Nanaimo surfer rides swells in French Creek

Tyler Kilp found surfing haven at French Creek. (Michael Briones photo)
Tyler Kilp found surfing haven at French Creek. (Michael Briones photo)
Tyler Kilp found surfing haven at French Creek. (Michael Briones photo)
Tyler Kilp found surfing haven at French Creek. (Michael Briones photo)

Tofino is the surfing capital on Vancouver Island.

But when visitors are being discouraged to make trips to Tofino right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are surfers looking for alternative locations to go surfing.

Tyler Kilp found French Creek beach.

It wasn’t the best of days, but on Saturday afternoon under cloudy skies with occasional raindrops, the surfer from Nanaimo was seen riding the choppy waters, donning a wetsuit that helps keep him a bit warmer in the chilly elements.

READ MORE: Tofino asks visitors to postpone trips, return home

Kilp said he monitors the weather in French Creek and when he knows it will be having strong southeast winds like the ones on Saturday, the waves would be ideal for surfing.

“I am from Ontario and I surfed on the Great Lakes for 10 years,” said Kilp. “French Creek has familiar wind swells and I come here whenever I get a chance. I was also here yesterday (Friday).”

Kilp said French Creek is a good alternative place to surf.

“I can’t always go to Tofino,” said Kilp. “So this is good enough.”

As for the cold conditions, Kilp said, he doesn’t mind.

“I am from Ontario so it’s not that cold,” said Kilp.

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