Is Saint John about to become surf city?
It already is if you ask a group who rides the waves in the Bay of Fundy.
“It’s a lot different than anywhere else in the world,” says veteran surfer and filmmaker Sean Doucet.
Doucet has chosen Saint John as the spot to film a pilot documentary series about out-of-the-ordinary cold-water surf spots around the world.
“No one realizes that you can actually surf here,” he said.
Several times each week, Sean and a group of about 15 thrill-seeking friends ride the waves rolling in with the tide.
“It’s a lot different with all of the industry that we have here. You don’t really get to surf anywhere else where you have a refinery right behind you pumping,” he said.
Doucet says Saint John is a prime surf spot because the tides are “so drastically different” and powerful.
In winter, the water temperature hovers just above freezing.
Jaime Worden lives near Bayshore Beach, one of the place the group likes to surf. She said some days she thinks they are crazy.
“Some days they are beautiful to watch, but some days they disappear in the fog and I just hold my breath until I can see them again.”
Chasing the powerful Fundy tides from one beach to another can be risky. If you don’t know where and when to head out, the tides here can quickly drag you out to sea.
But for Doucet the thrill is worth the risk to capture the perfect swell.
“I used to be a professional snowboarder, and when I would go snowboarding in the mountains I would get the feeling of being small,” he said. “So when I come to the ocean, I kind of get the similar feeling of being a lot smaller than I really am and it’s pretty powerful.”