NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
Maybe you’re looking for something a bit more extreme than Santa Cruz. Not everyone wants to surf balmy barrels in boardshorts. So for the wintry watermen, few trips are as appealing as the Canadian Maritimes. In the northeastern Atlantic, wedged between Maine and Newfoundland, Nova Scotia hosts heaps of cobblestone point breaks, not to mention countless mysto reefs and beachbreaks. Bucolic and rugged, it’s no surf city. And that’s a huge part of its charm. (The minute-long point rides don’t hurt either.) Due to the steady influx of Americans in recent years, the otherwise friendly and welcoming Canadian locals have become slightly surly and protective. But if you visit this place, an unspoiled wilderness frontier with endless potential, you’ll certainly understand why. Just be prepared to trudge through snow on the way to the icy lineup.
WHAT TO KNOW
Water Temp: 35–40 degrees.
Consistency: Fairly regular due to winter nor’easters—as are the blizzards.
Crowds: Very light but with a hardcore local scene that deserves respect.
Local Scene: Happening college city in Halifax with historic maritime landmarks, and there’re quite a few bars, too.
Watch Out For: Hypothermia. And hypothermia.
Links: www.scotiasurfer.com; www.hurricanesurf.com