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    Posted March 13, 2013 by
    Tofino, BC

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    Winter surfing in Canada, eh?


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     beetraveler Tracy Bymoen says when it comes to surfing most people think of the warm waters in Hawaii, but there is a part of Canada where people go cold water surfing. In this video, she interviews nature photographer and cold water surfing instructor, Josh Lewis, in Tofino, Canada. As a surfer herself, she tried cold water surfing up in Canada, and says she learned quite a few things. 'It is a very different experience than warm water surfing! While I didn't feel cold at all, it was harder to surf in a heavy wetsuit. I was honestly worried about getting cold but was truly amazed at how warm the wetsuits keep you,' she said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Little do most people know, Canada has a thriving surf scene. In the frigid Pacific waters on the country's  west coast, the small community of Tofino's surf culture thrives year  round.


    While we Canadians are known to love the outdoors, even I  was intrigued to learn more about this town's cold water surfing  pastime. To better understand the local surf culture, I spoke with a  number of local surfers.


    Tofino is located on the coastline that  also happens to be a protected  rainforest. Yes, a rainforest in Canada.  It doesn't snow in this part of Canada,  contrary to the international  stereotype of the whole country as the "Great White North"... Instead,  on this mild Pacific coastline, it rains.  And rains. And rains...  Yearly rainfall in Tofino is around 130 inches. But  through it all,  rain or shine, clad in warm wetsuits, locals love to  surf!

    Watch the surf conditions live on the LIVE TOFINO SURF CAM: www.tofinowebcam.com


    Tofino  is on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. While it takes a good part of  a day to get to Tofino from mainland British Columbia, Tofino's  pristine beauty is well worth the effort.
    The best access is via BC  Ferries (bcferries.com) from Vancouver to Nanaimo (roughly 2 hours),  then driving from Nanaimo to Tofino (3 hours).
    Tofino's beautifully  rugged coastline is a 200 kilometer (124 mile) drive from Nanaimo. The  road is a slow, windy one, with the average speed limit being around 60  km/hr. For those who prefer not to drive, charter bus services also run  from Vancouver to Tofino via this same route.


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