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Tofino reaches goddess surf status with a little help from chicks-only Surf Sister

By Kristen Dyck
  "I've never surfed anywhere and seen more girls in the water," says Surf Sister-instructor Karley Bracey. And she spent six years catching gnarly waves around the globe. Bracey's right - it's different here. A community of 1,500, Tofino is a true boho surf town right down to the hibiscus-painted surfboard signs hanging from Surf Sister's storefront. But Tofino has something no other half-pipe hamlet has: girl power and lots of chicks in the lineup. "Here, there are days when there are more girls in the water than guys," Bracey notes. And Surf Sister Surf School has everything to do with that.

     Armed with nothing more than a cell phone and a truck, Canadian women's surf champ Jenny Stewart founded Surf Sister in 1999. She started teaching locals how to surf, focusing on getting more females into the water. Less than a decade later, Surf Sister is a well-known school with 20 to 25 instructors at peak season (July to August) and a retail shop packed with girlie fashions and sleek boards.
     But Stewart wasn't satisfied. Sure, Tofino was on the map as femme-friendly, but there still weren't enough junior girls out there. In 2006, Stewart launched the Swell Times Surf Club, a free weekly surf session with Surf Sister instructors and local girls eight and up. These days, everyone has a blast.
     "We are there for a bit more encouragement," says Krissy Montgomery, Surf Sister manager, instructor and Swell Times volunteer. "Honestly, this is the best thing I can imagine myself doing."

Surf's up, Canada!
Alberta River Surfing Association - www.riversurfing.ca
East Coast - www.eastcoastsurf.ca
Global Surfers - www.globalsurfers.com
Nova Scotia - www.scotiasurfer.com
Ontario - www.surfingvancouverisland.com
Surf Montréal - www.surfmtl.com
Click for Tofino, British Columbia Forecast

Based in Vancouver, BC, Kristen Dyck when not attending school full-time, helping run the family business and editing and writing for The Aesthetic Poet (an arts/culture/lifestyle blog), Dyck is often practicing amateur photography on the road. Her passions are travel, photography, fashion, business and sustainability.

Photo Credit & Article:
courtesy, Canadian Tourism Commission

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