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Surfers catch winter waves on Lake Superior

Published 9:56am Thursday, February 14, 2013

DULUTH — Surf’s up on the icy cold water of Lake Superior just north of Duluth.

About 50 surfers gathered to ride the 8-foot waves that curled and smashed against the ice-coated boulders at Stony Point this week. Waves reached as high as 15 feet at a one cove along the lakeshore.

Erik Wilkie of Webster, Wis., said riding winter waves is exciting and dangerous — and that’s the attraction. Wilkie left California two years ago.

The surfers dress in thick wetsuits, hats and gloves. Bob Tema is a native of Hawaii and said “once a surfer, always a surfer.”

Tema said Stony Point is the prime surfing spot on the great lake. He says the best conditions are when it’s coldest, when fall and winter storms kick up high winds and big waves.