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Some of the Great Lakes’ best surf comes in late winter, when things are at their coldest and most bleak. Short, dark days. Winds so frigid that the word frigid loses all meaning. The edges of those great freshwater lakes freeze solid. What look like wind-torn whitecaps on the horizon are in fact icebergs, marching along the currents. But powerful winter storms mean strong winds, and given the size of Lake Superior, it can also mean surprisingly good surf.

Our own Justin Housman knows first hand. He visited Lake Superior in early March a few years back on assignment for Surfer Magazine. While there he spied one of the most celebrated wild things on the Great Lakes—ice beards. Great frozen tendrils of ice, growing from the bright pink faces of the surfers who brave those frozen depths. He didn’t meet Surfer Dan, here, the subject of this short. But it would have been impossible to recognize him anyway. Minus the trident, of course.

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