Surfing in Britain? It’s Chilly but Brilliant and Widening in Appeal.
If you’re in British Columbia, you can surf. Just not the waves that exist along the coast, though.
In Canada, waves are bigger, harder and longer, yet they’re getting shallower.
They are also harder to ride, with the risk that a surfer could end up in the surf on a surfboard that’s too small for the wave. In general, that means they’re less crowded for people watching — not to mention for the boardwalk crowd that’s there.
This is changing, and it’s happening quickly, with Canadians becoming an increasingly important surf contingent.
The number of people surfing in Canada is up 10 per cent on the last two years. In Quebec, the number is up 13 per cent over the same two-year span.
Now, the biggest waves are still along Newfoundland’s south coast, but there’s something happening in Vancouver and its northern suburbs as well.
That change has occurred over the past decade or so, and is now affecting not just British Columbia but all of Canada.
With the growth of so-called micro-waves and the introduction of new beach breaks, the number of surfers has been increasing steadily since the 1990s, with Vancouver and many areas of B.C. becoming known for this type of surfing. But that growth is not the same everywhere.
The waves of Vancouver and its north end aren’t the same as the waves in B.C.
New Year’s Eve in Victoria. Image: Courtesy of the City of Victoria.
The waves there aren’t the same
The city of Victoria is the city where Victoria’s first micro-wave came to the attention of the broader surfing community in August 1988, when its wave was featured on a televised episode of The Beachcombers. It was called the South Beach Break.
The surfers came to the beach from far and wide, as far as British Columbia and beyond in search of the perfect wave for their board. They surfed that break for years, but they never returned.
The wave that Victoria’s micro-waves eventually created was a classic wave, with a consistent, powerful curl and a wave that can break from