Nature Matters: Surfin' Superior

By KBJR News 1

May 2, 2011 Updated May 3, 2011 at 8:53 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) A stiff East wind off Lake Superior means a bad hair day for some people in Duluth.

But in this week's "nature matters" David Hoole meets an adventurer who can't wait for the gusts and loves a breezy day.

"The very first thing I did this morning is check that near shore marine forecast and saw the gale warnings which made me pretty excited."

All it takes is a good east wind to get Chris Delp moving toward the lake. (...quick bite it's great for windsurfing!) The emergency room doctor does his best to get out of his hospital scrubs, and into his drysuit, life jacket and helmet as quickly as he can.
"It takes a beating mainly from equipment hitting it"

Safety is a concern. Windsurfing on Lake Superior can be extreme.

"The speed is a rush you can really get going fast and then you can hit the waves and jump way up in the air."

But for Dr. Delp it's not all about the need for speed. He finds spending time in the wind on the lake is calming and a great stress reliever.

"It's nature in its purest form. It's completely unpredictable and so to become a part of it you really have to give yourself up to it..... It's almost like a Zen experience where you just completely let everything else go."

Though big lake surfing is exhilarating, Dr. Delp says smaller bodies of water are the place to start. But once you wind surf Lake Superior nothing else compares, even the ocean!

"Anytime the wind blows, anytime we have a really big Nor'easter, you'll find me down here."

On Lake Superior, I'm David Hoole for nature matters.

Many enthusiasts prefer Lake Superior over ocean wind surfing because the waves come closer together and they're more unpredictable making for extremely challenging conditions.