Transworld Surf / editorial

Raph,Pete and me introducing Canadian surfing to the world. Spread in Tranworld Surf

Coming in from the Cold / British Columbia is blowin up


What's this all about, eh? Canada's all about hockey,
and Mounties right?


At least not anymore that is---surfing has taken off like wildfire on the shores of our neighbours to the north.  Whether it's new wetsuit technology that allows people to surf longer in harsher environments (and Canada is as harsh as they come) or surfing media looking for thenext big "secret spot" cover blurb, you can't deny a good thing when you see it----Canada, especially the British Columbia province, has world-class surf.
      And it should.  Canada has the most coastline out of any country in the world---151,485 miles of it---there are 52,455 islands within the country,and its shores are pummelled relentlessly by North Pacific storm systems. 
      Yet it still seems like a novelty.
      After all, when was the last time you had to pack a rifle along with your 5/4 wetsuit,hood, gloves, and booties to fend off scavenging wolves? But that's the thing, when you see photos of the place it looks like a cold-water version of Indo---complete with draining barrels, fishing boats, beautiful landscapes, and out-of-our-world wildlife.  Just substitute Sumatran tigerswith black bears.
      "You can be out surfing, look in, and see a few big black bears flipping over rocks looking for crabs," says Tofino, British Columbia surfer Sepp Bruhwiler of the wildlife.  Killer whales, wolves, and eagles also call the area home---like  a colder version of the Garden of Eden.
      But, just like anywhere, paradise has its price.
      "It's definitely growing at a really fast rate," adds Sepp.  "The last two years have been insane---there's nowhere to park in the summertime, and pretty soon there will be parking meters everywhere.  It's kind of turning into Whistler [famed B.C. ski resort] up here."  And as you can imagine, there's a few sour locals: "A couple guys who are pretty angry with us for exposing the spot, but what can you do?"
      The "angry guys" are the minority though, and generally Canadians are a friendly bunch. "There's not a lot of localism here.  Everybody's welcome, so people aren't afraid to come up here---we get all kinds of people.  It's a small community, and everybody's pretty chill," explains Sepp.
      Very chill---49 degree water will do that to a surfer.  Canada, there's more to it than you think. --J.C.