Nico Manos surfing
Credit: Scotty Sherin

Why this young surfer is a true pioneer

Halifax, Nova Scotia // Age: 27

Nico Manos and a buddy once drove five hours through a blinding snowstorm to explore a promising surf break. When they got there, they found the sea silenced beneath a blanket of ice. “It wasn’t the end of the world,” says Manos. “All the trips are good, and the reward is that much better when it happens.” Building a go-anywhere, do-anything surfing community on the East Coast is what Manos is all about, from his Lawrencetown Beach surf school to his role coaching Atlantic Canada’s junior surfers. He travels six months of the year as the Maritimes’ only professional wave rider, but always looks forward to getting back to bushwhacking his home coastline in search of the next cold-water giant. “On a hurricane swell the waves here can be world-class,” he says. “You can’t find waves like this anywhere else with no crowds.”

This profile is part of our Top 30 under 30 feature.