MILWAUKEE, Wis. – This isn’t Hawaii or the California coast or even Florida.
It’s Wisconsin where surfers don’t pray for waves, they work with what they got.
“So, it could be a Wednesday night or a Sunday morning, so you got to jump on it,” one local Wisconsin surfer said.
In a region known for beer, cheese, and very cold winter, the surf scene is growing and Jake Bresette is helping lead the charge.
“I just love it, man,” he said. “Anytime I can get out into the water, whether it’s one foot or 10 feet, it’s always a good time.”
More and more surfers are keeping up on a well-kept secret: with the right weather, the waves on the Great Lakes can be just that – great!
Outside of the water, Bresette owns and operates Lake Effect Surf Shop in Milwaukee where he sells surf and skate gear and offers lessons to anyone who wants to learn how to surf.
“Yeah, we actually do them with or without waves,” he said. “So, if there are waves that’s great, we’ll get out here and score some waves. But, if not, we’ll bring out some big paddle boards.”
While introducing the sport of surfing to a new generation, Bresette always remembers to honor the local pioneers of the sport.
“We didn’t start the surf scene here,” he said. “We’re just helping to continue the progression.”
Bresette says the key to that progression is to get out when the surf is up.
“I know it sounds a little cliché, but it is really about the journey as well as the success of finding waves,” he said.
Bresette’s recent journey took him to Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, where despite small waves there’s always a chance to capture that big stoke.
Because when that big day comes, you’ll be glad you did.