Surf Toronto

Where to surf in Toronto

Where to surf in Toronto is a question that's being asked more often of late. The Aloha spirit is alive in Toronto as Great Lake Surfing and Stand Up Paddling (SUP) has taken off in our fair city. After a June 1st surf session with over 20 surfers showing up in the Eastern Beaches, what used to be an unheard of activity in Toronto has started to pick up some steam. It's almost with reservation that I share local surf info, but having surfed the Great Lakes for over 20 years, this has been by far the most explosive season I've seen so far. People are out on all lengths of boards. From 10 ft long Stand Up Paddle boards (SUP) to 6 ft short boards, there's fun to be had on the waters of Toronto this summer.

The rules for riding a wave are pretty easy to follow:

  • The person closest to the peak of the wave, the part of the wave that is the tallest and breaks first, gets the wave.
  • If there is no apparent peak, then the first to stand up on the board gets the wave.
  • Don't steal waves.
  • Paddle out for the waves in the channel, or the parts of the water where the wave isn't breaking/being ridden.
  • Watch out for your brothers and sisters in the water.

This protocol is just some of the basic info you'll need to enjoy your time in the water. If you really want to make the most of your summer and want to get wet as a fresh water wave rider, you want to contact Toronto beaches organizations such as Surf Ontario or SUP Girlz for lessons and equipment.

With lessons for first timers averaging around $80 (but as low as $35), you'll be filled with valuable information that will make your time in the water a memorable experience. Lessons touch on technique, health benefits, water safety, equipment knowledge, Surf etiquette, and they also include equipment provided for lessons and clinics. Located just north of the Eastern Beaches, lessons take place at any one of Ashbridges Bay, Woodbine or Kew, which along with Bluffer's Park, are the best places to catch a wave in the city.

The surf and SUP organizations of Toronto have events happening all summer long and have a great community spirit about them. And in addition to lessons, Surf Ontario and SUPGirlz give workshops all summer long and into the fall. These workshops are not only fun, and rejuvenating, but will help you find your technique while enjoying the health benefits in a natural outdoor environment — and isn't that what summer is all about, being outdoors and having fun?

Toronto is also home to some diehard winter surfers, who take advantage of the bigger surf tossed up by storms tracking across the East Coast. Check out our previous post on winter surfing in Toronto for more info on what this entails.


Aloha Toronto, August 24-26
Aloha Toronto will kick off with a White Party and an Luau Party at Woodbine Beach. In attendance will be legendary longboard surfer Izzy Paskowitz, big wave surfer Garrett McNamara, who just recently recorded the biggest wave ride in the world and six of the original Hawaiians that started "Surfers Healing Camp" benefitting autism. There will also be an elite, celebrity and leisure Stand Up Paddle (SUP) challenge, classic surf films, DJs and live entertainment. Come experience Aloha, while supporting Surfers Healing and SickKids.

Freshest Wave Surf Competition Fall 2012 (or March 31st, 2013, weather pending)
Join Surf Ontario for a fun day in the surf. Use whatever board you like, longboard, fish, shortboard, stand up paddleboard and show us what you've got!... prizes and an insane board deal to boot. Location: The Cove, Scarborough Bluffs.

Writing by Bradley Van Rooi / Photo by Scott Rogers

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