“It’s just so different than the ocean,” Daniel Joseph Schetter, a Marquette-based surfer, said, referring to Lake Superior. “We never know when we’re going to get waves so when we do we really appreciate it.”
Schetter has been surfing for 20 years, tackling waves from Hawaii to Japan. Discussing the surfing on Lake Superior, he said it’s vastly different from the almost constant waves in the ocean.
“Some days it’ll be really crappy, really crappy out, and then you’ll get 10 minutes of really good waves and it’ll be really clean. That whole fight was just for that little bit of time,” Schetter said.
Given that lakes are locked between bodies of land, surfers generally rely on inclement weather to bring waves.
The action isn’t limited to Lake Superior either.
“You can surf all over the place,” Schetter said. “You can go to Minnesota; you can go to Wisconsin; you can go to Lake Huron. There are so many waves and so many different types of waves here. It’s just so special.”
Unlike the ocean, there are few crowds out on the Great Lakes, allowing for free reign of the open water.
The days differ from one to the next, but Schetter recalled one chilling experience in particular.
“There was ice in the water, and it was so cold that when the water went into my wetsuit it felt like I was hallucinating because I got so cold. That was a really good day,” he said with a smile.
When it comes to surfing the Great Lakes, it’s seldom open season making for a momentous occasion each and every time.