Drift catches up with multi-award winning photographer Lucia Griggi whose office is the ocean and who is one of the most respected surf photographers in a male dominated industry. www.luciagriggi.com

A tale of surfing reefs in South Africa, but not knowing what you get yourself into. Drift contributor Tim Conibear points a finger at localism and finds three more pointing right back. Photos: Mike Reich

Meeting a legend is something few people have the opportunity to do. During a short stay in California last winter Dave Muir created his own luck in finding Skip Frye at home. He was welcomed in to take a look around. Words: Dave Muir Photos: Dave Muir and Skip Frye

Portugal explodes onto the global big wave circuit with a handful of household names and a freakish wave canyon. Photos: Jorge Leal and Wilson Ribeiro.

Following the demise of Clark Foam, 'eco' boards and alternatives to petro-chemical products have been the focus of developments in surfboard technology. Words: Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

Looking to the future with an eye firmly on the past, Tom Wegener has reintroduced the transport of kings to surfing's elite. His boards are works of art, but it's his veg patch that really floating Tom's boat right now... Words: Tommy Leitch Photos: Jamie Bott

Chris Preston chats to longboard maestro Steve Walden about his disappointment with the lack of recognition for the longboarding scene, what makes the Magic model magic, and working with GSI. Photos: Jamie Bott

When the ‘Apocalypse Now’ film crew packed up and left the Philippine coastal town of Baler, they left one important item behind – a surfboard. More than 30 years on and this quiet backwater is home to a stoked crew of welcoming locals. Words: Mark Sankey Photos: Alexa Poppe

Surfboards come in all shapes and sizes, but none quite so unusual as the Meyerhoffer Peanut. Is this revolutionary design born of genius or madness? Chris Stevens finds out. [Photos 1, 3 & 8 by Chris Stevens; 4 & 7 by Nick Allen]

Mat Arney hooks up with some old friends to go feral on the Arabian Peninsula and hunt down some truly isolated swell. Words & photos: Mat Arney

In early 2008, longtime buddies Billy Hume, Jeff Myers, Joey Carter and Ben McBrien got together for a trip off the beaten track trip in search of waves and adventure. They headed for the icy waters of Alaska... Words: Jeff Myers Photos: Nick LaVecchia


West Coast Wilderness


May 05, 2010 | Words By: SWAP

tofino-openerNestled on the west coast next to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Tofino is home to a small community with a rich cultural heritage, grounded in their amazingly beautiful surroundings.

It’s refreshing to visit towns like this – it seems that everyone you meet is into the outdoors, and fishing, surfing, hiking and yoga play a big part in most people’s lives here. And because their leisure time is so dependent on their natural surroundings, locals look after more than just their own backyards. The town has even introduced bylaws that minimise the colonisation of the town by global brands, so hopefully this means the likes of Starbucks and McDonalds will be kept firmly at arm’s length for years to come.

tofino-canadaThe road into town is long and winding; we meandered through snow-capped peaks and passed bright blue lakes before reaching the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve – 511 square kilometres of rugged coastline and dense forest. Tofino nestles at the northern end of Long Beach, the most accessible of the Reserve’s three sites. The surf here is predominantly beach break waves; recognisable spots include Chestermans (which hit the global surf scene when local pro Pete Devries took the top spot here at the recent WQS O’Neill Cold Water Classic), Cox Bay and sections of Long Beach itself, depending on the swell and winds.

tofino-canada2The isolation, minimal transport routes and relatively long drive from serious civilisation make Tofino a weekend destination at best for the city crowds of Victoria and the surrounding suburbs. Saying that, surfing’s pretty massive in Canada, and as I paddled out on my first morning at Chestermans, I was greeted by a relatively large crowd already in the water.

If you’ve got a boat and some local knowledge, there’s no doubt that a bit of seabound exploration would turn up some secret spots, and with literally miles of beach and shifting peaks, it’s always possible to find a quiet place to surf. It’s the kind of area where you have to keep checking the banks along the bay – similar to the south of France, where certain spots are susceptible to tidal changes and alterations in sand banks – so a taking a little time to explore really pays off. Tofino is exposed to huge, relentless swells, and as a result there is usually somewhere to find a wave. Water temperatures drop to around 9-10C during the winter, and remain relatively low year-round, which tends to deter the less hardy surfer, but I never found it that traumatic. A good winter suit’s all you really need.

tofino-canada1I hit on a nice little left, breaking off a finger of rock, that wedged up in the corner and peeled its way onto the beach. I had the peak all to myself, or so I thought. It was only my girlfriend waving frantically from the beach that alerted me to the grey whale calming navigating around the rocks next to me.

Despite the rugged beauty of this area and the potential for quality waves, development in Tofino has remained relatively controlled, and a little solitude still exists on this portion of the wild west coast. Cold water might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but perhaps that’s a good thing.

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