Catching Up with Cohen During COVID

Tofino Resort + Marina ambassador Noah Cohen walks us through his COVID-19 experience sheltering in place. Photos by Kyler Vos

Normally, Noah Cohen is a man on the move. A professional surfer since his teenage years, Cohen often lives out of suitcase, chasing swell around the globe. When the call to shelter in place hit, he came home to Tofino and has been riding out Hurricane COVID-19 with the rest of us. We caught up with Noah to hear how the good times guy is handling the new normal, surfing close to home and staying healthy.

How are you staying in shape during this lockdown?

Luckily, we’ve still been able to surf, at least at the beaches that aren’t in the national park. So that’s been a godsend. I was pretty into a few different Instagram live workouts as well but working out and surfing twice a day kind of nails you after a bit, so I’ve been doing less at home fitness and more just surfing.

Have you got sucked into the Netflix Vortex like the rest of us?

Shit, I’m not really much of a tv watcher. I was fully obsessed with surfing for the first five weeks or so, just basically watching surf videos a ton when I wasn’t in the ocean. But in the last week I’ve mellowed that out a bit. I’ve been hooked on a few books, and just started Born to Run a couple days back and it’s been great. If I do watch any television, it’s probably Peaky Blinders. Badass dudes with good ass haircuts.

Has it affected your cooking and eating habits? What are you making for yourself these days?

So much fat! [laughter] I actually started a ketogenic diet like a few days before this all began. So yeah, lots of bacon, eggs, bulletproof coffees, and just a shit load of coffee in general. Spoon-feeding jars of Fatso peanut butter into my food locker too. It’s actually been cool, the new diet has prompted a bit more creativity in the kitchen, especially if you want anything sweet and tasty, so it’s been fun to expand the culinary repertoire.

Have you come across any good albums that fit the stay-at-home theme?

I’m way more of a podcast listener than a music listener, and lately I’ve been super into Broken Brain and The Genius Life with Max Lugavere. Both are kind of in the realm of health/wellness/human optimization which tends to be what I listen to most in podcast form. I guess the new Sam Hunt album [Southside, 2020] has been playing a bit in the truck too, but that’s kind of embarrassing.

What are you looking forward to most when COVID is over?

Well, I think firstly I’d point out that my—and likely most of Tofino’s—COVID experience has been far better than most globally, and for that I’m very grateful. I still have an income. I still do what I love outdoors every day. Not a whole lot has changed. But, if we are gonna get real complain-y here, I guess I’m looking forward to social gatherings, human contact, maybe even have sex someday again, who knows? Hell, at this point I’d take a hug. [laughter]. I just celebrated a birthday a couple of days ago, and it was slightly less exciting than they usually are.

Any thoughts on how we may collectively grow from this experience?

I think as much as it may seem cliche and corny or whatever, there’s a lot of positives to be drawn from this whole thing on both a personal level and a global level. Realizing that you don’t need so many “things” to make you content or happy. Living a bit more simply has obviously been the focus of many people already in places like this, but after the last six weeks it’s become even more apparent that that is the direction we need to go in. It’s been crazy to see the environmental changes firsthand here. You can hop on a paddle board and go whale watching from town now. All of a sudden with the removal of so much boat traffic (I’m assuming this is the reason) there are just whales hanging out everywhere.

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