My first experience with surfers and surfing was in Hawaii. A local man took the time to teach me the basics of surfing. I enjoyed the warm Hawaiian waters and big waves for a month and a bit. Those days of surfing in my younger years have always kept me interested in the sport.
I first came to Tofino as a commercial fisherman in 1980. I learned that surfers from far away places came to surf the Matlahaw break on the Hesquiaht Peninsula. Surfing has been popular among Tofino residents for many generations. As a matter of fact, the home I owned in Tofino had a fabricated furnace in the basement with a surfer image cut out of steel and applied to the door because the previous owner loved to surf. When I asked around, I heard of surf spots like Wickaninnish, Combers, Long Beach, Cox Bay, South Chesterman, Rosie Bay, Chestermans and Florencia as well as Matlahaw.
I still enjoy the intimate contact with the sea, sitting on a surf board waiting for a good wave to carry me away. I have been to a few of the favorite haunts of the local dudes and found many surfers from around the world enjoying the waters of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. For the Tofino locals, it is a privilege to have world class surfing right at our front door. All who dream of the ultimate ride on a big wave can understand changing the ancient weather saying to, "Red sky at night, Surfer's Delight."