Surfing Information Pt. 1
Tofino has a gorgeous array of beaches. I haven't even been to all of them!
Long Beach is the best known. It is indeed a gorgeous beach with relatively gentle waves. The water in Canada is COLD - it averages about 7 Celcius in winter, 9-11 in summer, so if you want to go in, you'll either go in VERY briefly, or you'll need a 4-6 mm wetsuit, depending on time of year and your tolerance to cold.
Winter you will also need booties, gloves (unless you're hardcore) and a hood (unless you love ice cream headaches).
The rubber on your body is worth it though, because the quality of the waves can be extremely good. A lot of the time they suck, especially in the middle of summer, when they can be extraordinarily tiny. If you like big waves, winter is the time - it's uncrowded, and can get BIG.
Long Beach is about 20 minutes south of the town itself - since it's a National Park, there are no hotels or homes on this beach. It's pure nature, and that is the best part about it.
Cox Bay is a great place for waves - the rip currents here can be nuts though so just be careful.
Most days though, as long as it's not choppy and the winds are offshore, can be gorgeous. Even in summer, it's not too crowded as most tourists head to Long Beach, which still isn't crowded because it's so...long.
Cox Bay can be a *** of a paddle, so if you want the clean breaks, prepare for a battle, or if you're brave, jump off the rocks.
See Pt. 2 for more. If you're not renting, bring these things:
+ surfboard (duh)
+ 4 or 5mm wettie for summer, 5 or 6mm for winter.
+ booties and gloves - not totally necessary in summer, a MUST for winter
+ a hood for winter - it be COLD, people.
Renting? Go to one of these places:
+ Long Beach Surf Shop (the cheapest and friendliest)
+ Live to Surf
a beach where you are entirely alone
Surprisingly this is not as well known as you'd think. A beautiful beach, not too far from Long beach. Its about a 30-40 minute walk through the woods, on a path, thru the rainforest and comes out onto the beach. Florencia Bay was also known as Wreck beach at one time as History tells us that a ship, Brigatine Florencia, drifted helplessly to the Nootka area, homeward bound to Peru, but shattered itself on the inlet in the Bay...now known as Florencia bay~
take a boat out a few miles into the Pacific
There are whales, orcas and sea lions just a few miles offshore. But you will never see them unless you arrange for a boat to take you out a bit. After you see the marine wildlife, a cruise around Meares Island is fun and certain to offer many views of soaring eagles.
WALKING BACK FROM WHALE WATCHING
A whales watching trip out of Tofino coast $60 for a 2 1/2 hour trip on a 30 ft rigid bottom Zodiac that can take 12 passengers .
You will be given a full body floater , which is water repellant but is not waterproof. If it is raining you get a rain coat . Waterproof under clothing helps, but if it is raining and the seas are choppy you will get WET
The Zodiacs have lots of power and if the seas are even a bit choppy the ride itself
is definitely worth it .
After 2 /12 hours of whale watching in choppy water you return to the dock a little tired and WET , but you feel that
have experienced something unique .
We went hiking on Meares Island which is a large island directly across the harbour. Meares island is home to the Big Tree Trail and it definately lives up to its name. The tree in the photo measured 6 meters in diameter! absolutely huge! The trail itself is not too physically demanding and takes about 40 minutes roundtrip. We booked our trip through Jamies Whaling station . It was only $25 including the boatride to the Island.