Surfers Enjoy Waves on Lake Superior

On Park Point, the waves and the sand are more forgiving than the rockier terrain as you head north.

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s not just the forces of Nature that call Lake Superior home.

“Whenever there is a storm I definitely chase after it,” UMD RSOP Coordinator, Randy Carlson says.

One of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, It’s hard not to notice the growing Lake Superior surfing community.

“We have a North Shore Minnesota Chapter of the Surf Rider foundation. So they are a group of surfers that are not only dedicated to safety but stewardship and beach cleanup,” Carlson says.

But Randy Carlson, a coordinator for UMD’s Sports and Recreational Outdoor program, doesn’t start his students on the big lake.

“There’s an aweful lot of preparation that happens in the pool, or on a freshwater lake,” Carlson says.

Including balance, board control and other safety techniques.

“Just spending time on the lake. Getting comfortable. Getting in and out of the lake in a variety of ways is a big deal,” Carlson says.

Part of that safety is going out in groups and having multiple exits to the lake.

“There’s a couple guys up the north side of Lester right now. You see them catch waves occasionally. The breaks a little bigger over on the north side than it is over here on the south side,” UMD Student, Kevin Milligan says.

Kevin Milligan is one of the many surfers who learned through UMD’s RSOP program who is frequently out looking for the perfect wave.

“Occasionally up the shore up at Stoney Point there’s like twelve foot waves. That’s always an experience for everyone,” Milligan says.

Over at Park Point, the waves and the sand are more forgiving than the rockier terrain as you head north.

“At Stoney Point, sometimes these waves are double overhead and it feels a lot more consequential to be out there,” Carlson says.

The bottom line, situational awareness and a respect of the lake are key for anyone going out on the water.

“The Duluth community, visitors that are on vacation. A lot of people want to engage with Lake Superior and they have to do that safely,” Carlson says.

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