Fan Profiles

Cold Enough for You? Meet Erik Wilkie & The Lake Superior Surfers

Erik Wilkie and Bob Tema
I recently heard from Erik Wilkie who wrote to ask if he could buy a copy of Planet Reverb and if it was okay that he had put Jetpack songs behind his surf videos. I was pleasantly surprised to find he had used songs from Surfin' to No Doubt, which was a CD I was contracted to do. I had assumed he had used songs from Planet Reverb he found online. When I asked him how he came about the Surfin' to No Doubt CD he said it was what he found for surf tunes in a shop in Duluth. That's right- these guys and gals (such as Vonnie, his wife of 31 years) surf in the icy waters that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald! What do Midwesterners know about surfing, you ask? Let me inform you that it was Erik's and Yours Truly's fellow Wisconsinite Tom Blake who was considered the founder of California surf culture and inventor of the fixed fin. 
Erik, however, moved across the country in reverse to Blake. He says he is "an Anaheim transplant" who wears a spring suit over his full suit as he gets cold easily. If that's the case, we have different ideas of "cold" and "easy". I would wear a full suit in California summer and still think it could be warmer. What I'm saying is: this crew is tough. 

Air temp: 17 degrees!
Erik states, "Although we can get waves anytime of the year, we’ve learned, that the best waves on Lake Superior's North Shore/Stoney Point come with, or right after, the coldest, snowiest winter storms." About the local scene he says, " It's like a brand new generation of surf nostalgia in the making." Of the surfers themselves he says, "With such a small crew here, everyone knows everybody else." He believes it is akin to "emerging surf lifestyle scenes...from many decades ago." 

Randy Carlson is a university water instructor, which is obvious.
Check out Erik's videos on his YouTube channel HERE and check out the Stoney Point Surf Spot Facebook page HERE. But before you do, you may want to put on a sweater and get something hot to drink.

Erik's '71 Snow Bus