Living in the city, it’s easy to develop an inflated sense of my ability to survive in the world. After weeks of planning, two friends and I load up our truck and steer it northwest. We have travelled and surfed together countless times before, but this trip takes us deeper into the wilderness than we’ve ever been.
As the paved roads turn to gravel, the clear cut logging becomes more and more visible from the road. Smart phones become obsolete, and are are substituted with written directions and a back-roads map book. We park our truck along the edge of the inlet and replace it with a 22-foot aluminum fishing boat. Hundreds of coho salmon circle the dock as we tie down our surfboards. The boat glides along the calm water of the sheltered inlet. There is a pause in the action as we wait in silence to watch a humpback whale swim by, only to let out a loud cheer when it raises its tail in the air. On arrival, we tie the boat down to the dock and drive a 4×4 down more logging roads to a cabin on the exposed western coastline. Although I am still within the borders of my own province, I feel as though I’ve landed on another planet. Waves wrap into the bay out front and roll onto the beach where bear, deer and wolf tracks outnumber human footprints. The commotion of the city has faded and my sense of self-sustenance has withered away.
The Pacific Ocean may be cold and uninviting along the coast of British Columbia, but it provides a backdrop for some of the most beautiful and unique surfing in the world. Surfing has grown in popularity in BC, especially in easily accessed coastal towns like Tofino. However, beyond Tofino lies an abundance of pristine coastline and high-quality waves.