Welcome to the Surf Spot Highlight, where we take you on a journey to one of Tofino and the surrounding areas iconic beaches, and give you some insights into what makes them tick! This month, join us as we explore the iconic Long beach.
In the heart of the Pacific Rim National Park, Long Beach is the longest beach on Vancouver Island. It extends from the northern point at Esowista, all the way to Green Point to the south. Its sprawling, flat compact sands make it an ideal beach goers location as there’s room for plenty of people and all kinds of activities that they bring, and did we mention that there is A+ surf?
Where should I go?
Surfers surf two main breaks at long beach: Lovekin Rock and Incinerator Rock. Both areas offer different kinds of waves suited for different ability levels.
As you drive south out of Tofino, your first public access parking lot to Long beach will be the Incinerator rock parking lot. Incinerator rock lies on the beach, with the western tip sometimes submerged at high tide. The upper part of this rock is a lovely spot to check the waves from!
The waves at Incinerator rock are more beginner friendly than Lovekin due to increased protection from the northern point of Long beach at Esowista, which extends out, blocking part of the swell. Incinerator has a variety of peaks that break left and right, with lots of room for everyone to find some waves.
Lovekin rock is the mound rock that can be seen when looking south from incinerator rock. It sits in the water just off the shore, and its occurrence holds in place, sand banks that form more defined breaks than the surrounding beach to the north and south. This makes it popular with more advanced riders who are looking for steep sections to perform maneuvers or chase a barrel.
It is also known for its hazardous currents which run laterally toward the rock, and then begin to pull seaward next to the rock at either side.
Important: Do not surf at Lovekin rock unless you are an intermediate to advanced surfer with years of experience, or unless you are under supervision from an experienced surfer, and they have deemed the conditions appropriate. If in doubt, check out Incinerator rock; even though it sounds more intimidating, it is actually the less dangerous of the two surf spots.
When is it good to surf it?
Long beach is a prime summer surf spot. We love Long beach on a long interval south swell when the North West wind, which is typically blowing during a sunny summer day, dies out a little towards the evening. We get a glorious evening “glass-off” (surfer lingo for the phenomenon of onshore winds dying out towards the evening), accompanied by a sunset behind Esowista. It doesn't get much better than that.
Generally speaking, if the tide is too low at Long beach, much of the good waves will form a “close-out”, so we like a nice incoming tide towards high, which will cause the waves to peel more gradually.
What should I look out for?
Be mindful of a strong long-shore current which can take you hundreds of yards down the beach if you are not paying attention, as well as the hazardous currents mentioned at Lovekin rock.
What to bring?
Another fantastic beach location for a beach day (you see the trend here?). The short walk from the parking lot to the beach means you can bring all manner of things like a spike ball set, all your surfboards, a beach picnic set up and more! Just make sure that you get your park pass before leaving the lot!