We recently catch up with Krissy, Owner & Surf Mama at Surf Sister surf school to discuss everything from her surfing days along the West coast to an epic surf competition for women here in Tofino and her hopes and desires for the female surf community.
Tell us a bit about your background.
I grew up on the other side of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo. I’ve moved to Tofino about 20 years ago. As I remember, I told my parents that I wanted to be a teacher, simply to get them off my back. Growing up, I would come up on weekends and camp in Tofino. I first got introduce to surfing at the age of 16 years old, and my friends and I would drive around trying to teach ourself. I’ve always played sport, work in that industry and even coach a bit, so when it came to getting a job as a surf instructor, it was pretty natural for me. Which makes a lot of sense that teaching surfing came super naturally.
Can you describe the feeling that you get when surfing?
It’s pretty obvious that is happiness most of the time. I like surfing because it clears my mind. I like being in the water and the feeling (undescribed) you get when you get a wave: it’s all worth it!
Any aspects of the West coast culture that you are fascinated by?
What stands up to me is how clean the water and the beaches are, which make the are so fortunate. That is something we probably take for granted. Some places, like down in California, there’s beach closure, simply because the beach is so pollinated. Bali is the same. That clear water make Tofino so special!
Also, the girl gang here is pretty rad. I don’t really need to call anyone to go surfing, because I know that I’ll always find a friend already out in the water.
What is your favorite surf ritual/moment when you get ready to go surfing?
I associate a lot coffee and surfing, it goes hand and hand. It’s pretty common for me to have a coffee in hand while I do my surf check. On weekend, sometimes, surfing will comes first and the coffee my rewards after. It’s pretty funny, but I know that I’m getting unfocus when I’m thinking more about my after surf coffee that the next waves who’s coming. That’ how you know it’s time to go in.
What has surfing taught you about life?
Oh god, it’s the most humble sport in the entire universe! It taught me patience. It taught me to trust myself. It taught me pride - when you have those little moments of victories. It helps me connect with the environment, the ocean, and to be more environmentally aware. Surfing also took me traveling across the world.
Favorite surf spot around Tofino? Do you have a funny /interesting anecdote of a surf session?
Every beach around Tofino as his days, but I might have a hidden spot ;) I do end up surfing the most at Cox Bay. It’s such a love/hate relationship with that beach. It’s the beach that made me cried the most but at the same time, made me the joyous! It’s also the beach that made me the most trusted in my entire life. Cox bay have defiantly so many faces. You can find me mostly on the far left side of the beach.
Any futures plan / summer plans?
+ Surf sister turns 20 years old, and there’s definitely going to be a party to celebrate that insane community and building our own community.
+ It’s also the 10 years anniversary of the surf competition Queen of the peaks. This year, the longboard price will be the same as the shortboard price. That would be different, like any other contest seen in Canada, which is the first time the price will match.
+ Surf sister is also having surf camps abroad the winter, pretty excited! We’re heading to El Salvador and Panama.
Many thanks Krissy for sharing your West coast surfing adventure with us. Read more about the female surf community in Tofino right here
You are planning on visiting Tofino and looking forward to learning to surf? Don’t be shy and give them a call to schedule a surf lesson. You can also click right here to learn more.