You haven't lived until you go surfing in Lake Michigan
Surfing is on the west coast of the U.S., not the west coast of Michigan. Wrong.
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 September, 2012 : - - People have been surfing here as far back as the late 1940s, when the first surfers came back from Hawaii after World War II, according to Ryan Gerard, owner of the Third Coast Surf Shop in St. Joseph. The sport really started growing in the mid-to late 1960s, both locally and nationally. In the last five to 10 years, it skyrocketed in the Midwest.
One of the key reasons is that wet suits have improved. Cold-water gear is now so good that people can surf year-round. Surfers also wear booties and gloves, so with that and hooded wet suits, only their faces are uncovered.
LAKE SUPERIOR, TOO?
People surf on all five Great Lakes, but Lake Michigan is the most popular.
HOW DO THESE WAVES COMPARE WITH ONES IN CALIFORNIA OR HAWAII?
Lake waves are smaller and weaker than ocean waves. The limited surface area of the lakes means less fetch for the wave to build. Also, freshwater is slightly less buoyant than salt water.
DO LAKE MICHIGAN SURFERS USE THE SAME EQUIPMENT?
For the most part, yes, though some surfers prefer to use slightly bigger surfboards to make up for weaker waves.
WHAT ARE THE SPOTS GREAT LAKES SURFERS FLOCK TO?
Among the best locations are Ursula's Break in St. Joseph, the Rock Pile in Grand Haven and the Zoo in Marquette.
ARE THERE MICHIGAN SURFING EVENTS?
The main one is the Great Lakes Surf Luau the third weekend in August in New Buffalo.
ANY CONNECTION TO THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF THE STATE? Yes.
Legendary surfer and innovator Tom Blake, who grew up on the Wisconsin side of Lake Superior fell in love with the sport as a young man after meeting surfer and Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku in Detroit.
Author: Zlati Meyer
Tags: Lake Michican