Surfing Where The Wild Things Are  - Stab Mag

Surfing Where The Wild Things Are 

Mathea Olin, Pete Devries and Noah Cohen surf British Columbia’s best slab.

elsewhere // Oct 3, 2021
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Film by Nate Laverty/Red Bull.

British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, the province is best known for its giant glaciers, snow-capped mountains, and emerald green lakes. It is a place you can expect to run into a hundred snowboarders for every one surfer you meet. 

Tofino is a small district on BC’s west coast. It sprawls on a peninsula within Clayoquot Sound, characterized by wild natural scenery including lakes, inlets and ancient rainforests. It is also home to Mathea Olin, a 17-year-old professional female surfer from Tofino, the quaint coastal town of 2000 that is increasingly becoming recognized as a legitimate surf destination for the adventurous because of its year-round swell magnetism and uncrowded, perfect waves.

In this clip, Mathea, Pete, and Noah do a strike mission to a remote slab north of Tofino, accessible only by a three-hour boat ride. It is Mathea’s first time surfing there. “The wave itself is a lot trickier than it looks in photos and video,” says Pete Devries. “It’s basically just a barrel. It’s a wedging peak that’s a right-hander that you’ve got to get behind the peak on the takeoff, or else you’re not in the barrel.”

The slab was pioneered by Raph Bruhwiler, Canada’s first professional surfer and one of the biggest chargers in the cold-water scene who operates adventure surf programs to some of BC’s most remote and perfect waves. You’ll need to pack a 5mm hooded wettie, booties, gloves, and camping gear if you plan on wetting the gills. And perhaps a shotgun for the chance encounter with a hungry black bear.

Give it a watch and get some inspiration for your next surf trip. Significantly more interesting than Mex or Bali I reckon. 

Under the hood, Pete Devries.
Rugged, freezing, perfect.
Noah Cohen, cosy.
Trees in the Ancient Forest of BC are more than 1000 years old.
Mathea Olin, “People said to me ‘when you’re in the barrel time will stand still’. I never fully knew what they meant by that. When I got my first proper barrel at The Slab time did stand still. Those moments I will relive again and again.”


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