What it is like to surf in Toronto

October 6, 2016 | Surfing
Larry Cavero: a hardcore Toronto surfer | Photo: Jake Kovnat

Between November and June, the average water temperature in Lake Ontario is below 50°F (10°C). Waves are rare around here, and the wind is often extremely cold. Can you imagine being a surfer in these conditions?

Larry Cavero grew up and surfed his entire life in Peru before moving to Brampton, near Toronto, and starting a family.

Peru has great waves; Canada is not your classic surf destination.

The problem is that Toronto (almost) doesn't get ocean swells. Cavero and many other Canadian surfers depend on wind swells to get waves.

But that doesn't mean you should not own a surfboard. The Great Lakes and their ice-cold waters can be fun.

You just have to be ready to put on a 5/4 wetsuit and get to shore fast before Mother Nature changes her plans for the region.

Cherish What You've Got

That is why "On Days Like These We Must Surf."

The short documentary by Jake Kovnat on the vivid Toronto surf scene teaches us how to appreciate what we get.

"The waves here in The Lakes are really hard to catch. It's not easy. If you come from the ocean, it sounds impossible," explains Larry Cavero.

"Actually, it took years for my friends from Peru to believe that I was surfing in a lake."

So, whether it's raining or snowing, the Toronto surfers are out there searching for any liquid slope that moves and breaks. And communications between them are the key to success.

In the Great Lakes, there are no bad days. Lesson learned.

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