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Cold and Inland surfing

December 14th, 2006 · 3 Comments

Surf in Cleveland

I’ve read two pieces this week about the virtues of surfing the north, the landlocked areas and the coldest of cold water. We had a discussion a month back about trying it out this winter, with a day trip down to NH — but I still think I can hold out ’til the spring (April 1st) and 75°F+ mexican swell…

This piece from the NYT’s gets across the feeling of being stuck 20 hours from the nearest ocean and still wanting to get in a paddle.

“They surf in Cleveland because they must. They surf with two-inch icicles clinging to their wet suits, through stinging hail and overpowering wind. They work nights to spend their winter days scouting surf. They are watermen on an inland sea.

Given its industrial past, Cleveland largely turns its back to Lake Erie, lining the coast with power plants, a freeway and mounds of iron ore to feed its steel factories. The shore is especially deserted in winter, when strong winds and waves pummel the land. In December, as temperatures dip into the 20s and ice gathers in the lake’s small coves, Cleveland surfers have Lake Erie almost entirely to themselves.”
Full NYT’s article

… and Newsweek had this…

“Coldwater hot spots include New England, Alaska, British Columbia and Nova Scotia—all places known for consistently huge waves. “Surfing is a greedy, selfish sport, and the ultimate is to have the waves all to yourself,” says Panagiotis, who once surfed off Rhode Island in subzero temperatures with a wind-chill factor of minus 20 degrees. “The colder and nastier it gets, the fewer people you’ll see in the water.”
Full Newsweek Article

Tags: surf + skate + snow

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 johan // Dec 14, 2006 at 12:07 pm

    You sure you can hold out until April?

    C’mon…… a little ice cream headache and some shrunken jewels….. small price for some juicy uncrowded waves.


  • 2 Steve // Dec 14, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    Man… 80+ water … I was underestimating !!

  • 3 johan // Dec 15, 2006 at 11:16 am


    The water is/was warmer than the air.

    hhmmmmm. I can only imagine.