Jordan River

Surfing the South Island

Although Tofino is notorious for being the top surfing destination in BC, Victoria has a secret: Jordan River. The other weekend the wind was up, the sun was out and the boards were waxed so there was only one thing left to do – go surfing!

A quick 70km-or-so later, the car rolled to a stop next to a handful of others who were in on the secret. Amongst the wetsuits, flannels and dogs of the other surfers, we shielded our eyes against the sun and checked out the break. Shamefully, surfing isn’t my strong suit (yet), and so, as the boys suited up, I settled myself onto the hood of the car. Scattered up and down the shore, excited voices peaked with the waves and everywhere, people traced them with their outstretched index fingers. I walked along the shore to the edge of the point where even more people observed the surfers that split onto either side. Wave after wave presented a good enough challenge for the bobbing figures in the water. It wasn’t just surfers out there either, it seemed like very type of ambitious water-goer had come out to play: kayakers and SUP Boarders took turns delving into the swells and as I watched, people were suiting up and making their way into the break.

While basking in the sun, endless cars came and went, all with boards strapped to their roofs. Apparently though, while the sun was out, so were the locals’ teeth. Like Sombrio, the reputation that has stuck with Jordan River is that it’s a locals-only surf spot where the best waves go to the people who actually belong there. In a way, I guess you can’t blame them for wanting to keep the place to themselves – the boys were all smiles of ecstatic exhaustion as they finally cruised back in on their last waves.