Endless Summer In The City - A Guide To Vancouver's Best Surf Breaks

Endless Summer In The City - A Guide To Vancouver's Best Surf Breaks

Picture this: waking up on a damp, cold, lazy day in Vancouver, throwing on your wetsuit and walking to the beach to go out for a surf. The rare and mystical winter surf in Vancouver is a special treat for those attentive to the weather. While you bask in the grey, rainy winters of Vancouver, pay close attention to the wild windstorms the season occasionally brings. Your reward: a chance to go surfing in your own backyard. Local webcams and surf websites will give you accurate wind and swell reports including bigwavedave.com, magicseaweed.com or wannasurf.com. Though rare, the Vancouver coastline allows for some impressive swell if all of nature’s elements align. Check out this list of surf spots in Vancouver:

Ambleside Park is the most well known of the local surf spots. Located a few minutes drive west of the Lions Gate Bridge at 13th and Marine Drive in West Vancouver. Ambleside is a beach break, that when forming waves is fine for all levels of surfers. The seabed here is a mix of reef and sand, and if there is at least three feet of northwest swell and a minimum 15 knots of wind, you can ride the waves.

Lighthouse Park is also a great place to catch waves. Located in West Vancouver, only 20 minutes out of the city, this park filled with beautiful first-growth Douglas Firs and picturesque views. Lighthouse Park develops waves on a south-southeast wind over 25 to 30 knots October to May.

Jericho Beach is located in Point Grey, just west of the seaside neighbourhood of Kitsilano. The west side of this beach caters to sailboats, windsurfers and, on a day with 25 to 30 knots of wind, surfers. Being the beach with the closest proximity to downtown, this spot is awesome when the waves are roaring.

Wreck Beach is Vancouver’s famous clothing-optional beach, has more to offer than the nudes. Located in the Pacific Spirit Regional Park just west of Vancouver, this beach is only 15 minutes from downtown. Wreck is known to have surfable waves on a southwest wind of over 25 knots. There are a several webcams available on www.wreckbeach.org for this beach, so if the wind is whistling, jump online and look at the swell.

Point Roberts does not technically belong on a list of Vancouver surf spots since it requires a passport to access. Although it is in Washington State, it is only 39 minutes out of downtown Vancouver. This spot is best on a south-southeast wind at 25 to 30 knots, October to May and is one of the more reliable surf spots.

When these surf spots have swell, you will need a 5/4/3 temperature wet suit, a hood, booties, and gloves to be prepared for protection from the cold water. For surfboards, simply grab a board size that works for your ability. If you don’t have the equipment there are shops in Vancouver that have weekly and daily surfboard and wetsuit rentals. Try Pacific Boarder or Showcase Snowboards, both located on West 4th in Kitsilano. Move quickly, surfing in Vancouver is rare luxury that we’re blessed with only a few days each winter. Don’t be the one who hears about it the next day on Instagram.

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