Senior Editor

The Inertia

From watching countless YouTube and social media videos of Great Lakes surfing I’ve come to one obvious conclusion about how to score good waves in the country’s biggest freshwater holding ponds: you gotta live there. Or, you gotta be willing to travel at an absolute moment’s notice.

Ben Gravy has been more than willing to do that, surfing the lakes some 20 times, he says, to score the best surf the region have to offer. That includes traveling a number of states surrounding them that normally don’t make us think surf, like Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In the video above, Ben shows us the research, the frigid sessions, the absolute dedication, and finally the success, on his way to scoring the swell of the century in Minnesota. That big swell was a couple of years ago but it was so, so clean for lake waves. Or “fully nuking,” as Mr. Gravy would put it.

“Today’s video is a Great Lakes tribute showcasing the work and attempts it took for me to finally end up in the right place at the right time for the swell of a lifetime on the Great Lakes,” he wrote. “To this day surfing the lakes is one of the most fun and enjoyable types of surf trips I take every year. Looking forward to finding more waves in the future. Thanks to all my friends on the freshwater coastlines and everyone who supports what I do. For the Dream!!”

If you can brave the chill in high-quality, cold-water surf wear, you too can score semi-empty waves in remote locations. But like I said, you gotta be willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice.

Or you gotta live there.


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