By now much of the surfing world has heard the story about Rex Flodstrom getting arresting for surfing in Lake Michigan at Oak Beach in Chicago. The story of his arrest and the outrage that surfing is illegal (anywhere) that ensued, including the likes of Kelly Slater, was heavily covered in the media.
What was less well covered is that surfing in Chicago was entirely banned until 2009 when Surfrider, as well as local and nationally recognized surfers, worked with the City to open surfing at some beaches (Oak Street was not one of them).
Check out this story in The Inertia to get some more background on how we got here.
Now that the media storm has started to die down, the real work begins to educate surfers on where it's legal to surf and to try and continue to expand the areas where surfing is legal in Lake Michigan.
Surfrider Foundation Chicago Chapter Statement
Updated: January 25, 2012
Two years ago, activists from the Surfrider Foundation worked with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to enhance recreational opportunities by lifting a 20-year ban on surfing at selected beaches along Lake Michigan. As the recent arrest of a local surfer and the subsequent response from surfers across the country has shown us, there is a need for the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the City of Chicago to continue working cooperatively to communicate which beaches are open for surfing and paddling, while at the same time working to expand opportunities for surfers in the region. To support this growth, we are calling on our members to help educate the community about when and where surfing is currently permitted and for residents not yet involved with the Chapter to visit our website and get involved.
What you can do:
You can learn more and get involved this this or other imporant coastal issues by connecting with the Chicago chapter here: