Canada’s best surf spots

July 10, 2020

Who says you can’t surf in Canada? Okay, we may not have the world-class waves of Hawaii, Australia or Costa Rica but you can still hang ten on some epic rollers north of the 49th parallel. A good wetsuit is a must because we’ve got some gnarly cold water. But don’t let that deter you. Grab your board and go because the surf’s up at these awesome surf spots across Canada.

Canada’s best surf spots

[Photo Credit: Soloviova Liudmyla]

Interest in surfing has swelled (pun intended) ahead of the Olympic debut of the sport at the Tokyo 2020 games (rescheduled to July 2021). The spotlight is now on our country’s great places to ride on the West and East coasts, and a few special freshwater spots in between.  Here’s where to find your share of Great Canadian waves:

*Before you hit the water, visit the nearest surf shop and check with local experts to get the down low on the latest tides, currents and conditions.

Tofino, British Columbia

Tofino is the surf epi-centre of Canada. Expansive shoreline means beaches are rarely crowded and there are waves of every size for beginners to experts. Cox Bay is Tofino’s ultimate surf spot with surf shops set up nearby to help you get acquainted with the swells. The live webcam from Long Beach Lodge Resort offers a stunning view of the beach and surf.

Nearby Chesterman Beach is a three-kilometre stretch of white sand with rocky outcroppings, said to be Canada’s most popular beach to learn to surf. Just minutes from Tofino, Chesterman is easy to get to and is divided into North, South and Middle. North Chesterman boasts good swells year-round and you can check the latest conditions via the live webcam at the Wickanninnish Inn.

Calgary, Alberta

No ocean? No problem! River surfing is the solution. Try it out in downtown Calgary at the popular 10th Street Bridge on the Bow River. If the urban surf scene’s not your thing, head an hour west to the Mountain Wave on the Kananaskis River, for what is said to be one of the best inland waves around. This man-made wave was formed by placing a series of boulders in the river. The result is a fast and powerful wave that surfers ride, without actually moving along the river, as you’ll see in this video. The risk: potential collision with rocks. The rewards: spectacular snow-capped mountain views year-round.

Lake Huron, Ontario

Surf the Great Lakes at Kincardine’s Station Beach, considered the province’s top surf spot. Sure, lake waves may not be as consistent as ocean waves but, if you time it right, there’s awesome surfing to be had as you’ll see in this video. With deep water and strong winds driving ideal conditions, the best surfing is often during a storm, so add gloves and boots to your wetsuit ensemble. Sauble Beach, said to be the world’s largest freshwater beach with over 11 kilometres of sand, also draws surf enthusiasts to the shores of Lake Huron.

Montreal, Quebec

Located behind the iconic housing complex of the same name, Habitat 67 is one of the world’s largest standing waves. The powerful Lachine Rapids reach up to two metres high at this part of the St. Lawrence River. It’s a great place to learn how to get up on your surfboard, and stay up, and you won’t have to paddle out and wait for the next swell. Watch surfers enjoying the wave in this video and take in Montreal’s skyline views.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lawrencetown Beach is just 25 minutes from Halifax making it the ideal day trip for surfers from the city. Atlantic Canada’s most popular surf spot is located within a provincial park and is a pristine and beginner-friendly place to catch a wave. During the fall and winter waves can reach an incredible five-metres high, drawing local and international pros. Get a preview by watching this video. Cow Bay, also on the Eastern Shore, is rarely crowded and offers reliable surf and a healthy dose of vitamin sea.

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