It’s not for the faint of heart.
Surfers are made of tough stuff, though. Alex Gray and his ilk are surfers who storm-chase their way around Northern Minnesota’s Superior shoreline in search of the perfect wave. Did we mention they do it in sub-zero celsius temps, too?
“The worse the weather, the better the waves,” Alex Brost, of Idol Surfboards, says in this video-gone-viral. He tells us that Duluth, MN surfers look for low-pressure systems and gale warnings for optimal surfing.
While you or I might cringe at the thought of going headlong into a Superior storm front with nothing but a body suit and surf board, Brost insists that there are larger life lessons hidden in the endeavor.
“Surfing is all about relaxing in a hazardous situation,” he says. “It changes the way your mind operates, actually. There’s a certain mental fortitude that comes. You tell yourself: this is a wave, stay calm, it will pass […] It comes, it rolls you around, and then you keep going.”
The video, titled Superior Surf, was done by PranaLens (Minneapolis-based Alison Rogers) and sparked the interest of surfing fanatics, outdoor enthusiasts, and curious onlookers in the last month. It was picked up and featured by BodyGlove.com, BoardersMag.com, and OutdoorsOnline.com, among others. The Minneapolis Star Tribune did an entire feature on it, interviewing the surfers on the scene at Stoney Point, MN. The video features about a dozen surfers enjoying the waves and chatting with one another in the chilly weather. Pro surfer Alex Gray makes an appearance as well, lending a bit of star power to the venture.
Preconceived NOceans is a film in progress dedicated to Great Lakes surfing culture. According to the film’s wordpress blog, the film went into editing in Spring of 2015. We can’t wait to see a final cut to give us a glimpse into the mysterious compulsion to surf the Great Lakes. (Check out the matted icicles which line wetsuits of the surfers after catching some waves!)
It’s safe to say California, Australia, and Hawaii aren’t breeding the toughest surfers – they’re right here in our own backyard.
Would you take the plunge and surf Superior? Have you already braved the wave on the North Shore? Send us your photos!
(photo credit for title image: flickr – igmaino)