The Third Coast

Ever wanted to duck dive under icebergs?  How about a reason to check out one of those new heated wetsuits?  Or how about just to know what it feels like to have your eyeballs feel like they are frozen in their sockets?

Well I had a great conversation with Ryan up at Third Coast Surf Shop today and learned all about what goes on up in that area of our global surfing community.

Ryan owns a shop that is located in Southern Lake Michigan and it looks like it does some pretty good business.  Ryan actually spent quite a bit of time out here in Santa Cruz surfing the point and working at Pearson Arrow Surfboards.  He now runs his own business catering to a hard core group of surfers up in the Great Lakes….emphasis on the ‘hardcore’ part.

I don’t know how many surf shops there are up there, but I was impressed to find out that there is a thriving community that braves even the harshest of conditions.   I lived and surfed in NY for many years, but I never once had to contend with icebergs in the lineup.

So he told me this winter he hadn’t surfed for about a month and a half at one point cause all his favorite breaks couldn’t be accessed; the shore had frozen over.  He got out in the water recently and had to watch out for icebergs.  He wears 7mm booties, gloves and a 6/5/4 and says he is all over the heated wetsuits coming out this year.

The surf gets pretty good in the Great Lakes and people are always surprised at the size some of the spots can hold….if you don’t believe me check out his photo gallery.  I wouldn’t say that this is my ideal surf trip, but I’m definately adding it to my list of locations to check out before I croak.

Also check out the video Unsalted for a snapshot of freshwater surfing and this unique microcosm of core surfers.

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