Passionate About Inspiring Others
Andrew Sadler is a born-and-raised Tofitian who has been in the ocean his whole life, and an avid surfer for the past 14 years. His love and passion for surfing runs deeply in his family as his grandfather Jim Sadler taught himself to surf as one of the pioneering surfers of Tofino. Jim passed on his passion for surfing onto his son Harold, who in turn passed his enthusiasm for surfing onto his son Andrew.
Sadler Surf School was born out of the desire to help people have the best experience possible with the sport that has brought the Sadler family so much joy in a way that is safe and respectful to everyone in the water.
Tofino is experiencing an explosion of interest in surfing, and we hope to help manage that growth sustainably and safely so that surfers of all skill levels can enjoy the sport for what it has to offer.
International Surf Association (ISA) Certified Surf Instructor
Bronze Cross certified lifesaver
Trained in EFA-OFA first aid
Member of BCASI (British Columbia Association Of Surf Instructors).
ISA certified surf instructor since 2016
Regular competitor in the Rip Curl Nationals event with two podium finishes in 2018 and 2021 in the Men's Open shortboard division.
8+ years of experience in the surf industry working in retail and teaching surf lessons.
Born and raised in Tofino.
The Sadler Legacy
He made his own log of a surfboard and tried to wax it with candle wax.
He had a few things to learn, but he picked it up quick considering there were no
surf shops, surf schools or YouTube to consult. He soon heard of some promising
“construction opportunity” at the small coastal town of Tofino that we all know
He and Ruth quickly became avid surfers; Jim even won a couple of local surf
contests shortly after moving there. His surfing did not escape his over-the-top
enthusiasm and optimism. He would paddle out at certain locations on days
when most surfers even today would scurry to more sheltered breaks. One of his
favorites was to surf Cox Bay so big that he would have to walk all the way out to
Frank Island on South Chesterman and paddle across the bay to get the rangy,
outside peaks. Did I mention leashes weren’t invented yet?
He was never trying to make a name for himself, it was all just so darn fun! Needless to say, he happily set his roots in Tofino. He and his wife Ruth raised three kids, Harold, Ken, and Cindy, started a small church, worked in the community with his construction business, and pursued other random interests that caught his attention, everything from being a one-man band to making and flying his own ultralight. Jim passed away in 2006, but his legacy lives on in the memories of many and in highly animated storytelling in Sadler reunions and Christmas dinners.
Andrew’s branch of the Sadler family moved to the Tofino area in the summer of 1967. His Grandpa Jim Sadler was a man of many interests, and very few inhibitions. One of his more infamous adventures prior to coming to Tofino was riding horseback from Calgary to Victoria with an Indian saddle and no packhorse. To most humans, that was nuts, but to this serial optimist it was going to be a “great adventure” as he described to his future wife Ruth in a letter he wrote her before his trip. After getting married and having a couple of kids, his decision to settle down beside exposed coastline was no coincidence.
He became interested in surfing when he came across some Surfer magazines in a store close to his hometown of Victoria. To him, it just looked like the coolest thing ever, and life simply could not go on without him trying it! He volunteered for several summers to work and build a hall at a summer camp at Pachena Bay close to Bamfield, just south of Tofino.
Jim’s children, Harold, Ken and Cindy also became enthused with surfing at an early age. Harold remembers going out with his dad on a small, glassy summer day at Long Beach. He caught his first green, open faced wave, and he thought to himself, “I want another one!” He has been thinking that ever since!
He is turning 60 years young this year and still regularly out-surfs his son Andrew, who gets sidelined much sooner than Harold because of a relentless and insatiable metabolism that must be fed at very brief intervals. Very few can match Harold’s constant stoke and desire to be in the water any time a swell hits, and many a young man wishes he could bury his rail in the pocket like he can. Harold and Ken spent many years carrying on the family construction business and raised their families on the beach.
Harold has three sons, Matthew, Andrew, and Simon. Although all three had spent a significant time in the ocean on family beach days, Andrew was the only one to catch the surf bug. A family trip to Costa Rica is what did him in. It took a lot of effort to get that lanky body into a wetsuit in the Pacific Northwest, but the bathtub-warm water of Central America got him out so much until there was no going back.
As soon as he was old enough to get a passport, he was in an airport to catch a plane to wherever he could. So far he has been to Mexico twice, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, and Patagonia to surf, serve in missions, and explore. As far as he is concerned he is just getting started.
He met his wife in Bible school in Chile just before the pandemic hit, got married in February, and is spending some quality time at home after much time abroad. Although it’s hard to beat those long Chilean pointbreaks, there really is nowhere like home.
Andrew has also long been interested in business and intrigued with the ways that it can be used to make his community a better place, just as Jim, Harold, and Ken before him.