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Surfing the Great Lakes year round

October 16, 2012 — When the weather gets rough, the tough go surfing! Cindy Burgess has more from the shores of Lake Erie.

Wet suits, gloves, boots and a hood is a must in the winter
Wet suits, gloves, boots and a hood is a must in the winter

These surfers are suiting up to catch some waves; not on the ocean, but on Lake Erie. 

“It keeps me sane. It’s my escape,” says Scott Johns. 

“Once you get into surfing, it gets into your blood,” Dana Stringham says. 

“It’s really good," adds Antonio Acuna. "It’s addictive.”

They’re among the dozens of diehards who surf year-round on the Great Lakes.  

“The Great Lakes have a lot to offer," says Caroline Pospisil, a Toronto resident. "I know most people usually associate surfing with the ocean, but the Great Lakes are a really phenomenal resource.”

And they’re at their best for surfing in the fall and winter, when big storms roll in.  

“The air is colder," says George Wilson of the Niagara on the Lake Surf Club. "It travels closer to the ground and creates a better wave."

Those waves can range in height from one to six metres, but catching one can mean dealing with some crazy weather conditions -- including heavy rain, snow, waterspouts and ice in the water. 

That means a thick wetsuit with gloves, boots and a hood is a must. But hey – at least there are no sharks…  just good camaraderie and a great workout.  

In fact, surfer Walter says, “when you love to surf, any wave is perfect.” 

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