You’ve certainly heard of “ski-in/ski-out”, but have you ever heard of surf-in/surf-out? I hadn’t. That is, until our time at the Long Beach Lodge in Tofino. Tucked right next to the hotel, directly on the shores of the Cox Bay Beach, lies Long Beach Lodge’s Surf Club Adventure Centre – one of themost incredible concepts I have ever seen in vacation adventures.
While surfing in Tofino is quite popular, it’s not always the easiest activity to dive into…especially as a visitor. Typically, if you want to surf the waves here, you have to get in your car and drive to the beach, picking up a rental board and wetsuit along the way. Upon arrival, your family then changes right in the parking lot (glamorous, I know) and heads down to surf. Once done, everyone strips off their soaked wetsuits back by the car, doing their best to keep warm as you towel off the brisk ocean water. Then, cold and tired, you have to drive your rentals back, and finally, return to your hotel to warm up.
As anyone with kids can tell you, this blueprint has disaster written all over it! Cold, tired kids make for cranky kids. And cranky kids tend to miss out on all the little moments that make adventures like learning to surf so special.
That is why the Surf Club Adventure Centre is one of a kind. It strips away all the hassle, and makes learning to surf with your family easy, convenient, and most importantly, fun!
Easiest Way to Surf
As mentioned, the Surf Club Adventure Centre at Long Beach Lodge mirrors its experience off a ski-in/ski-out concept. Meaning that surfing is as simple as just walking a few short steps to the beach from your hotel room or cottage.
As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by super friendly and knowledgeable staff that gets you ready to go with all the essential rental items. No getting in the car. No stopping on the way to pick up boards or suits. It’s truly the easiest way to get into the sport. And with kids, the easier it is to start, the more likely it is that they’ll have a great time.
Gearing Up to Go
Once greeted by the Surf Club staff, we proceeded to give them all the information they needed to get us geared up properly. Height, weight, age, experience level, etc. From there, they quickly returned from the back with clean and dry wetsuits for all four of us and set aside a set of surfboards custom chosen for us to ride that day.
To get suited up, our family proceeded to walk into the club’s changing rooms…and quite honestly, we couldn’t believe what we saw. The Surf Club boasts the most incredible, spa-quality facilities. It really was amazing! Everyone had a nice locker to secure their belongings, and plenty of space to comfortably change into their wetsuits (no more parking lot dancing for us!).
It was such a pleasant departure from what we expected and set the tone for a wonderful afternoon.
Learning to Ride
In addition to its great facilities and selection of quality rental gear, The Surf Club offers both private and group lessons as well. Our family had booked a private lesson for the four of us, and so suited up in our wetsuits, we departed for the beach to meet up with our instructors for the day, Tom and Chance.
Spreading out on a plot of pristine sand, we began our lesson on the shore. It was clear from the beginning that not only did our instructors know what they were talking about, but they were so incredibly passionate about teaching others to surf. As many parents may know, there is a vast difference between an instructor who is comfortable teaching kids and one who is not. Our two instructors were fantastic with my children. You could tell they had a ton of experience with a younger audience, turning much of this on-shore lesson into a kid-friendly experience that included games, prizes and more. I cannot thank Tom and Chance enough for all they did to make my kids enjoy this learning experience!
After getting in plenty of practice with surfing’s “up-down” skill, it was finally time to hit the waves. While mom and dad definitely enjoyed our time out on the water, the best part of the experience for us was watching our kids. They were having SO much fun! With the great lesson on shore, both of them were able to get up and surfing nearly right away. And with that came the hooting, the hollering, and the biggest smiles I have ever seen grace their faces.
Ever since I was a little girl, the ocean has always been a very special place for me. Now, to be here with my family in this beautiful secluded oasis on the Pacific, watching my kids have the time of their lives riding her waves, I couldn’t have been happier or more proud. Such a wonderful experience.
Time to Come In
After getting our fill on the waves, it was eventually time to come in and say goodbye to water for that day. However, it was not yet time to say goodbye to the amazing experience at the Surf Club Adventure Centre. Walking merely steps back from the water to their facility, the staff promptly took our boards to clean and store. From there, we all walked back into those glorious spa-like facilities, wetsuit and all. With large steamy showers that have plenty of room to change, guests are encouraged to walk right in with their suit so they can immediately begin to warm up from the cool Pacific waters. We were then able to leisurely take off the wetsuits and hang them up nearby for the staff to clean once we were gone.
WIth showers done, we had one final treat in store at the Surf Club – a private hot tub! Climbing in, our family got to warm our bones, and share all the memories from our time out on the water that day. It was the perfect cherry on an already amazing sundae!
Our afternoon at the Long Beach Lodge Surf Club Adventure Centre was something we will never forget. From the incredible facilities, the surf-in/surf-out concept, and all they did to make surfing an enjoyable experience for our kids (as well as mom and dad), I really cannot think of a vacation adventure that could top this.
Carving out time during your travels to learn something new is a wonderful gift to give yourself. And for our family, we could not have been more thankful for the gift we received, and the unique experience we had during our afternoon at the Surf Club Adventure Centre.
Learn more about our Tofino adventures in these articles!
I’m a Family Travel Writer based out of beautiful Vancouver, BC. Our family adventures take take us all over BC, Alberta and the Pacific Northwest. You'll regularly see us hiking, biking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and camping our way around the province. Our passion is recreation and our mission is to explore and protect this beautiful earth of ours.
I am a family adventure writer sharing stories about solo and family adventures. I’m an outdoor enthusiast and you’ll find me regularly hiking, biking or boarding, often with my children by my side. I believe in lifelong learning, following your passion and living life to the fullest every day.