WATCH: SURFER Magazine Highlights Duluth Winter Surfing In ‘Weird Waves’ Video Series
It takes a special breed of person to brave the cold water of Lake Superior, dodging ice chunks to ride the waves of an angry Gitche Gumee on a windy winter day. Pro surfer Dylan Graves and a crew from SURFER, an international surf magazine, found that out during the winter storm Duluth saw after Christmas.
While the series and video (above) simply refers to surfing on the Great Lakes, the video takes a look at surfing near Duluth on Lake Superior during the late December storm that brought the area over a foot of snow.
The crew from SURFER teamed up with Racine, Wisconsin resident Burton Hathaway, who played "tour guide" for the video. They explored the difference between lake surfers and saltwater surfers, enjoying the "freezing gnarls" of the Lake Superior shore near Duluth.
The first, and most obvious difference Dylan and the crew from SURFER noted was the icy water, which they referred to as "the lake basically slapping them in the face". Even though they anticipated chilly and wavy, the cold water and the amount of water movement was something that caught the first timers off guard. The video explains that freshwater is less buoyant than saltwater, and that combined with the cold water temperatures and impressive size to the swells, that it made for a unique challenge. Dylan commented that due to all of these factors, "the lake put me in my place real quick."
You can see more about the unique challenges that lake surfing presented these ocean surfers in the video above.