About Us

Tofino Paddle Surf offers you a team of passionate, knowledgeable, caring and certified surfers and paddlers. Our local Tofino guides have over 40 years combined experience in ocean sports, teaching and guiding. Motivated by our love for the ocean, beaches, the fresh air and the wilderness of our home, we inspire others to foster a deep appreciation and responsibly for ourselves and our planet by having fun and enjoying the ocean. Click here to find out more about the place we’re so lucky to call home.

About Surfing & Paddle Boarding

Surfing is one of the most exciting, challenging, and potentially strenuous activities you can undertake while in Tofino & Ucluelet, and it’s great fun for kids of all ages. The locals love it, and their enthusiasm, combined with the world championship performances of local surfers Pete Devries or the Olin sisters and the pioneering enthusiasm of the Bruhwiler family, have contributed to this area becoming one of Canada’s surfing hot spots for surfers of all skill levels.

For the beginner, we have a great selection of surf schools with talented local and international instructors who are determined to make your first experience on a board a rewarding one. Top of the line gear and boards can be hired with or without formal instruction and you can get out there and fall in love with the ocean, either by yourself or with family and friends. For the more experienced, we have weather surges that can lead to challenging conditions, giving you a chance to improve your skills.

A more relaxed, but equally fun way to enjoy the water, is with a stand-up paddle board where you can get great exercise as you paddle along, enjoying the sights and sounds of the ocean and nearby beaches. You can even combine the two and try some SUP surfing.

Grab your gear, get ready, and head to the beach for a true west coast experience.

Written  by Octopus Event Promotions

Catherine Bruhwiler

Catherine is a lifelong local Tofino surfer who loves to spend most of her time in the ocean. A talented surfer with a beautiful style, Catherine is an incredible ambassador for her hometown of Tofino, B.C as a first generation surfer in Canada. Now a surf coach and surf Mom of Canada’s first Surfing Olympic Hopeful. Catherine has 2 children and lots of nieces and nephews she loves to surf with.

Catherine grew up surfing the cold waters of the Northwest Pacific coast, on northern Vancouver island, with her 3 brothers, at a time when there were no other females in the water. Growing up on the rugged beaches, they would explore and hike through dense forests, remote beaches, often in massive rain storms, looking for remote beaches to surf. They would camp out in remote areas for days at a time on their surf trips, fishing snd foraging for their meals. She and her brothers were young pirates, exploring the coast of Vancouver island and often other countries, on their quest for their golden treasure; the perfect wave.

Catherine is an inspiration and ambassador for young girls, as she has won the Woman’s National Canadian Surf National Champion title many times, has won multiple paddleboard races and SUP Surf National competitions. She currently competes with Team Canada in international events, both as a stand up paddler, surfer and assistant coach.  Catherine often travels with the Junior Canadian Surf Team as a coach. She also sits on the Olympic committee with the Canadian Surfing Association.

As a Paddle Canada and ISA SUP Instructor and Instructor Trainer for Flatwater SUP, SUP surfing, surfing and SUP touring, she coaches surfing and paddle boarding full time. She loves coaching the local kids surfing and SUP and is very committed to inspiring and motivating the younger surfers to keep their aspirations and passions alive. Catherine helps run the local Boardriders Surf Club on Canada’s west coast and runs the annual free and very well attended kid’s surf contest, the Bruhwiler Kids Surf Classic, with her family. Catherine is an active volunteer and ambassador for a few environmental organizations including Surfrider Pacific Rim. She believes that in sharing her love of nature with others and helping them fully enjoy it she can help foster inspiration in others to care and protect the ocean.  When she is not teaching & coaching surfing with her brothers Sepp and Raph or out on the water paddle boarding, she will be found traveling, camping and surfing the remote coastal surf breaks with her family and friends.

With her vast experience growing up on the ocean and surfing, Catherine brings a wealth of local knowledge to all her endeavours. Motivated by her love for the ocean and beaches, the fresh air and the rainforest, Catherine loves to share her stoke and appreciation for the planet and the ocean.

