CHICAGO (CBS) — Battling the winter blues with some time out on Lake Michigan may sound impossible this time of year.
However, as CBS’s Kirk Mason reports, some surfers in Northwest Indiana say that it may be easier than you think.
On a recent visit, the water temperature was 34 degrees and the air temperature was 29 degrees. Snow had been falling.
And yet, there were 11 people in Lake Michigan.
“This is my favorite time of year,” said surfer Steve Hobbs. “Anytime I have a chance to duck out of work, and jump in the water I will.”
Hobbs and the others were surfing off the beach in Hammond.
Many others might ask, why?
Surfers say it’s because Lake Michigan’s waves are much more fun when the weather turns cold.
“The waves are much stronger in the wintertime, because we get a stronger north wind, and the waves have a chance to build over the long fetch of the lake,” said surfer Dave Benjamin.
Winter surfing is not for everyone, and the waves can be too big for beginners.
Proper equipment, which includes a wet suit, boots, gloves, and a hood, are critical because the water is cold enough to kill.
“Once you get moving, you build up a lot of body heat in this thing. You will be a lot colder out here [on the beach], than I will be in the water.”