Monday, September 29, 2014

Everybody's gone surfing...

Tofino is ground zero for the surf culture on Vancouver Island although there is some surfing to the west of Victoria.

Surfing is as much an attitude as it is a sport it seems. Harcore surfers tend to live a minimalist lifestyle. Owning stuff would tie them down to one spot and all the hardcore surfers I have talked to were transients, following the big waves around the globe. Also, owning stuff requires a job to buy stuff and these people work as little as they need to. Not because they are lazy -- far from it -- but because time spent working is less time spent on a beach.

In Costa Rica the surfers didn't own much more than their board and a dog to accompany them to their daily wave riding rituals at the beach.

In Tofino, a common site was to see young adults -- boys AND girls -- cycling to the local beaches first thing in the morning with their boards strapped to the side of the bike. A lot of them had this almost Buddha-like expression of contentment and satisfaction of their faces. To steal a phrase: "The worst day surfing is better than the best day working."

The surfers we met in Costa Rica had heard of Tofino... it's reputation extends far and wide as evidenced by the Australians, Brits and Europeans who have made Tofino their home, if only for a short time.

On this particular day, we saw further evidence of the diversity of Tofino's surfers in the dark tans and dreadlocks sported by some of the board riders. From their accents it was clear that they were newcomers to the local beaches.

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