Whether you're an experienced surfer willing to take on barrel waves, a beginner interested in body surfing your way to shore, or you're just a spectator, there's at least one spot in almost every Canadian province with a hidden surfing community for you to check out. If you have a wetsuit on hand, you can hit up almost any Canadian surf break at any time of year.
North Chesterman Beach, Tofino, BC
Tofino is probably the most obvious destination in Canada, but the saturated surf culture there makes it a must have on the list. North Chesterman, South Chesterman, and Long Beach are popular spots on Canada's west coast and seem to attract an experienced surfing community.
Sombrio Beach, Vancouver Island, BC
Sombrio is located on the west side of Vancouver Island, just a quick day trip from Victoria, and is a first rate surfing hangout. Many believe it to be the best place for finding waves around Vancouver Island, thought it might not be suitable for beginners with sheets of kelp and rock beds in the wave path.
Martinique Beach, NS
Hit up Canada's east coast if you're willing to brave the icy Atlantic waters. Martinique is a long, flat beach with an endless horizon. Arguably, it's one of the perfect beaches to surf for beginners. With all that open space, you'll escape any kind of crowd or surfer traffic and have room to experiment with the waves.
Lawrencetown Beach, NS
Lawrencetown Beach has a popular break that attracts the surfing community. In fact, it has been coined the birthplace of Atlantic surfing in Canada. The actual beach area is more shallow than Martinique, but the overall open-concept is pretty similar.
Image from ibackpackcanada.com
Great Lake Surfing
Terrace Bay, Lake Superior, ON
If you're looking for a quiet, secluded lake to post-up on, visit Terrace Bay this summer and pick your wave. The water here isn't shallow and rarely rises above 4° in the warmer months, but it's definitely a hot spot for serious surfing enthusiasts.
Woodbine Beach, Lake Ontario, ON
Surfing on the Great Lakes is somewhat of an undercover sport in Canada. Those who know about it really know about it, but most would be surprised to know that the Greats invite skilled surfers. The most impressive waves come out on stormy days.
Image from IG: @wilson_mel_
Habitat 67, Montreal, QC
Habitat 67 is the name of a stationary wave in the rapdids of the Saint Lawrence River in Montreal. You can count on the waves to be there every single time. Its name is a local term taken from the Habitat 67 housing units nearby.
Winnipeg River, Sturgeon Falls, MB
Similar to Habitat 67 in Montreal, Sturgeon Falls also attracts a river surfing community. Standing waves in the Winnipeg River are created by underlying boulders in the riverbed, which means the surfing is endless here.
Kananaskis County, Calgary, AB
The surfing organization, Surf Anywhere constructed a permanent wave feature in the Kananaskis River for the Alberta River Surfing Association. We admire the names of the different surf spots along the river. Most notable are Santa Clause, Santa's Little Helper, Widow Maker, and Bone Yard.