As the Rip Curl and Monster Energy reps pulled into the sandy Cox Bay via Maltby Road’s back access to begin setting up the day before the big annual surf comp, I paddled out in what can only be described as bullshit windswell waves.
It’s the type of froth that can make for an annoying paddle out at times, while offering little to no forward propulsion, disappointing wave contours and unpredictable rides. The ocean did have that cool emerald hue though that looks pretty dope, and cool little pockets would emerge apparently out of nowhere.
“It’s deceiving,” said a co-worker, hiking the trail out as I arrived. “But it’s pretty fun out there.”
The wind had the effect of turning a pretty warm day — pleasant shorts weather on tree-protected land, to a “freezing” jacket-mandatory climate on the beach. It’s basically the same story today.
The conditions at Cox – the only beach with anything resembling surfable waves at the moment – sort of reminds me of the mad mess that so many of Tofino’s beaches were all winter, confronted by the full onslaught of El Nino’s fury. Except way smaller.
The entire atmosphere of Tofino has gone through a noticeable shift since then.
A good chunk of the locals on the beach now have just moved to town in the past month or two and are likely only familiar with the relatively dreamy shoulder season waves we got in from Easter on.
Now on the summer side of the May Long Weekend it will be interesting to see what the ocean serves up in the days to come.
For out-of-town contest attendees it could be deceiving as well. In the past week the waters have formed into nice 3-5 foot swells with the odd bigger set coming through. Nothing epically clean, but definitely reasonable (although still “shit” by experienced surfer standards, of course). It was as if Mother Nature was treating the hoards that descended on the peninsula for the long weekend to sunny skies and manageable but delightful waves for their trouble of making it all this way. Time will tell if she has a few tricks up her sleeve for corporate surf culture this weekend.
Should be pretty fun. After all, legends Pat and Tom Curren are on the bill for the first time ever, as part of the contest’s 10-year anniversary.