Surf-Days in Tofino
Report by Marius H.
The most famous tourism spot on Vancouver Island is the little harbor city Tofino. With the beautiful islands all around, the scenery is spectacular on a clear day. But even in rainy weather you’ll find a lot of guys on their surfboards – riding huge waves at long beach. Tofino is a spot that most of the VIU students are visiting for more than one time during their semester abroad. The surfer style influences the whole town. Close to Tofino is the town Uculet, which is also worth visiting. In general, there are a few beaches around with good surfing conditions. The island „Lone Cone“ is just a 15 minute boat ride away from the dock in Tofino. From the top of the mountain here, you can see the whole area – it is a hard hike from the island to the summit. There are also huge trees to see.
From Nanaimo it is a 200 kilometer drive, which takes about 2,5 – 3 hours. There are several possibilities to rent a car to get there and if you divide the costs, it is not that expensive. There are several accommodation possibilities in Tofino and Uculet. During the high season, Uculet is a bit cheaper. Hostels and camping grounds are the best opportunities to save money for the student wallet. But on a nice summer day, it might also be possible to spend the night in a sleeping back at the beach (not really legal!).
Renting a surf board and a wetsuit should be around 40 Dollars. There are also student offers to get, e.g. 10 percent off the price. In our case, I was able to teach our bigger group the basic skills due to my previous experience in surfing. A surf lesson is more expensive, and if nobody is around to teach, I can recommended to watch a short youtube introduction video beforehand and then try it yourself. This way, our whole group was successful on a starter level. We also didn’t rent a board for everybody. Normally nobody will surf a whole day, because it is quite exhausting. So each board got shared between two people.
For accommodation on our first trip, we drove on our first trip a bit back from Tofino to the Secret Beach campground. For camping in Canada, it is always important to store your food correctly to not attract wild animals like black bears, wolves, cougars or racoons. Our road trips to Tofino have always been a lot of fun. It is a paradise for hiking and surfing. Even when the weather is bad – the place is charming!