Raph Bruhwiler – Canadian Pro Surfer

Raph Bruhwiler Innersection 2012

The whole point of this article started through wanting to get this video embedded on the site, after an old mate who is in the scene shared it on Facebook. It’s a truly great video and it makes you want to get into the surfing vibe, but there is some pretty weird stuff going on here. Surf aficionado’s might know otherwise, but for me, just a mildly interested guy who enjoys the watch but doesn’t know a half pipe from a broken drain: “surfing in British Columbia”, that cant be right – can it?

Hawaii’s North Shore, sure, or Bondi beech in Australia, yes, but British Columbia.

It’s wet, it’s cold, it’s fog, it’s heavy snow, below freezing half the year. I think I read somewhere that the coldest recorded temperature for British Columbia was near -60 degrees. They must of meant, Colombia, South America.

The video above is about Raph Bruhwiler Canada’s first professional surfer, with sponsors including: Quiksilver, Oakley, Sanuk and HTO surf shop, and who spends his life switching between seasons in the forest hunting and seasons surfing. It seems Raph resides in Tofino, a district of Vancouver Island and it seems that Tofino is a bit of a B.C. secret (at least in the world beyond North America’s west coast). Tofino attracts surfers, nature lovers, campers, whale watchers, and fishermen from across North America; at least in the summer. Actually the weather is a bit of a surprise too, as exposed by a brief glance at Wikipedia. It’s still not that warm but it’s not as cold as I thought it would be. Unlike the interior, the average coastal temperature from June to September is above 12°C / 54°F, mind you that still doesn’t sound like I would fancy being in the water all day. Although when considering that is actually a tiny amount higher than London in the same months, with both places getting similar high’s; maybe.

When asked by Malcolm Johnson writer and Kayak guide in an interview for Surfing Vancouver Island what motivates Raph, part of his response was this:

‘A lot of times I do sit out there, and I’m like “why the heck did I come out?” and then I catch one good wave, and it’s like “o.k., that was why, I can go in now…” That’s basically it. Just to keep in shape, and there’s nothing else to do here, so…’

Kind of points me back to my original supposition.
Malcolm Johnson and Raph interview continues and Raph comments:

‘So up and comers are going to be surfing in crowds if they surf in Tofino’…’it’s just too crowded’.

Did I read that right? I guess it is definitely not to cold to surf then and lets be honest you could do worse than spending time in such a beautiful place.

North a Video and Edit by Adam Dewolfe gotsurf.ca

Raph section in Shrink surf movie made by: Jeremy Koreski

So if you can brave it, Raph runs a Surf School in which he teaches you about the equipment, safety, and the fundamentals of surfing. Plus you get transport to the day’s venue in his 1963 Mercedes Uni Mog , the troop carrier, in the video. He also acts as a surf guide for more experienced surfers.
All in all it sounds pretty cool.

Surfing with Bruhwiler Surf School

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