When you think of surfing hot spots, your mind probably jumps to a beach somewhere in the sunshine. Most likely, your initial thought is not the frigid waters of America’s Great Lakes.

Yet, for a select group of surfers, winter on the shores of the Great Lakes makes for the perfect surfing conditions.

Today on Saturdays Around the World, we head to the frozen north to get a look at the surfers who call the Great Lakes home, and the comradery these unique surfing conditions have created!

To you or me, surfing in a snowstorm may seem a little crazy. But the Great Lakes are more than just a place to surf, they offer a home to a unique culture of surfers.

When we saw this beautifully shot and creatively edited video from Jake Kovnat about the Great Lakes surfers, we knew we had to share it with you!

Icy Waters, Up-Close…

After watching this I was left wanting to see just a little more of what it’s like to ride these frigid waters. So, I went and checked out the Surf the Greats Vimeo page, where I found this great video shot on Lake Ontario during a snowstorm in December of 2013.

Great Lake surfers seem to be a breed all their own, but I love their sense of community and comradery!

They are the kind of thinkers out there on the edges of possibility reminding us to think bigger and constantly look at the world with fresh eyes!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


Explore more, fascinating places!

Every Saturday we explore a new place around the planet worth celebrating, so make sure you check out our Saturdays Around the World archive to see them all!

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  1. “On Days Like These We Must Surf in Vimeo Staff Picks.” Vimeo. Jake Kovnat, 2 Oct. 2016. Web. 16 Mar. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/channels/staffpicks/185271186>.
  2. “Hang Moose.” Vimeo. Surf the Greats, 18 June 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/101084289>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV