Feet planted firmly and arms spread for balance, you adjust your crouch as the powerful wave lifts the surfboard to its crest and then sends it shooting toward the shore.

The ocean rollers off Jordan River have brought out the surfing crowd. You were one of the early arrivals.

Having gained incredible strength in their travel across the Pacific, the waves have made the west coast of Vancouver Island one of the premiere surfing destinations in North America.

While locals have long known that the “surf’s up!”, it is only in recent years that others have taken advantage of the uncrowded conditions.

As the wave loses strength in the shallows you hop off your board, flip it around, adjust your wetsuit, clamber back aboard and begin paddling away from the beach.

Tomorrow you head for Tofino and the surfing at Long Beach. There, you’ve been told, the waves can reach 25 feet in height.

Vancouver Island Surfing Locations

Jordan River / Port Renfrew – An hour west of Victoria, the Jordan River and Port Renfrew areas are quickly accessible for a day’s outing. The Pacific waves sweep the coastline, creating perfect surfing conditions.

Tofino – In 2010, Outside magazine ran a story about surf towns and more specifically, the best places in North America to learn surfing. To everyone’s surprise, Tofino whas named “the best surf town in North America.” Once you get a whiff of this small town’s laid-back atmosphere, and ride a few clean waves, it’s hard not to agree. Some of Tofino’s top surfing beaches include Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Waves, some as high as 25 feet, have turned Long Beach into Canada’s version of Malibu, California. The water is cold, but the enthusiasm is hot! You can rent surf boards and sign up for lessons at a number of locations in Tofino.