11 Year Old Crushes It: Skookumchuk Egmont, BC!

It’s all about Skookumchuk.  That’s what we kept saying, “It’s all about Skook.” 

You see, last fall, when we traveled to British Columbia to do an RV show, really, it wasn’t about the RV show, it was all about Skookumchuck.

When we got to Canada we went to the Snowbird RV Show and mommy and daddy did seminars for four days. They are really good public speakers and do a lot of talks about traveling, parenting, and adventure, including kayaking and snowboarding.

Before Surfing Skookumchuk, we had to stop in Vancouver.
Dan & I gave a presentation twice daily for four days. Photo: Kenny Kellogg

But, right after the RV show, we knew where we were going. Kayaking. In Egmont, BC. On the famous Skookumchuk wave! We drove to the ferry and it was so awesome. You got to get out of your car and walk round the ship.  We went to the top deck where it was super windy and you had to scream to be heard. 

We stayed up there the entire time.  It was just another adventure and we had so much fun.  Because of the RV show, a lot of people recognized us as we’d been on TV, in print and on the radio a ton leading up to the show.  We talked to everyone and two people brought us hot chocolate!  Canadians are super nice.

In order to be Surfing Skookumchuk you have to ride a ferry!
The ferry was even fun! Photo: Dan Kellogg

When we got off, we headed to Skookumchuk and parked right in front of the hike to Skookumchuck.  At the trail head to the hike there was a warning about other hikers being stung by wasps.  We laughed and wondered who would report being stung by a wasp on a hike.

Surfing Skookumchuk meant hiking or paddling down.
The hike to the Skookumchuk wave was no joke. We paddled down every other time. Photo: Susie Kellogg

Well, the joke was on us.  As we got about ¾ of the way down to the Skookumchuk Wave, I got stung, not once, but three times.  It hurt so bad.  My mom asked if I wanted to turn around but we were so close, so I said no and we made it down to where the famous Skook wave is.

When we got there the wave was not there because the tide was low.  So, instead, we explored all over.  We saw a ton of starfish and sea lions and sea anemone.  It was so cool.  I could have stayed there and explored for hours.  Unfortunately, it was really cold so we decided to leave.

The wildlife was unbelievable! From Seals to SeaHorses, it was a wonderland! Photo: Maddy Kellogg

On the way back is when it go super crazy.  In the exact same spot where I was stung, my little sister Elly got stung. She was crying and Grady picked her up and started walking away.  Then I got stung again twice on my foot.  Mommy got stung twice too.

As we looked back my daddy was whacking the wasps off his face and waving his arms all over to get rid of them.  We all started running as fast as we could and it was funny and scary because these wasps were totally ninja.  They were super small and their stings hurt soooo bad.

We literally ran screaming the entire way back from the Skookumchuk Wave.  We passed a few people, who no doubt, thought we were crazy, but after we explained about the wasps, I think they kinda understood.

When we got back to the RV we helped each other with our stings. My daddy had a huge bump on his eye, that later turned into a black eye because he accidentally punched himself when trying to get the wasp off; that’s how nuts and ninja these wasps were!

The next day Mommy and I did not go kayaking because it was like four am and rainy and we decided that we would let Daddy, Grady, Brody. Kady, Kenny, Dally and Cardy all go first and then tell us what Skookumchuk was like. So we stayed back with Rowdy and Coby and the little ones.  

We hiked around and explored.  We spoke with locals in the shop and played in the cold rain.  We found a playground and played soccer until they came back.

They stayed like all day.  We knew they were having a ton of fun, and we were excited to hear what Skookumchuk was like.  So, when they got back and they told us it was fun and super smooth, we were really happy.

While the big kids were Surfing Skookumchuk, we explored that first day.
We spent a day exploring Egmont, BC. Photo: Maddy Kellogg

The next day the Skookumchuk Wave was not in, so daddy and mommy and the older kids went to get the Newspaper to see if the wave would be there the next day.  They took forever because they saw a kitten down there and met some more of the locals and talked for ages.  

My mom asked about Killer Whales because she knew that was the one thing I was concerned about because a friend told us they were all over at Skook.  But one of the local fisherman said, “never.”  He’s lived there for 20 plus years and he’s never once seen an Orca in those waters.  Bears, mean owls, that attacked his fishing buddy, and “cats”, yes, but no Killer Whales.

Brody Kellogg Surfing Skookumchuk
Brody had a blast surfing the huge Skook wave. Photo Credit: Kady Kellogg

The Newspaper said Skookumchuk wouldn’t be in until Monday, so we decided to drive to Seashelt to play at the Community Center pool and get a shower for Mass the next day.  The Community Center was so much fun. It had a lazy river pool and a slide, a rope swing, a climbing wall, and a diving board.  Everybody loved it.  We played there for like six hours; it was really fun.

