July 27, 2020
In this episode, Derik Hyatt chats with Canada’s first female Pro Surfer, Catherine Bruhwiler.
Catherine is a lifelong local Tofino surfer who loves to spend most of her time in the ocean. A talented surfer with a beautiful style, Catherine is an incredible ambassador for her hometown of Tofino, B.C as a first-generation surfer in Canada. Now a surf coach and surf mom of one of Canada’s first Surfing Olympic hopefuls, Kalum Bruhwiler Temple; Catherine represented Canada at the Pan American Games in 2019 as one of the first members of the Canadian Surf Team. As one of the 9 qualified SUP Surf females in the Americas, this was an unbelievable dream come true for one of Canada’s first professional surfers. Catherine has 2 children, 9 nieces and nephews and a grandchild she loves to surf with.
Catherine grew up surfing the cold waters of the Northwest Pacific coast, on northern Vancouver Island, with her 3 brothers, at a time when there were no other females in the water. Growing up on the rugged beaches, they would explore and hike through dense forests, remote beaches, often in massive rain storms, looking for remote beaches to surf. They would camp out in in the wilderness for days at a time on their surf trips, fishing and foraging for their meals. She and her brothers were young pirates, exploring the coast of Vancouver Island and often other countries, on their quest for their golden treasure; the perfect wave. These cold remote waters and forests of Canada are home to Catherine.
Catherine is an inspiration and ambassador for young girls, as she has won the Woman’s National Canadian Surf title many times and makes the podium in every long-distance paddle board race and surf contest she enters. She won the 2017 and 2019 Canada’s National Women’s SUP Surf Championships and in December of 2017 and 2018 in Peru, qualified for a spot the Canadian Team for the 2019 Pan American Games. She continues competing and winning awards in both local and international surf and SUP events.
Catherine helps run the local Boardriders Surf Club on Canada’s west coast and runs the annual free and very well attended kid’s surf contest, the Bruhwiler Kids Surf Classic, with her family. Catherine often travels with the Junior Canadian Surf Team as a coach.
As a Paddle Canada and ISA SUP and Surf Instructor (Levels 1&2) and Instructor Trainer for Flatwater SUP, SUP surfing, surfing and SUP touring, she coaches surfing and paddle boarding full time. She loves surfing with and coaching the local kids and is very committed to inspiring and motivating the younger surfers to keep their aspirations and passions alive.
Catherine is an active volunteer and ambassador for a few environmental organizations including Surfrider Foundation and helps promote education around protection of the ocean and beaches. Her business, events and personal brand team up to fundraise, educate and promote environmental actions. She believes that in sharing her love of nature with others and helping them fully enjoy it she can help foster inspiration in others to care and protect the ocean.
When she is not teaching and coaching surfing with her brothers Sepp and Raph or out on the water paddle boarding, she will be found traveling, camping and surfing the remote coastal surf breaks with her family and friends, finding new waves and slices of heaven on Vancouver Island’s remote coastline. With her vast experience growing up on the ocean and surfing, Catherine brings a wealth of local knowledge to all her endeavours.
Catherine is sponsored by Werner Paddles, Live to Surf, and Aftanas Surfboards and is the proud Owner and Operator of Tofino Paddle Surf.
Follow Catherine’s adventures online at https://tofinopaddlesurf.com/ and on Instagram at @cathbruhwiler and @tofinopaddle and on Facebook at @catherinebruhwiler and @TofinoPaddleSurf.
This episode was recorded on June 6, 2020. It is family friendly with minor swearing, but no F-bombs.
We acknowledge that this episode was recorded on the unceded, ancestral and occupied traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations of the Coast Salish Peoples. As we live, work, surf and play, we say Mahalo to the Métis, Inuit and Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island and from around the world, who have stewarded these lands and sacred surf spots for thousands of years.
This podcast is available free for streaming and download on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also watch the Show on our Freshwater Surf Goods YouTube Channel. Be sure to listen, rate, review and share!
To reach Derik Hyatt for comments, questions, collaboration, sponsorship, business enquiries or bookings, including SUP and yoga, please email email@example.com.
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A SPECIAL MAHALO TO:
The Planet Smashers and Stomp Records for allowing us to play “Surfin’ In Tofino” off their 1999 album Life of the Party. Visit them at https://stomprecords.com/bands/planet-smashers/ and find them on iTunes or wherever you get your music.
Mark Malibu & The Wasagas for providing our intro music “Hey Chiwawa” from their 2009 album entitled Crash Monster Beach and our outro music “End of Summer” off their 2017 album Return of the Wasagas. For more information, visit https://wasagas.com/. Find them on iTunes or wherever you get your music.