It was probably the most special surf session I ever had in my life.” That’s what Shaun Tomson told me over the phone about a recent trip he took to Milwaukee a few weeks ago. Shaun linked up with some incredibly gracious locals and managed to get in the water. He explained the stoke level as reminiscent of California or Australia during surfing’s early days – when people wanted to surf with other people. It was also the first time he’d worn a hood.
And that’s the thing about surfing the Great Lakes, between the cold (we’re talking icicles dangling from your face cold) and the infrequency of swell, commitment levels must be extremely high. For residents of wave rich regions of the world, that level of dedication Great Lakes surfers show for minimal dividends comparatively may be difficult to fathom, but the Great Lakes surfer, both this side and north of the border, has grit.
The waves may not be as good, the hotbed of talent not as deep, but damn if watching Great Lakes surfers score some legendary days at home isn’t super intriguing.