Catching a wave in the concrete jungle may seem unlikely, but contestants in the city of Montreal have proven that wrong this month by participating in Canada’s first indoor surf competition.
The vibrant urban retreat proves a popular destination for those planning Canadian holidays, but, generally speaking, visitors aren’t travelling to Montreal to don a wetsuit and carve some serious waves. That may well be changing, however, as Canada’s original indoor surfing facility Oasis Surf brings the water sport to the masses.
Hosting the first contest of its kind that the country has ever seen, Oasis Surf invited surfers of all skill levels to compete in the Oasis Open 2016 and the event featured live demos from a few of the world’s top surfing legends – Jamie O’Brien, Keenan Flegel and Cheyne Magnusson.
Also at the event was Bruce McFarland, founder of American Waves Machines, whose technology SurfStream made the competition possible. He said:
“The Oasis Open was an incredible celebration of surfing at Canada’s first indoor surf park with the highest level of out-of-ocean surfing competition on display.
“In a short period of time, Oasis Surf has established itself as a true surfing destination in Montreal with SurfStream providing surfable waves 365 days a year.”
Alongside events like the one this month, Oasis Surf is open every day and offers sessions for beginners, intermediate level surfers and experts.
Of course, if nothing compares to riding the real oceans, there are plenty of favoured surfing spots in Canada to tempt you. Take advantage of Canada car rental and drive out to the coast, but not before you check out a couple of Canada’s best shorelines to surf:
Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia
Looking for some post-city relaxation? Lawrencetown is the closest point to Montreal that’s a prime location for surfing. Located just half an hour away from Nova Scotia’s Halifax, Lawrencetown Beach is a firm favourite for both the local and international surfing communities and exudes the sea-faring charm you’d expect from a coastal village in Canada’s Maritime Provinces. The beach stretches out for just over a mile and waves can reach heights of up to 1.4 metres. As with most coves in Nova Scotia, the points can be rocky, so surf boots are recommended to protect your feet.
Tofino, British Columbia
Tofino is widely regarded as the surf capital of the country and is located on Vancouver Island off Canada’s west coast. National Geographic recognised the appeal of this area, naming it one of the best surf towns around the globe. With over 20 miles of shoreline to discover, Tofino’s beaches are accommodating to all skill levels. Long Beach and Chesterman Beach are ideal for those taking up the sport for the first time, while Cox Bay’s consistent surf break offers year-round waves and is an attractive prospect for those hoping to stay in the water for a while.