It’s certainly not easy to surf Toronto.  Some would say impossible.  When you’ve got the passion and the right attitude, you really can do just about anything, and at the same time, have fun, make friends and inspire.

See what it takes to catch a wave in the icy cold waters of the Great Lakes in this short documentary On Days Like These We Must Surf by Jake Kovnat.


NASA photo of Great Lakes covered in snow and ice shows how brutal surfing the lakes is during the winter months.

Great Lakes 1/27/2005, NASA Visible Earth, PD

The Great Lakes are a series of five interconnected freshwater lakes (Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron aka Michigan-Huron, Erie, and Ontario) located primarily in the upper mid-east region of North America on the Canada-US border. By total surface area, the Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, and they are often referred to as ‘inland seas’ because they look much like oceans with rolling waves, winds, currents, great depths, and distant horizons.


Think you’d like to give lake surfing a try?  Surfing the Great Lakes any time of year is difficult.  Add the freezing cold winter elements, and it becomes brutal.  The best surfing, however, is during the winter months because winter storms generate strong winds that produce the biggest waves that come in super fast.  Other challenges involved with lake surfing include wind forecasting, getting the proper gear and board, and avoiding debris in the lake.  Not for everybody, and getting images of a sunny beach out of your head is another big challenge.

Surf the Greats surf shop,  sells gear and boards specifically designed for lake surfing, offers classes on lake surfing and wave forecasting, and organizes meetups and competitions.
NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory – Scientists study, monitor, and predict ice coverage on the Great Lakes
The Alliance for the Great Lakes, a non-profit organization that works to protect the Great Lakes


The Ocean is an essential life force, and we must stop its destruction


WATCH more great surfing action and stories on the “Cranking Surf” channel.



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Featured image of surfer by George Nietsch/Unsplash CC0

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Posted by Zola Zeester

Zola is a vagabond playmaker, the On2In2™ recreation guru and primary source of inspiration for this article. Currently resides at Zeester Media HQ.

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