not matter what time if the year you visit, the water temperature here is about 10°C/50°F. It can warm up a few degrees, but you are going to want to prepare for cold water surf conditions anytime you visit Tofino.
If you are planning on coming to Tofino to surf, you can get lessons and equipment from the following suppliers:
- Surf Sister
- Mackenzie Beach Resort
- Long Beach Lodge Resort
- Prime Time Adventures
- Pacific Surf School
Best Surf Beaches in Tofino
- Cox Bay
- North Chesterman
- Long Beach (located outside of town in Pacific Rim National Park)
Tofino Travel Tips
How to get here: Start with how to get here from one of these places! Travel from Vancouver to Tofino, Nanaimo to Tofino or Victoria or Tofino. There is no direct ferry to Tofino so depending on where you are coming from, plan accordingly with these posts.
What to pack for Tofino? This comprehensive list of what to wear in Tofino has everything you need to pack for any time of year.
Rental Cars: Click Here to compare suppliers that offer Vancouver Airport pickup (or other locations as well).
Want to Take a Tour or Book an Activity: Check out Get Your Guide to book activities. They are well known for their excellent customer service if you ever need it! That goes a long way these days!
A super unique idea is to book a local photographer on your weekend getaway! It is easy! If you believe that memories make the best souvenirs, then book a photo shoot before your trip! If you use the code LINDSAY you will get $25 off your booking as well! Click here to search and book a photoshoot while in Tofino (or many other locations in BC)
Where to stay in Tofino:
MIDRANGE: Duffin Cove Resort or Hotel Zed or Shoreline Tofino
LUXURY: Pacific Sands Beach Resort or Long Beach Lodge Resort
AIRBNB: I have a post on the best Tofino Airbnb locations
Ucluelet is a small town to the southeast of Tofino. While Tofino draws most of the crowds, Ucluelet (or “Ukee” to the locals) still has world-class waves and beautiful beaches. Basing yourself in Ucluelet also provides great access to Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park
Best Surfing Beaches in Ucluelet:
- Wickaninnish Beach
- Florencia Bay
- Long Beach (North of town in Pacific Rim National Park)
Where to Stay in Ucluelet?
HOTELS: Black Rock Resort
AIRBNB: Best places to stay in Ucluelet
Jordan River Surfing
Jordan River is located on the West Coast Road (Highway 14) approximately 60 km northwest of Victoria. It is the best surfing option on the southern part of Vancouver Island.
It is a tiny logging community and its remote access makes it less than ideal for surfing. While Tofino is the epicenter of surfing in British Columbia, there is a hard-core clique of riders centered in Jordan River.
Conditions here vary. Check the surf report before you visit.
How to Get to Jordan River: Jordan River is accessed via Highway 14, which runs along Vancouver Island’s southwestern coastline between Sooke and Port Renfrew, including French Beach, China Beach, Botanical Beach, and Juan De Fuca Provincial Park.
Where to Stay? Jordan River Regional Park Campground or Local AirBNB options
Haida Gwaii is a hidden gem for surfing off the coast of British Columbia. North Beach near Masset is the best spot for surfing on Haida Gwaii. As the name implies, this surfing spot is on the northern edge of Graham Island, Haida Gwaii. Even with perfect conditions, you are likely to have the beach all to yourself thanks to the remoteness to Haida Gwaii.
Things to Note about Surfing in BC
- The water is cold, all year round, wear a wetsuit and ensure you know the effects of cold water on the body
- Learn surf etiquette
- Observe the conditions before getting into the water
- Stay in the shallow water if you are a beginner
- Know how to escape a rip current if you are caught in one
- Make sure someone knows where you are surfing
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!