Surfing in Ucluelet with Ukee Surf School

Comments 2 by John Biehler

The following photo essay was experienced and contributed by John Biehler exclusively for

This is something I was really looking forward to doing. Fortunately, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect in Ucluelet the day we met with our surf instructor, Sean who runs the Ukee Surf School.

Ukee Surf School

After meeting up with Sean, he took us to Incinerator Rock which is about half way between Ucluelet and Tofino. It also happens to be where scenes from New Moon (part of the Twilight teen vampire saga) was filmed.

Ukee Surf School

Ukee Surf School

The water was a chilly 7C but the sun was shining. The act of getting into a cold wetsuit warmed us all up pretty quickly and by the time we actually got to the water, it might as well had been July outside.

Ukee Surf School

After some land based instruction on the basics, Sean had us get wet pretty quickly. I had heard that people surfed year round on Vancouver Island, and considering it was the middle of February, I was surprised how mild it was. We did have great weather but the water is pretty much the same temperature year round. Put a wetsuit on and lug a nine foot surfboard around for a bit and you’ll be just fine and warm.

I had a camera mounted on my wrist so the footage isn’t ideal but you can get an idea of one of my first attempts to get on the board and ride a wave in:

After a number of other attempts we were all starting to get the hang of it…well somewhat. Sean brought us back in and showed us how to popup on the board now that we were able to ride on our stomachs.

Ukee Surf School

With the weather cooperating and most of us starting to get up on our surfboards, we could have stayed in the water all day if we didn’t have more plans that day.

Ukee Surf School

One more splashy video to show you the ‘on board’ experience…too bad I was only able to popup for a few seconds before falling off:

At this point I decided to stop worrying about the camera and start focussing on the surfing as it was a little tricky to shoot decent footage and surf as a beginner. I stayed in the water as long as my body would let me (it was tiring) then ditched my board and took most of the photos you see in this post.

Sean was a great instructor and extremely encouraging to all of us…if you’re interested in checking it out, check his availability online. Private and group lessons are available.

It was definitely a highlight of the tour to spend the morning at the beach, in the water, in the middle of winter, in Canada!

Upcoming posts to follow from the rest of the tour of Vancouver Island showcase some of the amazing cuisine the island has to offer.

John is an avid photographer, gadget geek and traveller. You can find him on Twitter and at where he discusses photography and all sorts of technology. All photos & video in this post were taken by John.

Disclosure: Activities, services and dining experiences during the trip were compliments of Tourism Vancouver Island or the operators and businesses mentioned.

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2 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. ronronSunday, February 20th, 2011 — 8:30pm PST

    nice work John,

    Sean from Ukee Surf School has been a great adventure partner here at “the cabins” over the past few years… I have had many guest that have had a “life day” with Sean,

    GO Ukee Surf Co!
    GO Cabins!


  2. Wait, do you still have a day job? | johnbiehler.comThursday, January 10th, 2013 — 2:12pm PST

    […] called the Snow to Surf tour and it included snowshoeing on Mt. Washington, caving in Horne Lake, surfing in Ucluelet and a zodiac boat tour in the Pacific Rim National […]

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