Frozen Experiences of a Lifetime: Surf in the Snow (Tofino, British Columbia; Haida Gwaii, British Columbia)

The ultimate North American winter bucket list

    Photo: Jeremy Koreski/Tourism Tofino

When Canadians talk about cold-water surfing, we don’t mean NorCal cold. Tofino, on the west coast of British Columbia's Vancouver Island, is Canada’s designated surf town. It’s home to at least a dozen surf schools and surf shops, and most of them operate year-round, winter weather be damned.

A long ways further north, there’s a small but growing surf scene on Haida Gwaii, the cluster of rainforest islands just west of the B.C.-Alaska border. The waves are best here from October to May, when the snow flies and the aurora borealis lights up the long nights. North Beach Surf Shop has rentals and lessons.

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