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Go Haida Gwaii


Rose Spit - where the Hecate Strait meets Dixon Entrance - Photo: Owen Perry

The rainforest experience - moss carpeted paths, a lingering scent of fresh cedar and the sounds of silence - Photo: Owen Perry

Step into another world as you tour ancient Haida village sites in Gwaii Haanas - Photo: Owen Perry


Surfing Haida Gwaii

Surfers have been coming to Haida Gwaii looking for ‘empty waves’ (ie: no competition for the waves) since the 1960s. The surfing scene on Haida Gwaii has grown exponentially since then, as it has globally.

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

For those considering a trip to Haida Gwaii during the surf season (November to March), you might be faced with cold, fickle or non-existent surf BUT if it’s ‘on’, you’ll have a non-crowded line-up, world-class waves and unparalleled beauty.

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

Mike McQuade, a local surfer and ‘North Beach Surf Shop’ entrepreneur, assures us that although the water is a chilly 110 C, you’ll be warm in wet suits (rentals available at the surf shop) as they have been designed to meet the needs of surfers in remote and frigid waters such as ours.

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

Mike tells us that the surf on Haida Gwaii can be ‘world-class’ in size, shape and wave length. For those willing to venture into the cold water, there are miles of beach break.  Surfers have enough wave length for a few maneuvers such as carving, ripping and even a possible barrel.

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

North Beach is a popular site as it is easily accessible and is safe for beginners (sandy).

Photo Credit: North Beach Surf Shop

Wave conditions vary from year to year however; in general, there are regular weekly ‘waves’ throughout the surf season.

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

Each November, an increasing number of surfers head for North Beach in anticipation of the surf celebration of the year - the annual Haida Gwaii Surfing Expression Session.

Photo Credit: North Beach Surf Shop

This surfing event began in 2009 with a small gathering of hard-core local surfers spending the day at North Beach. By the 3rd year (2011), the event had attracted 75 participants and approximately 300 spectators!

Photo: North Beach Surf Shop

Local and off-island interest in the upcoming event indicates that North Beach will be a ‘happening place’ in early November! Hosted by the North Beach Surf Shop, the Expression Session is a fun and low cost event for everyone from beginners to pros.

Photo: Spencer Hornoi

Mike’s enthusiasm for the sport is contagious - before our interview had ended, I found myself wondering if I should sign up for lessons! At the very least, I’ll be one of the spectators at this year’s event.

North Beach Surf Shop is located in Masset and offers surf and paddle board rentals and lessons, wet suits and other water gear at affordable prices.

Photo Credit: North Beach Surf Shop

Note: Surf conditions can be predicted a week in advance ( and with Haida Gwaii being only a 2 hour flight from Vancouver, you can make a surfing ‘break’ happen!

Photo: Guy Kimola / Haida Gwaii Photos

Daily flights are offered from Vancouver to Haida Gwaii (Pacific Coastal into Masset and Air Canada into Sandspit) .

Photo: Beach Cabins

Local accommodation will likely be easier to find at a week’s notice in the off-season - Check out our accommodation directory! Come on over for a visit!


Contact Us

Queen Charlotte Visitor Centre

email: | telephone: 250-559-8316

Sandspit Visitor Centre

email: | telephone: 250.637.5362

Port Clements Visitor Centre

email: | telephone: 250-557-4576

Masset Visitor Centre

email: | telephone: 250-626-3982

Haida Gwaii Tourism

Destination Marketing Organization

Super Natural British Columbia