When you think of Tofino, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the magnificent beaches. Tofino is a world-renowned surfing location and a top surfing spot in Canada. Surf culture has become an important part of this west coast community. In any given season, if you walk the beaches of Tofino you will see surfers enjoying the Pacific Ocean waves. You will see everyone from beginners to intermediate surfing year-round. Don’t let the cool weather deter you, learning to surf in Tofino is a must to check off your bucket list for any adventure seeker. 

What to know

Most importantly, you will need to be able to swim at a confident level. When surfing you will be in waist to chest height water as a beginner.  Be sure to read local surf reports and understand when it is suitable to go out, as the ocean’s tides are ever-changing. 

Surf etiquette is necessary to practice so all beachgoers can safely enjoy themselves. The person closest to the peak has the right of way, do not drop in on other surfers. 

Tofino ocean temperatures range from 13 degrees Celsius to 15 degrees Celsius, wetsuits are worn year-round. Hoods and gloves provide extra warmth in the colder winter months.


Surf Lessons and Rentals

Many surf shops in Tofino and Ucluelet have the option of booking lessons. Take advantage of learning to ropes from experienced surfers familiar with the local beaches, it is the best way to enjoy our time surfing. The west coast has an abundance of surf shops with staff passionate about surfing that will take the time to fit you with the right gear and surfboard. If you are transporting your own gears shop staff will help ensure your boards are racked correctly on your vehicle. Shop staff will also be able to point you in the right direction of what beaches may suit your skill level at any given time. 

If you don’t think you’re ready to master a longboard yet, many shops rent bodyboards as well, a fun activity to get out and enjoy when the waves are not as desirable. If you’re looking to stay out of the waves, check out skimboarding. Check out these local surf shops to get you started on your first wave.


Tofino Surf School

Located in the core of Tofino and locally owned and operated, Tofino Surf School has been rated and recommended by National Geographic. They have received hundreds of glowing reviews for their surf lessons and professional service. 

381 Main Street

Tofino, BC

Phone: 250-522-0189


The Surf Shop at Long Beach Lodge Resort

This surf shop is conveniently located on Cox Bay, a favorite beach among many and a great beginner surf spot. Just a short walk from the shop to the beach means no loading up the car with gear and more time hitting the waves. The facility includes access to change rooms, showers, sauna, and hot tub making for the perfect post-surf ritual.

1441Pacific Rim Highway 

Tofino, BC

Email: surf@longbeachlodgeresort.com


Relic Surf Shop

Relic is a favorite amongst locals, their shop boasts over 300 boards to choose from. The staff and instructors are avid surfers and able to get you in the perfect gear with a customized experience to suit your skill level. 

1998 Peninsula Rd

Ucluelet, BC

2695 Tofino Ucluelet Highway,

Ucluelet, BC

Phone: 250-726-4421



Cox Bay

World-renowned Cox Bay is the best spot year-round for a variety of surf. You’ll see large waves from southern swells taken on by professional surfers here, and plenty of whitewash perfect for beginner surfers. Keep your eyes peeled, you’ll see a ton of local talent surfing here, which is amazing to watch.

North Chesterman

When waves get too big at Cox Bay, North Chesterman is a good option to check out as the waves generally always smaller. The smaller waves make North Chesterman another great option for beginners.

Long Beach

Nestled within the Pacific Rim National Park, Long Beach is the ultimate spot to hit the waves in the summer months. Checking out the surf scene at this 16km pristine beach is a must.


Add surfing to the list of many unforgettable activities to do in Tofino, BC. Try something new or master your skills on the most beautiful beaches in Canada. After you first surf you will know why Tofino has such an amazing surfing scene.