Lake Michigan has it’s share of surfing, no doubt.
But because the best waves the lake has to offer often come in some of the worst weather – moreso than the ocean, the lake needs windy and even stormy conditions to produce good swells – it’s hardly known as a surf destination.
PHOTOS: Kite surfing at Montrose beach
A Kickstarter called Surf Chicago aims to change that with a $101,000 goal – currently about $5,800 has been pledged – and the promise of an extended, though not year-round, beach season.
K.C. Hoos is the founder – or would that be director of the boards? – and brainchild behind bringing a controlled surf environment to Chicago’s Montrose Beach. The Chicago native discussed the plan and the technology in Surf Chicago’s marketing video:
Hoos, working with the Chicago Park District, has plans for more than just a wave machine and aims to add to the existing attractions at Montrose – from jet ski rentals to a dog beach – in a concession deal that does not require district board approval.
Over the past several years, K.C. has worked closely with the Chicago Park District to find the perfect location for this exciting new surf park. Montrose Beach was selected as the ideal location with its large sandy beach and expansive surrounding parks. The surf park will complement the other adventure sport and exercise programs currently at Montrose Beach, like; stand up paddle boards, kayaks, jet ski rentals, regular volleyball games and tournaments… In addition, Chicago Surf will offer special events, like Ametuer and Professional Surf Competions featuring actual pro surfers, skate boarders and Olympic champion snow boarders to compete in judged surfing tournaments. Chicago Surf at Montrose Beach will also include a beachside café and large patio seating, offering a front row view to the surfing action while enjoying fresh menu items such as salads, wraps, sandwiches, fish tacos, complemented by your favorite cold beverage.
One-hour lessons would cost $40 and Hoos plans to have an expanded season from March through November.