Winter Solstice is upon us and winter is finally here! Normally I am doing a snow dance with hopes of making some powder turns on my snowboard. Lately I have become even more obsessed with the changing weather and keeping my fingers crossed for what some would think of less than ideal weather conditions. Why you may ask? Well I finally jumped in and started surfing! That’s right surfing in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan.
I guess there has always been a draw to surfing from my board sports background. As a kid I remember trips to the ocean always being in awe of the surfers. To dabbling in skateboarding, which I was never very good at. The obvious transition was snowboarding, which eventually lead to a surf lesson on a trip Florida years back. Fast forward a few years and a job change that allows me a little more last minute flexibility and a super rad understanding wife, Thanks Tarah! I picked up a new sport, surfing. So last fall I rented a board a few times and jumped right in. First time in the water and I was hooked. So like any typical gear-head I bought my first longboard this summer from Jake at Lake Effect Surf Shop in Milwaukee.
As much fun as the actually surfing is, the surf community on the Lake is just as awesome. I’ve sat in the lineup as a newbie and felt welcomed by veteran surfers. I’ve meet people from around the Midwest and around the country that have come to surf the Lakes. I’ve always been drawn to the water and surfing continues that draw for me. So why not try something new. I think part of the draw is that it’s just something not many people around here do. It’s even kind of fun to see peoples confused reactions when I tell them I’m learning to surf on Lake Michigan. Thick wetsuit, booties, gloves or mitts cold water, cold air temps and some wind sounds like an ideal learning environment, ha! In some weird way it’s all worth it even for that short moment when you catch that one wave you have been waiting for. There is some connection I feel with the water that is hard describe, surfing truly is a soulful experience. Feeling the raw power of the water and nature truly is amazing! That’s what keeps me eager to learn and progress. Even if it means hours in the car traded for just minutes in the water, it’s worth it.
Well, time to watch the forecast and look for the next window of opportunity!