There’s no such thing as bad weather, just a bad wetsuit, so they say…
In no particular order, I present to you a thoughtfully curated list of essential gear items for the Tofino surfer, aspiring and experienced alike.
1. Rain Gear
Staying stoked to surf means staying warm and dry, before and after your session. We are in a rainforest, people. Get some Gore-tex or oilskin jacket and rain pants and some good gumboots to go along with it.
2. A ‘Tofino’ Surfboard
This is a board that is well suited to the kind of waves that the surrounding beaches have to offer. This is totally subjective so here’s my take on it: you’ll want something that paddles well, catches waves easily and holds speed through slow sections of the wave.
For shortboarders, going with a wider format shortboard with higher volume and lower rocker than standard performance shortboards is recommended. Fishes and mini Simmons are great too.
In the longboard realm, a mixture a classic noserider and a performance longboard works well in our beach-break conditions.
3. Good Wetsuit, boots, and gloves
This might rank as the most crucial piece of gear in the Tofino surfers arsenal. Water temperatures hover 7C and 9C and Air temperatures are between 3C and 9C on average.
Throughout winter and into the beginning of spring, we wear a 5/4 mm (torso/ arm and leg thickness) suit and 7 mm boots, along with a 5 mm hood. Xcel ‘drylock’ is a good wetsuit that will get you through a few seasons if it is treated with care. Make sure your suit fits tightly but comfortably, still allowing for (almost) your full range of motion. Check for holes and leaks and make sure zippers and Velcro’s are working.
Bonus points for packing your wetsuit in a blue Rubbermaid tote bin and rock a choncho or changing towel from storm to get in your wettie and the parking lot. Loc dog status achieved.
4. Reusable mug
Coffee and surfing in Tofino go together like cake and ice cream . If caffeinated surf checks aren’t you thing then hot tea is a great way to warm your core before or after a surf, so bring yo mug, son! We sell handmade, PSCo. custom pottery mugs on our online store. Use the exclusive discount code ESSENTIALS10 for 10% off your next purchase of one.
So you’re finally at the beach It’s raining sideways. The wind is howling and you’re not sure whether there are ice chunks in the rain, or if it’s just raining really hard. No, wait. It’s ice chunks. The waves are up, but so is the wind. It’s moments like these that having good gear can give you a little push in the right direction, but the motivation to get in mongst it has to come from within.
Thanks for the article. Any opinion on wot length/thickness for early July? I went a few years ago and it was unseasonably warm, but I’m worried about being underprepared!