Catherine and her team at Tofino Paddle Surf offer a team of passionate, knowledgeable, certified and caring surfers and paddlers. Herself and her guides have over 40 years combined experience in ocean sports, teaching and guiding. Motivated by their love for the ocean, beaches, the fresh air and the wilderness of our home, they inspire others to foster a deep appreciation and responsibly themselves ourselves and the planet by having fun and enjoying the ocean. .

Catherine is sponsored by Werner Paddles, Live to Surf, and Aftanas Surfboards.

Follow Catherine’s adventures on her Facebook blog and Instagram.

Zak Cross
Marcel Gasparovic

On the water teaching lessons or on the lawn fixing boards (or sometimes even the vintage shop trucks). Before stumbling on Tofino Paddle Surf he spent the previous 15 years working as a guide and an outdoor educator. Zak is an essential part of the Tofino Paddle Surf team and brings a calm, positive vibe with him wherever he goes. He also has a passion for working with wood and coming up with new ideas. Some of his wooden creations can be found in the shop. When there’s something new and exciting at Tofino Paddle Surf, you can be sure that Zak thought of it first.

Still scared, but I am no longer afraid. So get out there!”
Marcel came to Canada from Slovakia 6 years ago. Fluent in English, German, and Polish, he is an easy going professional in his game. Marcel came to us with an incredible background as an extreme ski instructor and coach and quickly became an accomplished SUP instructor and surfer. he has been apart of our team since 2012 and his knowledge of the local waters is a great asset to every tour.

Jacob Collard
Sarah Stoski

Stoked to have Jake as one of our full time staff. He teaches both flatwater and SUP surf and is a force in the boxing ring too. As a dedicated paddle boarder and surfer he can be seen in and around Tofino Paddle Surf in both summer and winter, sharing both his generous smile and his extensive knowledge of the ocean.

SUP guide and mechanic, not a bad combo. When Sarah is not guiding at Tofino Paddle Surf or working hard to keep us all on the road then she is with her family. Like all of our guides she is a fully certified Paddle Canada Instructor and loves to be on the ocean, sharing her passion of SUP with friends and clients. Learn more about what she does here.

Meet Our Friends

Here at Tofino Paddle Surf we love getting involved with other like-minded organisations who feel the same love and admiration for the planet. We’re often hanging out with Bruhwiler Surf Kids Classic who exist to get kids outdoors and out on the water and beach. We’ve also been fortunate over the years to have worked and played in the outdoors and on the water with some amazing people. Here are a few of our friends that share our stoke. You will see them on courses with us or check out some of the rad things they are doing by visiting their sites.

Norm Hann
Kristy Wright-Schell
Mike Darbyshire

He’s also a Quiksilver Waterman Ambassador and Paddle Canada SUP Instructor Trainer. Based in Squamish, B.C. Norm runs Mountain Surf Adventures which focuses on coastal expeditions and stand up paddle board instruction. Norm has also been active in the conservation and protection of the Great Bear Rainforest and the British Columbia coastline through his Standup4Greatbear Organization. Find out more about Norm here.

After moving to Whistler in 2002, the mountain lifestyle industry opened many doors in sales & marketing, but with office work came stress and deadlines. To help manage this lifestyle Kristy started practicing yoga. Through teaching snowboard and horseback riding, the transition into teaching yoga was easy. Receiving her 200 hour Foundational Yoga teaching certification with yoga in Vancouver, BC Canada she has since trained with Baron Baptiste and teaches power yoga among other styles. Kristy is the SUP Yoga Vancouver owner/instructor and certified yoga teacher.  She collaborates with Catherine and Tofino Paddle Surf to offer a multitude of SUP, surf, yoga and SUP yoga programs and retreats in Tofino throughout the year. Find out more about Kristy here.

Surfing and kayaking led him into the Stand Up Paddle board world and he hasn’t looked back. In a few short years, SUP has given Mike opportunities to travel around North America, explore new places in his own backyard and help develop the Paddle Canada SUP Instructional Program. Mike is an excellent instructor, talented paddler and is stoked on all disciplines of SUP including surf, touring, racing and river. Mike is excited to share it with whoever he can! He runs the SUP program at Deep Cove Kayak and is sponsored by Starboard, Kokatat and Werner Paddles. Learn more about Mike here.