Leah Oke riding Tofino’s epic waves with absolute composure in one of Canda’s biggest surfing competitions.

Local surf queen still riding waves

A local surfer tells of her experience at the surfboard competition up in Tofino.

For local Leah Oke, a life-long surfing enthusiast and professional surfer, playing in the water always felt natural and quite a bit of fun — but that passion has taken her further than just playing in the sand, or floating around in a donut.

In fact, she’s one of Canada’s most successful surfing athletes, with several competitions under her belt (or board). And she’s still at it, having won third place in the Women’s Longboard surfing competition in Tofino.

She also came fourth place overall in the short boarding, the Pro Women section of the competition, all of which took place between May 30 and May 31 at the 2015 ninth-annual Rip Curl Pro Tofino Surf Championship. The event took place in Cox Bay, Tofino B.C.

Impressively-enough, Oke said she barely surfed prior to the competition, yet still managed to take home two awards.

“For me, it was just nice to surf again. I haven’t surfed in a while, I only surfed twice a month before the competition,” Oke said, adding that there aren’t that many waves on the southern part of the Island. “That was my highlight; to be able to surf a lot in a short period of time.”

She said that while it was nice to bring some winning cash home with her, it was also a whole lot of fun just to be around people who were just as passionate about surfing as she was.

“It’s one time of the year when we all get together and hang out at the beach and surf, and watch our friends surf and just have a good time,” Oke said.

The Canadian surfing championship annually attracts all the best surfers around, both nationally and internationally; notably people from California and Australia.

Oke, who’s been surfing for 24 years, said being in the water was something that always felt natural to her.

“My family, my dad and my older brothers and sisters were all into it, started very young and I lived right on the beach, so I was always playing in the water,” she said.

Originally from the Sombrio Beach area, Oke moved to Port Renfrew with her family when she was just a teenager. Despite that, she continued pursuing her passion of surfing those clear blue waves. The next surfing competition Oke said she’ll be taking part in is Queen of the Peak, an all-girls surfing event which takes place at the beginning of October.

“It’s one of the biggest surfing events in North America, so there’s a bunch of girls who come down for that from all over, it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

After that, Oke said she’ll be heading back to Panama, where she spends most of her time.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘I’ve fallen through the cracks’: Victoria woman calls herself new face of homelessness

Tonya Alton has had to move almost ten times since a ‘wrongful eviction’ in March

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

Edward Milne students clean up Whiffen Spit

Volunteers find styrofoam, cigarette butts and a single shoe

Missing python found under vehicle in Victoria

The snake was located more than six kilometres from where it went missing

View Royal teen inspired by pandemic creates thermal camera from scratch

14-year-old plans to make 10 touchless hand sanitizers for schools

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

Most Read