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Tips for Surfing as a Family

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“Surfboards, check! Wetsuits, check! Diapers, Check! Snacks, check! Towels, Check! Kid 1, 2 and 3… check! Hey, stop fighting! …Where’s the sunscreen?”

(Photo: Scott Gringich) 

You’ve somehow managed to corral the gaggle, the car’s loaded, and you're on your way to the beach. Soon, you’ll all be spilling onto the sand, and the groms* will scatter, exploring tide pools or tugging at surfboards, wanting you to take them out into the water for their first waves.

As a surf instructor, I have had the pleasure of helping countless families get out into the surf together, often for the first time ever. We take kids surfing as young as 5 years old, and can facilitate getting you and your little ones out on the waves on a lesson with one of our experienced instructors, or we can set you up with all the rental surf kit you need.

I have created a few key tips that you can follow to help make surfing with your family stoke-filled and as tantrum-free as possible!

(Photo: Scott Gringich) 

Keep your groms warm!

Ensure wetsuits fit well, and bring accessories as needed. Ask our rental technicians what gear is recommended for that day, as ocean temperatures vary. Keep the groms moving so that they keep their core temperature up. If they take a break from the surf, a game like “the floor is lava” on the driftwood logs is a great go-to. Check out our winter wamer tips for surfer-approved hacks to keep you and your family toasty.

(Photo: Scott Gringich) 

The Surfboard Sandwich

It may be adorable that little Timmy’s arms are too small to hold his surfboard, but there is a way to get him to carry that involves cooperation with siblings… Behold the Surfboard Sandwich, where one grom stands at the front end holding two surfboard noses, and another grom is carrying the two tails. This works because the noses and tails narrow out, making it easy for those little arms to grab them. If two surfboards are too much, the groms can always do this with just one surfboard. 

Surf Grove!

Cut out the car to the beach and have your set up right at Surf Grove Campground located at Canada’s most consistent surf spot, Cox Bay Beach. You can surf here year-round, and the campground has all the amenities you need for an epic family surf trip, including an on-site Surf Shack

(Photo: Daniel Plaja) 

Know what is safe for your groms.

The gently sloping beaches of Tofino make for an epic learning environment, where kids can surf in the relative safety of the shallows, riding whitewash waves at around knee-deep. However, hazards such as currents and other surfers should always be considered. If you have any questions or concerns, our friendly staff can always give you a recommendation about what’s best for you and your family.

(Photo: Kait Rogers) 

*a grom is surf slang for a young surfer. E.g. “That grom totally snaked my wave, brah!” See Surf Lingo: Explained for more details.


Blog Written by Adam Tory

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