FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Our cancellation policy depends on which type of activity you have reserved. Please see our Terms & Conditions page for details.

We get this one a lot. It’s the abbreviation for Stand Up Paddle that has become a very popular way to refer to the sport and the boards. So expect to hear lots of “I love SUP’ing!” “Can I rent a SUP?” “I want to try SUP Surfing”.

No. Paddle boarding is a very user-friendly sport that can be fun for everyone, regardless of age, size or fitness level. It is much easier than surfing so is great for those who wanting to get out onto the water for a gentler experience. Whether you’re taking a lesson or renting a board from us, we will answer any questions you may have. We will help you feel at ease with all the equipment and give you will receive a full safety briefing from one of our patient and knowledgeable guides before heading out.

Yes. We have the largest variety of boards in Tofino which are suitable for all body sizes, skill levels and types of paddle boarding. We pride ourselves on helping every customer achieve this goal and have the best possible paddle boarding experience whether you are simply renting equipment or taking a lesson with us.

Yes, of course. Paddle boarding with Tofino Paddle Surf is a very safe way to spend the day on the water. The ability to swim usually helps people feel more comfortable but we do have life jackets available for those who want them and the wetsuits help you float a little as well. If you choose to join us on one of our tours or lessons, we can stay close to the shoreline and everyone is attached to their board by a leash. A guide is there to help you back onto your board if you fall in. Falling in and getting back on your board is a skill taught in every lesson.

Not at all! While we are known as the premier paddle board shop on the West Coast due to our huge and varied equipment selection, we also rent surfboards, body boards, kayaks, skim boards and more. We can also offer you tips, maps and directions to the best locations for you to visit to match your activity choice. We’ll even help you load your equipment! So, no matter what way you are looking to enjoy the ocean and surrounding outdoors in the area, we have all bases covered for you.

Both options are awesome. Every renter gets a full safety briefing and free mini lesson covering all the basics on the beach before they head out onto the water. If you want to know more and are really interested in the sport then we highly suggest you take any one of our instructional tours. In these tours you’ll have access to a fully certified Paddle Canada instructor for two hours while you explore our coast and learn everything you need to know to paddle on your own.

A lesson is highly recommended for SUP surfing. While no previous paddling experience is required a solid flatwater paddling background or having completed a flatwater paddling lesson are very helpful prerequisites. Although the learning curve is higher than regular surfing, initially SUP surfing can be harder to get the hang of due to the bigger boards. One of our lessons will help you learn to keep yourself up, and others around you safe. You’ll come away with all the knowledge to keep practicing and improving your SUP surfing. With surfing and SUP surfing there is alway more to learn and we offer instruction at all levels. All lessons include all the gear and expert instruction.

All of our lessons and tours include components of gear education, safety orientation, etiquette guidelines, beach instruction and warm up and practice on the water. We offer group and private tours for beginners to advanced paddlers. Our instructional tours are all about experiencing the fun and exciting sport of stand up paddle boarding. Ample time is provided for teaching, practicing and improving technique. For those with more experience, we have guided tours to help you explore all that the beautiful Clayoquot Sound wilderness has to offer and advanced instruction to help you improve your technique. Tofino Paddle Surf can take you to some of the best spots on Vancouver Island and around the world for stand up paddle boarding.

Our MacKenzie Beach Tour and Botanical Garden Inlet Tour are perfect for both beginners. Both of these tours offer instruction to anyone who’s never paddled before. The only difference between the tours is the location, one on the west of our peninsula with the long sand beaches and the other on the eastern side, along forested headlands and amongst the mountains. Both tours are only offered in calm waters making them ideal for beginners to get to grips with all SUP basics.

When paddling and exploring the flat water zones such as lakes, rivers and inlets, we strongly recommend you take a guide or someone in your group who has 10+ years of navigational experience. Also please note that Transport Canada Regulations (enforced by local RCMP) for SUP’ing in the Flatwater zones requires that every paddler has a PFD and a whistle as well as always wearing a leash.

We’re incredibly proud to be able to offer you a team of certified, passionate and caring surfers and paddlers. Our local Tofino guides have over 40 years combined experience in ocean sports, teaching and guiding. To learn more about them please visit our About Us page.

Yes please! We appreciate tips for a job well done. Our credit card/debit machine does have a tipping option on it.

