Heaven on earth.
Every year, or some such, the world is re-treated to almost unbelievable stories of men and women who surf, surf, in the Great Lakes and do it in winter, winter, when there is snow on the shore. The genre is generally forgettable with the same tropes rolled out consistently (surfing seeming like a summer activity with its participants festooned in short-pants, winter storms actually required to create waves, the fact wetsuits exist etc.) and boring except, except, I just stumbled upon one from Duluth, Minnesota wherein the featured surfers possess a shocking amount of native sense and let us meet Big Wave Dave Rostvold and Joe Herron.
Rostvold is a shaper who works out of Castle Glass Surfboards and says, “It kind of feels like a fairytale. Surfing is a dream for a lot of people around the world. To be able to do it here in the Midwest, that’s a dream come true.”
Herron is a photographer who once saw surfers plying their pastime on Lake Superior and “asked permission to photograph them” because he knew surfers “are justifiably protective of their knowledge, especially in the North Shore’s frigid waters. Good waves are a finite resource, and mastering simple maneuvers, like popping up into a standing position, can be deeply humbling.”
Herron became so enchanted that he began surfing himself though adds, “It’s funny—I can both see that I’ve improved immensely since I started, but I’m also still really bad. It’s very tough, it’s physically demanding, it can be scary, but certain people just enjoy those kinds of activities.”
Certain people like us, no?
The piece segues into the standard “waves on lakes need high wind, the sort that is only produced with winter storms” etc. but flips back around to Rostvold and Herron who basically encourage beginners not to, point to a kook spot for them to go if they must and declare, “I think it’s important to be conscious of yourself and your impact on others, especially if they’ve been surfing these waves longer than you and you’re a newcomer. You shouldn’t be putting yourself in a position that could hurt someone else. I think selflessness should be the first goal, then it’s ‘Can I catch a wave?'”
The sort of wisdom that is more and more difficult to find in our Wavestorm clogged oceans.
Does it make you think lake surfing is the dream come true for you?
A fine home in Duluth will run you 200k.