The next day we went to Church and then we drove back to Skook.  We got back at night so we just put in a movie and fell asleep.  

Luckily, on Monday Skookumchuk wasn’t going to be in until the early afternoon; 4 am is a little early for me!  I liked being able to wake up at a normal hour, eat breakfast, and pack up all our gear without being really rushed.  I also walked down to the docks with Cardy and Rowdy and we took some pictures of how beautiful it was.  We even saw a rainbow.

Surfing Skookumchuk is always full of natural beauty.
I love to explore and take pictures, I was lucky to get this shot the morning before my first surf. Photo: Maddy Kellogg

We drove down to the dock and unloaded all our gear.  When we were ready Grady drove our truck back up to the playground and walked back to us.  

While we were gearing up, about 10 different people came by and asked us questions.  They couldn’t believe Coby and Elly were going to kayak down to the Skookumchuck wave. And then they asked who was going to actually kayak it.  When I said I was they told me I must be the youngest kid to ever paddle the wave.  I smiled, but I don’t think that is even possible.  They took pictures of us all and watched us get in the water.

Grady, Brody, Kenny and Dally seal launched off the dock, the rest of us walked down and just dropped into the water from the low point on the dock.  Grady was in his Jackson Kayak Rockstar, but towing Daddy’s Rockstar with all his camera gear.  Daddy was in the Jackson Kayak Duo with Coby and Elly in the front without a spray skirt.  They loved every second of it.  

Surfing Skookumchuk was a blast for everyone.
Coby and Elly had so much fun surfing up and down and exploring on the shores. Photo: Susie Kellogg

I was worried on the way down, but I knew I was going to surf the Skookumchuk Wave.  No way was I coming all this way and not surfing.  I knew I’d be really disappointed in myself, so I just told myself, “Maddy, hush.  You are doing this.”

Cardy went right before me and he was smiling the whole time.  He looked like he was having so much fun.  Grady and Brody and Kady all told me I would love it, that it wasn’t trashy and that it was easy to get off, but I was still really scared.  

As I was falling into Skook, I was almost crying.  But when I caught it and it really was the softest, calmest and really the biggest wave I’d ever surfed I was so happy and proud and excited and I already couldn’t wait for my next ride.

Surfing Skookumchuk was an even of a lifetime!
Maddy slayed Skook last Sept. As an 11 year old with absolute determination, she threw caution to the wind and surfed. Photo: Susie Kellogg

Mommy was next, I know she was a little worried, not so much about surfing Skookumchuk, but having to do the tour if she didn’t make the eddy.  

The Tour is a wild ride of boils and whirlpools and it’s been known to suck boats under at really high tides.  Anyway, she surfed forever, but flipped on a spin, she rolled up, but then got knocked right back over.  She rolled up again super fast, but it was too late, the water was moving too fast, she was going to do the tour.  Brody paddled out to her to lead her and they made it down and back up just fine.  

After a bunch of surfs, I needed a break.  But, when I got out of my boat, I was surprised it was as cold as it was.  I really don’t know what we would do without our Kokatat Drytops, and our super soft and very warm Kokatat Fleece.  No matter how cold the water is, and it was freezing, as was the air, we can always keep on surfing. 

I know what I want for Christmas — a Kokatat DrySuit!

Rowdy, Emmy, Elly, Coby and I ran around finding all the starfish we could find, which was a lot!  They were tons in so many different colors.  My favorite was the purple, they were really pretty.

Surfing Skookumchuk includes tons of wildlife!
We had a blast exploring at Skookumchuk. Photo: Maddy Kellogg

It was Canada’s Thanksgiving and there were a ton of people sitting on the rocks watching us.  They all wanted to know how we weren’t freezing to death!  Kokatat Drytops!

We were the only paddlers in the water and we stayed the entire time the Skookumchuk Wave was in.  And that whole day my mom was the only one who did the Tour and it was on her first surf.  LOL.

Eventually, Skook got too small to surf and we all got in our Jackson Kayaks and paddled up the river.  We paddled with the sea lions.  I was surprised how close they came to us, they were not scared at all.  

Surfing Skookumchuk with Seals!!
The Seals at Skookumchuk have no fear. Photo: Susie Kellogg

The paddle back was a little difficult in certain spots, but not too bad.  Coby and Elly fell asleep in the Jackson Kayak Duo with their Kokatat Splash jackets keeping them warm and cozy.

When we got back, we loaded up the truck and the RV and had a total chill night. My mom made Hot Chocolate for all of us the minute we got back and then we ate dinner, watched a movie, and fell asleep super early.

Skookumchuck was amazing.  People travel from all over the world travel to surf this wave.  I am so lucky to get to surf it as an 11 year old, with my family there to cheer me on, to inspire me and to push me. It will be one of my greatest memories.  

Surfing Skookumchuk

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