Yes! We can give you a few ideas of where to do that day depending on winds, swell and tide. If you need straps for the car, we can loan you some, free of charge and show you how to use them as well! We often have everything from flat calm water to small fun waves right here at MacKenzie Beach in front of the shop. If you are looking for bigger waves, we will give you a map and some close by recommendations (the closest surf beach is only 2 minutes away!) If you are taking a SUP away to surf, please make sure to consider the relevant safety precautions – click here for more information (link back to SUP Surf Rental)

We do not offer regular group beginner surf lessons but we can recommend some local places to reserve one. You’ll be in great hands at Westside Surf School and Westside Surf.

We offer beginner surf lessons to private groups, so if you have a business team, stag or stagette. retreat group or birthday party, please get in touch to discuss the options. Our surf instructors have been teaching and surfing for their entire lives.

Almost never. 95% of the time MacKenzie Beach is like a lake, with a little wind chop sometimes or some slight ocean swell. If you head further out, it makes the perfect place to paddle! MacKenzie Beach is in a sheltered bay that only ever sees waves in the winter with the bigger swells and usually has some smaller fun waves for SUP or surfing at the far northern end of the bay. If you are looking for bigger waves, we will give you a map and some close by recommendations.

Water temperatures range from 49 F – 57 F degrees (9 C – 14 C) during the spring and early summertime in Tofino. Wetsuits work really well and they do keep you warm in the water! We do have warmer wetsuits for surfing or paddling and some thinner ones for the warmer days too.

Wetsuits are included in the price for all the tours and lessons. Wetsuits are not included in the price for rentals. Wetsuits are $20 per day and do include boots, gloves and hoods. We have suits in all sizes from the smallest to the biggest. Our wetsuit rentals include the hood and booties too! Click here for more info about wetsuit rental.

We have suits in all sizes from the smallest to the biggest. Our smallest kids suit fits some 3 year olds. Wetsuits are $20 per day and do include boots, gloves and hoods.

This is entirely up to you. You may fall in and you will wade in waist deep before jumping on your board. We usually recommend it as the water temperature around Tofino is always cold (12 -15 degrees). On summer days a wetsuit still allows people to feel comfortable with falling or jumping in the water, which, in our opinion, is more fun. If you opt for no wetsuit, bring a towel and change of clothing down to the beach with you as you will want to warm up before heading back out again. All our lessons and tours include wetsuits, accessories and boards. The wetsuits work really well and they do keep you warm in the water any time of year!

Sunscreen, bathing suit, towel, straps for your glasses or sunglasses. We also recommend a hat, particularly in cooler weather.

We will meet at our Surf Shop (located right at the beach!) at the Best Western Tin Wis Beach Resort on MacKenzie Beach in Tofino. Please click here to see more information about how to find us.

Yes, we have ample free parking available for you to use.

We have a wall of cubbies in the shop where you can leave your belongings which will be watched by our staff. Please be aware that possessions are left at your own risk.

The shop does have changing rooms and cubbies to keep your clothing in. We have a cold water shower outside and there are bathrooms in the hotel lobby that is right next to our shop.

We don’t sell food in our shop. We’re located right next to The Tin Wis Best Western Resort which has a big restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner, coffees and drinks at the bar. There is also a food hut by the beach that sells great burgers and snacks for lunch.

We do have dry bags for sale and a few to lend out with rentals, as well as waterproof phone cases. On all our tours and lessons, the guide takes a dry bag with a communication device, first aid kit and a few other essentials and can take a water bottle, hat or phone for you in it.

If you wear glasses or would like to wear sunglasses on the paddle board tours, we recommend you bring a strap for them. For surfing and SUP surfing we do not recommend wearing any kind of glasses. Contact lenses are best and keeping your eyes tightly shut when wiping out usually works for keeping them in.

Yes! Please ask us about this. We live in a beautiful area with endless waterways and waves to explore. But, it is also the big, wild, Pacific Ocean with many things to consider such as currents, tides, wind, weather, wildlife, boating traffic, beginner and expert surfers in the lineups. When paddling and exploring the flat water zones (i.e lakes, rivers, inlets, channels, harbours etc.) without a guide we highly recommend 10+ years of navigational experience (including chart reading and a waterproof marine radio with a current operator’s licence) and 10+ years of local ocean knowledge. Transport Canada Regulations (enforced by local RCMP) for SUP’ing in the Flatwater zones require that every paddler has on him/herself a PFD and a WHISTLE.

If you have any doubts, please speak to us or take advantage of our excellent guided tours and surf lessons to help you explore all that the beautiful Clayoquot Sound wilderness has to offer and advanced instruction to help you improve your techniques. Tofino Paddle Surf can take you to some of the best spots on Vancouver Island and around the world for stand up paddle boarding.