Exploring a Pristine, Isolated Canadian Slab

Jason Lock

by on

Updated 117d ago

Exploring Canada's wild and remote setups sure takes some doing. Imagine, a slab so isolated it'll take a chopper to even get you close, or, if you're up for it, a three hour boat trip along the coast. But then, when it's a fresh chunk of water that's oh so rarely utilised, those nuanced conditions may not play ball – the things we'll do to score untapped potential.

But that is just part of the thrill, is it not? Pinpointing and scoring a solitary slab in the throws of internet culture is a marvel in itself. To get it alone with you and a few buddies, camping out a short ways away, is all part of the exploratory spirit.

If this is the sight that greets you after a three hour boat excursion - you fill your boots.

If this is the sight that greets you after a three hour boat excursion - you fill your boots.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

Packing a diverse quiver into a boat and shipping out from Tofino, Peter Devries (yes, Canada's most barrelled man), Sepp Bruhwiler, Noah Cohen and Andy Jones along with lensman Marcus Paladino (if you need an introduction to Marcus' work, go HERE), scored this inch-perfect emerald beauty somewhere along the vast Canadian coast. This is the trip, laid out by Mr Paladino.

This slab looks nuts. How remote are we talking here?
MP: This slab is not very accessible at all. It’s about a three hour boat up the coast of Vancouver Island, but if there’s too much wind or swell it can be extremely dangerous to try and get there.

Seems like more often then not, a select few will buck up the extra dough and just hire a helicopter to drop them off. Takes a lot less time but costs and arm and a leg, which can be tough call to make when the conditions are almost always "questionable".

The instigator of the trip, Noah Cohen.

The instigator of the trip, Noah Cohen.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

It being remote, how far's the nearest town and what did you take in terms of camping provisions? Food, etc all interesting.
The town of Tofino is about three hours away (by boat) but there’s a few first nation reservations along the way there.

We had a really big boat, so we took advantage and brought as much camping gear as we could. Besides the necessities like tents, food and sleeping bags we brought accessories like camping chairs, multiple coffee makers and of course a crib board.

Andy Jones brought two twin fins for this trip.

Andy Jones brought two twin fins for this trip.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

What chunk of foam was under feet here?
Pete Devries had a board made by his shaper specifically for this wave, I don’t think he’d even ridden it until this trip. Sepp Bruhwiler was riding a really short surfboard, maybe like 5’4”? Which is pretty impressive on such a powerful wave. Andy Jones brought two twin fins, but broke his bigger one in the first session.

Oh tell us a bit about the location - the backdrop, scenery!
I couldn’t even tell you where exactly we were, once I leave Clayoquot Sound I’m pretty lost. It takes years of experience to be able to navigate this area, this was my first trip here so I’ve got a long way to go.

The scenery is so beautiful here, surrounded by trees and mountains (stereotypical Canada). It was pretty cloudy most of the time we were here, hence why I only shot from the water.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

How was this idea conceived?
Noah Cohen's filmer Nate Laverty is working on a web-series called 'Transition' and he's the one who organised the whole trip and invited me to come shoot stills.

Gotta be some difficulties in pulling the trigger out there? How'd you find shooting?
I swam with my camera every session this trip, total of maybe 9 hours. The first swim I was wearing the wrong bootie and fin combo and my feet cramped up immediately. I still don’t know how I toughed it out (the power of FOMO) and kept swimming, by the time I got to land I couldn’t even stand.

My arches were so sore and swollen the next two days. My second swim the wind really picked up and my lens port kept getting sprayed while trying to shoot down the line. My third swim I shot wide and managed to hit the reef, twice.

Andy Jones.

Andy Jones.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

Noah.

Noah.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

Pete Devries.

Pete Devries.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

Andy Jones.

Andy Jones.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino

Sepp Bruhwiler.

Sepp Bruhwiler.

© 2018 - Marcus Paladino