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What's it Like Surfing in the Rain?

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Wake up to the soft pitter-patter on the window pane, sip your coffee and look out at the overcast sky. Coniferous trees are in view, forming a deep, dark green mass like a winter blanket for this town. It is such a part of life here that locals just continue about their days in the rain as if it weren’t there. As we settle into winter here in Tofino, this blog episode will dispel some popular myths about the rain, and show you how it’s a crucial part of this little town’s identity.

Can you surf during or after rainfall?

This is one of the most common questions that we receive from our intrepid guests, wondering about their upcoming surf lesson. For Tofino, the easy answer is: Yes. But we are fortunate, for that is not the case in many surf spots all over the world.

In the city of Los Angeles, for example, officials recommend waiting a period of 72 hours after significant rainfall before getting back in the water. 

Why is this not the case in Tofino? Two main reasons being:

1. We have a low population close to the coast, meaning low risk of sewage runoff and other contaminants.

2. It rains so often here that there is never a significant build up of contaminants to worry about. 

Will I be cold surfing in the rain?

Surprisingly, no. Wetsuit technology has come a long way in recent years, and we kit you out with everything that you need to stay toasty. From our trusted neoprene dealer Xcel Wetsuits, we stock 5/4 mm suits, with 5mm hoods, 5mm gloves, and 8mm boots. You’ll be kitted head to toe this winter, and the insulating quality of neoprene remains even when soaked through. 

So you’ve booked your tickets, accommodations, and surf lessons well in advance because you’re ON IT! As your trip approaches, you check the weather and see a massive rainstorm heading for Vancouver island. Hold fast, because your surf experience is going to be incredible, no matter the weather. 


Why is Tofino so beautiful? 

There are so many answers to this question, but we’ll give you a big one: the rainforest. Less than 10 percent of the world’s surface is made up of rainforest, and a good portion of that is here in BC. These rainforests are key in the production of oxygen in our atmosphere, and the abundance of lichen growing on the trees here is an bio-indicator of the clean air quality that we enjoy. This little peninsula is teeming with life: from the whales and eagles and the towering trees, to the tiny algae and fungi of the forest, we have the rain to thank for that.

Blog written by Adam Tory

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  • When someone on the beach questioned my surfing in the rain my reply was that “ I do not mind getting my hair wet when I surf in the rain”.

    Ian on

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