Surf Life Saving Great Lakes Style

Surf Rescue Training

Surf Rescue Training with ARC

Last week was a great week for great lake surfers.  It is rare to get good waves in the summer.  I was excited to get a few freshwater slides, but I was even more excited about being able to share my surf lifeguarding experience with 20 brand new lifeguards.   This was not just a powerpoint presentation.  The Surf rescue skills  were practiced and all students were able to apply what they learned to live situations.

The class was a able to take place because of the ARC Project and the Great Lakes Rescue Project.   Matuli is really excited about woking with these two groups.  In the works,  a possible waterman challenge in Lake Michigan this September, check back for updates.

Family fun in the Water

Family SupThe Matuli Soft 11 foot Stand Up Paddle Board is all about family fun. When I first started to let friends try the board I was surprised at what I saw.  Some friends use it as a traditional paddle board, others used it as a yoga platform.  Children would often try to fit as many on top of the board as possible when there wasn’t enough boards to go around.   The board is 11 feet long and has plenty of foam.

Lake Michigan

Matuli Soft Fish Surfboard

Soft Matuli Fish

The Matuli 5 foot 10 Inch fish board is freshwater tested in Lake Michigan and the Red Cedar River.  This board has a soft construction around a ridged EPS foam core.  This board is great for beginners because of its soft flexible fins and the boards extra volume.

Dimensions 5′ 10″ x 21″ x 3″

Materials - Two Wood Stringers, Soft IXPE Deck, EPS Core, Slick HDPE Bottom

Twin Fin Setup

MSU Standing Wave Surfing

Joe Matulis Surfing a Standing wave at MSU


Surf Report for South Lake Michigan, July 23, 2014

Chris Matulis July 23, 2014

Chris Matulis July 23, 2014

The water has warmed up!  The North wind has produced some surf.  The best places right now are going to be on the leeward side of a pier. The wind is side shore and the lateral current is pushing everything south.

Photo by: Joe Matulis

Photo by: Joe Matulis

The swell period is only about 6 seconds so the paddle out can be a little rough if you don’t time it right.

Paddle out

The wind is expected to blow all day so there should be waves all day.  Have fun and be safe.

Surf Soft Matuli Board

SUP the Red Cedar River, East Lansing, Michigan


The standing wave on the campus of Michigan State University was working again.  The flow rate was over 1400 so I grabbed my Matuli Fresh 10.6 Paddleboard for a surf. Standing waves can be difficult to ride because you do not have forward momentum.  Sometimes it is easy to fall off the back of the wave.  Using the the paddle it was a lot easer to stay on the wave.  Current forecasts do not look good for surfing the river.  We will need a lot more rain for it to work again.   The good news is the Ice on Lake Michigan is melting and will soon be ice free.  Fall is the best time to surf the Lakes but Spring waves can be fun.

2014 SUP Race Calendar

I am sure more Great Lake area races will be added.  If you are interested in finding a paddleboard race take a look.  There are events all over Michigan.  Some races like Third Coast Surf Shops Sweetwater Sup are in Lake Michigan.  Other races are on smaller lakes.  This years racing calendar starts out with a free paddle run paddle in Holland, Michigan.

« Prev July 2014 Next »
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
* Michigan Lifeguard CompetitionMichigan Lifeguard Competition

Time: 8:00 am

Michigan Lifeguard Competition: For Training, Motivating, and Collaboration sponsored by Matuli

* Skyline SUP Series Skyline SUP Series

Time: 7:00 am

Chicago, IL Midwest SUP Race

* Up North Standup ClassicUp North Standup Classic

Time: 8:00 am

Beulah and Frankfort, MI

* Detroit SUP Festival 2014Detroit SUP Festival 2014

Time: 7:00 am

Milford, MI

* Washburn Board Across the BayWashburn Board Across the Bay

Time: 7:00 am

Washburn Board Across the Bay, Home of Tom Blake - Washburn, WI 7:00am-5:00pm


Surfing in Sochi!

I have heard a lot about how Sochi is a summer vacation hot spot.  Naturally, before I think about going anywhere I always ask myself, “can you surf there?”  A quick Google search and I found that Russia has its own version of inland sea surfers.  Sochi is located on the black sea and from the looks of footage on youtube the waves are a lot like the waves we see in Lake Michigan.   The sea is salt water it must feel a lot like the ocean.  Lake Michigan has a Max Length of 307 Miles while the Black Sea has 730 Miles.  The more distance wind has to travel over water the bigger the waves are.  The Black Sea is almost 8 times deeper then Lake Michigan with a depth of 7,254 feet.  At first I thought surfing in Russia must be really cold. February looks like the coldest water temperature for Sochi with an average of 47.7 degrees F and is warmest in August at 77.5 degrees.  It doesn’t look like they are having the same ice problem we have in the Great Lakes.

Here is a video from TheLibertyfilms


Paddle it! Stand Up and Catch the Wave