Surfing at Jordan River
Vancouver Island is home to many great natural wonders and draws visitors in year after year. For some it’s the salmon fishing, others the whale watching, many also visit to enjoy the quaint communities and breathtaking nature. But what many visitors don’t realize is that Southern Vancouver Island is also home to some epic surfing.
To be fair many people know there is great surfing on Vancouver Island BUT they assume it can only be found in Tofino. Tofino is all but a household name for tourists and surfers but what these people may not realize is that much further south along the coastline is the Jordan River which also boasts some spectacular surfing!
Jordan River is located approximately one hour from Victoria along the far west coast of Vancouver Island and about half an hour from our Resort in Sooke. It is a small settlement with one main attraction for visitors – great waves for those seeking surf. This tiny, remote logging community offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean including the waves that locals tend to keep under the radar. Those waves range greatly in size anywhere from 2ft to 10ft. Given its tucked-away location, it’s not surprising that it is known to very few and is considered a hidden gem.
When you first arrive at Jordan River you may initially think it’s pretty grey, gloomy and barren (in the winter months) but you will be pleasantly surprised to see seals popping up to say hello! Also, the marine plant life, such as the kelp, is very much alive and you can see some magnificent birds and other wildlife.
Although the surfing at Jordan River is year-round you will want to take precautions depending on the season you plan to go. Year-round, wet suits are a must. From the end of September to March is when you will find the best conditions but these conditions can also bring sub 10C (50F) degree temperatures. Don’t forget your booties, hood and gloves!
The surfing at Jordan River can be phenomenal but can also be very inconsistent. To achieve the best waves, the wind, the tide and the swell all have to align. When these things line up so do the locals for great surf! You will have to be aware that you’re going to be fighting for the waves, knowing your surfing etiquette is key in this tiny surfing junction. So, what does that mean? It means to be courteous, wait your turn, don’t steal or poach people’s waves, and most of all, play safe!
If you are a new or beginner surfer this may not be the best place to start out your surfing career, given the intense competition for waves and the inconsistent conditions you may want to practice up before hitting up Jordan River. This area is also known for some tough currents and rocks. For those with some surfing experience, if you are planning a one or two-day trip expecting great conditions you may want to extend your stay to allow for Mother Nature to line up the perfect conditions!
Ok, so you’ve decided to make the trip out and want to know where to stay. The town of Sooke is close by and is home to great food, great locals and of course great accommodations! Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina, provides amazing accommodations, friendly staff and an excellent overall experience. The Resort and Marina are roughly 30-minutes from Jordan River. Why not spend the day catching that perfect wave and then come back into town for some great food, a night out on the town, a soak in the Resort’s hot tubs, or just rest your head after your epic day.
Although the locals may prefer this surfing spot remain a hidden gem we hope you come stay with us, take in the surf and experience all the wonders Sooke and Vancouver Island has to offer! Surfs up!