Great Lake surfing has been a carefully guarded secret for decades; times have since changed. The past few years have seen a flourishing surf community braving the harsh conditions to surf powerful wind swells in the freshwater seas of the cold north in America.
On October 18, 2014, Lake Huron had the largest surf competition the Great Lakes have ever seen—The West Shore Huron Classic presented by Billabong in Kincardine, Ontario. The conditions were nothing but epic for the Lakes, with clean overhead waves that lasted all day. More than 50 surfers from all over the world competed in mens and womens shortboard, longboard and SUP divisions. The event was well attended by an audience who braved the rain and cold winds gusting up to 70km/h. In addition to the event organisers, major sponsors included Dakine, Ripcurl, GoPole, Wax Buddy, FCS, Hyperflex and Vonzipper.
The event has set an important milestone for the surf scene on the Great Lakes, and raised the bar for many competitions to come. Our crew documented the event and captured some great moments in and out of the water.
Words by Antonio Lennert. Photos by Lucas Murnaghan and Nat Kuleba.