Our little home at the end of the road, Tofino, British Columbia, is a surfer's paradise that changes its tune with each season. Alongside the seasonal shifts in waves, choosing the right surfboard can make a world of difference. Let's ride through the seasons with some board recommendations to enhance your Tofino surf experience. Of course, so much board choice depends on your style as a surfer. Some love the stylish glide of riding a longboard, while others love throwing buckets of water from a big snap on a shortboard. Treat these suggestions as simple guidelines.
Spring Fling: Versatility is Key
As spring brings a mix of leftover winter swells and warmer temperatures, versatility is the name of the game. If you also live and breathe Tofino surfing year-round opt for something with increased volume, but a board that can handle a variety of conditions. A fun-shaped board or a versatile longboard will help you make the most of the changing wave patterns, whether you're brand new catching your first wave or a seasoned rider looking to enjoy the mellow vibes.
Recommended Board: Bigger volume twin fin like a 'Twin Pin' in the 7'to 8' range, or a versatile longboard with a bit of tail rocker.
Summer Chill: Cruise Control
When summer rolls in with its smooth and relaxed waves, it's time to embrace the laid-back vibes. A longboard or a cruiser board with a bit more volume will give you the stability and paddle power needed for those smaller, easygoing waves. Enjoy the sunshine and cruise effortlessly along the gentle summer swells. But if you're deadset on riding something smaller we love the mini-simmons.
Recommended Board: Longboard with lots of extra volume, 9' and over. Or, a mini-simmons in about 4 to 6 inches shorter than your regular short board.
Fall Thrills: Step up to a Shortboard
As fall ushers in larger and more powerful swells, it's a good time to step up your game with a shortboard. The increased maneuverability and responsiveness of a shortboard will allow you to take on the challenge of bigger waves. Look for a board with a bit less volume and a more defined rocker to handle the punchier autumn surf.
Recommended Board: Shortboard with full nose, lower volume, and a defined rocker. Or a longboard with a bit more nose and tail rocker for the steeper paddle-ins.
Winter Wonders: Embrace the Big Wave Guns
Winter in Tofino means big waves, and you'll want a board that can handle the power of the Pacific. Opt for a big wave gun if you're really interested in chasing some big waves, or a step-up board designed to take on larger surf. These boards are built for speed and control, allowing you to confidently ride the massive swells that winter storms bring to the shores of Tofino.
Recommended Board: Big wave gun (only recommended to advanced-pro level experience) or a step-up board for larger surf, usually about 6 to 10 inches longer than your regular shortboard.
Ultimately, your choice of surfboard can greatly enhance your experience in Tofino's diverse surfing landscape. Whether you're riding the versatile waves of spring, cruising through the easygoing summer, stepping up to the fall thrills, or embracing the winter wonders, there's a perfect board for every season. So, wax up your board of choice, suit up in your best fitting neoprene, and get ready to catch the perfect wave in Tofino, where every season is an opportunity for a new surfing adventure on Canada's west coast.
We are proud to shape and ride our own surfboard creations. Testing design and fin set-ups to find the perfect fit for our local waves. If you're interested in a custom board consider a local shaper and support an incredible group of talented creators.
Writer: Ryan Teremy - co-founder of Drift Moto and Surf.
Photos: Greg Potter, Mitch Popilchuk, Cam Shaw