Vancouver Island's inlet studded west coast is the main surfing area for British Columbia. Access to breaks and strong winds, not a lack of surf, are the major problems with regular swells battering the coast year-round from the North Pacific and Gulf of Alaska. Winter is the most consistent season, if a little cold. Water temperatures falling to 7°C/45°F and rising to 14°C/57°F at their height. But, winters on the coast are milder than might be anticipated due to the maritime climate. Pioneered in the mid 1960s this area has a dedicated crew of locals in the main areas such as Wreck Bay and Long Beach. Recently, in-line with better wetsuits, the population surfing these areas has increased significantly. The limited continental shelf sucks little power from the waves before they unload on the reefs and beaches. Winds blow mainly from the south in winter and north-west or west in winter. Predominantly swell travels in from the west.