Surf Culture

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Surf Culture

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 folks 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? 

North Shore Minnesota OG, Bob Tema (pictured), could probably care less. He pioneered the famed stretch of coast with Brian Stabinger years before anyone - other than the real North Shore OG, Greg Isaacson, who started surfing up there in the 1970s - and scored a lot of empty days like this to himself. Photo: Cliff.



  1. Julio Julio

    An additional surfing subculture is those who chase the storm and then get on it. That instant connection of tracking Mother Nature up to the point of meeting. If I may plug the book where teens chase the hurricane up to the point of adventure. "My Twisted Summer," a coming of age surfing thriller Available in Lulu dot com

  2. Third Coast Third Coast

    That's awesome, Ronda! Yep, we are fortunate to have access to these beautiful bodies of water. We'd be crazy not to enjoy them. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Ronda Gartland Ronda Gartland

    I live in East Tawas by Lake Huron. We are always trying to stretch our season out on our paddleboards. We don't have the big waves like Superior or Michigan, but we are always innovating with the smaller waves. The culture is growing and people like you are teaching us to use what we got!

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