Winter Surfing Wipe Outs — 5* Pix

Total Shots taken 342
Number of 5 star ratings (5* yield %) 18  (5.1%)

It’s April – spring 2016 in Chicago has been fairly cold, a far cry from our unexpectedly warm winter.  On April 2, for instance, it rained AND it snowed.  It did the same thing two days later, and the day after that.  In fact, this early spring has seemed more like winter than the actual winter did.  That made it a perfect time to revisit my winter surfing images – this time with a twist.

Lake Michigan has been unseasonably cold as well, and it is only the most intrepid surfer who would be out on a day like this.  You could tell from the faces of the surfers just how cold it was.  While the waves are not the height of those seen in other waters (the Pacific Ocean for example), they still have the ingredients for 5* wipe outs.  Hope you enjoy these selections.


  • Wipeouts are Inevitable  – And here it is!  I love the way the surfboard slices the water in this image.  No surfer to be seen.


  • Wipeout #2 – and it’s a classic!


  • Brrr….! – This guy’s face says it all.



  • I Know It’s Freezing But… – The water was cold, but this swimmer, braved the near freezing temperature in a skin-baring swimsuit, gloves and a cap. In contrast, all the other swimmers were fully covered, head to toe.   In my brief conversations with the surfers, we thought she was unusually intrepid to get in the water in just a swimsuit.


  • Backdrop: Industrial Chicago I love this image – against the industrial smokestacks of South Chicago and Northern Indiana as the surfer comes in to the beach.


  • This is Why We Are Here – Well I couldn’t leave the surf without leaving an iconic photo of a surfer doing what they were out there to do. Ian of Stand up Paddle Chicago shows us how its done!

As I post this, we have experienced the first real spring-like weather to date in April.  It is only fitting that on a day where folks were out walking and enjoying the warmth of spring that I use this as an opportunity to reflect on the fun times on cold days gone past.  Enjoy!

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