From the Archives :: Surf Culture (April 2009)

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From the Archives :: Surf Culture (April 2009)

TCSS owner Ryan Gerard ( @smallseassurf ) hatched our first surf shop in a tiny old beach cottage in New Buffalo, Michigan in 2005. We survived the first few years and created the TCSS blog in 2009; it’s continued ever since...

Now, we’re digging into the archives for some nuggets from the past 11 years - images from throughout the Great Lakes and beyond, and observations from Ryan as the surf scene grew in front of our eyes. Hope you enjoy it.


Surf Culture
(written 4/10/09)

What is it? Do we have it in the Great Lakes? A surf sub-culture, maybe?

It's kind of neat, whatever it is. People have compared the scene here to Southern California in the '40s...without the consistent surf, of course. Not gonna find too many places these days when you know most (if not all) of the guys in the water every time you paddle out. Every time. That is, if anyone else is even out. Of course, there are more and more people surfing so that is slowly starting to change.

I think it's pretty exciting. Kind of like the tip of something, and you were in on it from the beginning. Our surf may suck a lot of the time, but is it really all about the waves?

I don't mind working for it - working to forecast when the window looks best, working to free myself from obligations to get on it, working to stretch the session out as long as possible, because who knows when it'll be this good again?

Maybe the means are more important than the end, anyways?

Here is my friend Bob Tema, ruler of Minnesota's North Shore (we have one, too!), enjoying the fruits of his labor. Think he gives a shit about surf culture right about now?


  1. Bill Knapper Bill Knapper

    Great lakes surfers abilities. Although my physical condition has not allowed me to surf in at least 3 to 4 years I've kept track of local surfers on web cams and watching from the beach, and there's one thing thing I've really noticed and that is the ability of especially newer surfers has really gone down hill. I don't know who is teaching these new groups of surfers, but I am not seeing one of the most important components of surfing longboards which most people use and that is nose riding. I noticed most rides are pretty short because for one thing too many surfers are using way to short of lo longboards and they are more of a high performance shapes. very poor boards for getting forward on the board and thus getting much longer rides. Most of them pump their boards like shortboards, a very inefficient way to to get more distance in your rides. Taking a step or two forward on a classic longboard will make your rides far longer and faster in the curl. Most people who want to have real fun choose a classis late 60s type longboard and learn to walk. Don't pay much attention to the shortboard surf industry unless your a under 120 lb very good skateboarder. most of the time Great Lakes wave are best suited for classic longboards and seldom suited for shortboards

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