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Difficulty I-V
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Reach Info Last Updated 09/11/2009 2:58 pm

River Description

When the winds switch around to having some Easterly or Southerly component, check out the wave reports. When sailboats are heading for cover due to 'Small Craft Warnings", experienced kayakers might want to head to the lake.

Forecast wave heights are generally reported in ranges.
At 1-2', generally forget it -- things are too tame to really get any surfs.
At 2-4', tame entertainment may be found.
At 3-5', you'll start catching some more worthwhile rides.
At 4-7', expect some sweet rides.
Above that, things start to get epic.
(See "Flow Info" tab for info on lake reports.)

DO NOT TAKE LAKE SURFING LIGHTLY! This is a whole different challenge than the river! On the river, each feature (wave or hole) is relatively 'constant' at a given flow. On the lake, every wave changes as it heads toward shore. When waves break, they can have powerful force as the weight of many gallons of water crash down on you. Having some sort of anti-implosion device for your sprayskirt is imperative at larger wave heights. Especially when waves are up, there will likely be strong currents sweeping out and down the shore. If your skirt implodes and your boat fills with water, each successive wave will hit you, making it like trying to run a class III (or higher) river with a swamped boat, but here there are NO EDDIES! Any time waves are larger than 2-3' you should not boat alone. The combination of wind and waves and currents can make self-rescue far more difficult than on any river you'll encounter in the Midwest.

Rapid Descriptions

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Obviously there are innumerable locations in Minnesota (on the 'North Shore' of Lake Superior) where one could access the lake for possible surfing action. What follows are just a few known, popular spots.

Do you know of a location where the surfing action is just 'too sweet' (when the wind and waves are right)? Please feel free to "Add a Comment" or "Report" detailing any additional 'hot spots' you are aware of on 'the big pond'.

Just to have some consistent means of logical order, locations are being listed from South to North, from the Minnesota/Wisconsin border to the Canada border. (Listed 'distance' is derived from Google driving directions, using a starting point out on 'Minnesota Point' (Duluth) and ending as close as possible via road access to each beach.)

Mouth of the Lester

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Park Point

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Stony Point

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As is so often the case, where there is a 'point', there is a great chance of good wave action (when the wind is right).


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Directions Description

'Shuttle' (for each site) is carrying from the parking area to the water and back. The map below is only to show the extent of the Minnesota lakefront for Lake Superior.

You can use the text-entry box to enter the location of any of the suggested surf sites, and you will get drive time, distance and directions from there to Minnesota Point (Duluth). (In this case, it is unfortunate that the 'default' mapping is from the 'take-out' or your specified location, to the 'put-in' (which, for this lakefront 'reach', is Minnesota Point/Duluth). However, the resulting map should give you a good idea of the location of each of these spots, and you can mentally adjust to work out your driving directions from your starting location.)

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Penobscot River Dams to be Removed!

Kevin Colburn

Atlantic Salmon and other imperiled fish species will soon have hundreds of additional miles of habitat. A recent decision between a power company, NGO's, tribes, and government agencies calls for the removal of two dams on Maine's Penobscot River and the bypassing of a third. American Whitewater applauds this huge win for rivers and is recruiting volunteers to assist with our work on the project. There is a public meeting December 2nd.



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