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Photos: These Men Really Did Try Surfing Lake Michigan In The Freezing Cold

By Stephen Gossett in News on Dec 21, 2016 9:39PM

"It's better than just sitting around."

We may beg to differ, but that's how Mike Killion, a Chicago-based professional photographer and amateur surfer, looks at subzero surfing.

Killion, of Albany Park, shot these photos of himself and his surfer friends hitting the waves on the morning of Sunday, Dec 18, when it was gobsmackingly frigid, you might recall.

He and his crew—some coming as far as Wisconsin and Michigan—for the surf braved the brutal cold at the Northwest Indiana shores of Lake Michigan to enjoy (I use that word advisedly for the non-polar-surf community) the water and come away with some (ice) crystalline images.

"Whenever we get a big strong northwest wind, we drive around the lake [in search of ideal waves]," Killion told Chicagoist.

Killion and his much-more-courageous-than-us mates were at the shore from 7 a.m. to noon.
"I surfed about an hour and half then the toes got a little too cold," added Killion, who said he's surfed in temperatures as low as minus 20.

"Everybody has to know their limits, be aware of their surroundings and equipment," he said. "It looks cool, but it’s definitely not for everybody, and it's not something you can just jump into."

He's right on both counts there: We won't be jumping in; but it sure does look cool.

You can follow Killion on his website and Instagram, which he says he'll be updating with new and old photos throughout the week.

[H/T Reddit]