Outdoor Adventure July 9, 2015

5 Reasons to Surf in Halifax

As the capital of Canada’s ocean playground, Halifax has become a popular destination for surfers. It has gained a reputation for having a long coastline with beautiful scenery and few people to share waves with. You might not believe it, but top surfing spots are just a short drive from Halifax’s urban core!

Here are five reasons everyone should surf in Halifax:

1 – Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park

Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park is where I learned to surf (and I still surf there, years later). It’s the most well-known surf spot around Halifax and there’s a good reason for that, as the conditions are ideal for new surfers. You’ll find places to rent or purchase surf boards and gear, take individual or group lessons and from June until early September, there are lifeguards on duty seven days a week.

If you’re an experienced surfer, Lawrencetown is still the spot for you. Lawrencetown has a beach break, right point and left point. And if you search the eastern coastline hard enough, chances are you’ll find a frothy spot all to yourself!

2 – Halifax’s surf community

The local surf community has played a huge role in making surfing in Halifax as special and unique as it is. Thanks to organizations (like the Surfing Association of Nova Scotia [SANS]) and local businesses (such as Kannon Beach Wind and Surf Shop and Pro Skates) Halifax’s surf community continues to grow, welcome, support, encourage and foster a positive surfing environment.

And that’s not all! There’s even a Nova Scotia Female Mentorship group, with the mandate  to encourage more females to surf. Through a comfortable environment, women are given the opportunity to ask surf-related questions, seek advice andmeet other females to surf with. The group  is open to both new and experienced surfers.

3 – Plenty of room to play

Surfing’s popularity has exploded around the world (including in Halifax). Anywhere warm, rumoured to have amazing waves and easy access is going to be jam-packed with surfers. While a few extra faces in the line-up never hurt anyone, too many people can take a little joy out of the sport. However, in Halifax, crowds are minimal compared to other places. And if the well-known surf zones are too crowded for your liking, chances are you’ll be able to find a less crowded spot down just the road.

4 – It’s Canada!

Let’s be serious: when you think of Canada, you don’t normally think of surfing. That said, Nova Scotia (and more specifically, the Halifax area) has gained a reputation in recent years as being a global cold-water surf destination.

The major reasons for this is our thousands of kilometres of south-east facing coastline, empty point-breaks with a rural countryside backdrop and hurricanes (yes, hurricanes!).

The fact is, on the east coast we do see hurricanes and tropical storms. For surfers, hurricanes bring with them the hope of large, surfable waves. A few days after a hurricane, you can find larger-than-normal waves with less wind. This often creates the perfect conditions for east coast surfers. This has also drawn the attention of some of surfing’s biggest names. The water can get chilly, but, the waves can be world-class.

5 – Surf to start your day

This is probably my favourite reason for why you should surf in Halifax!  Even if you plan to be in downtown Halifax before lunch, it’s easy to squeeze in a quick surf to start your morning. Why not paddle out in the early morning to start your day?

There is no other city in Canada where you can do this. Surfing in Vancouver involves driving for a few hoursthen taking a ferry to the island and surfing in Tofino. It’s more like a weekend trip away from the city. In Halifax, it’s just the opposite. Want to start your day at 9 a.m.?

Even if you’re staying in downtown Halifax, you can get an hour session in and still make it back to the city by early morning (as long as you don’t mind getting up just before first light).

Tips from the locals:

Where to surf: Lawerencetown Beach Provincial Park and Martinique Beach Provincial Park.

When to surf: Most people will say September to early spring, but my favourite time is August. Although the waves tend to be smaller, it’s when the water is warmest.

Where to shop, rent, and/or get lessons: Kannon Beach Wind and surf shop, Pro Skates, Happy Dudes Surf EmporiumHalifax Surf School and East Coast Quiksilver Surf School

Halifax was built by the ocean for a reason. Enjoy it!

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