Grand Haven Daily Tribune, June, 1966
Use on Lake Michigan
Surf Board Sales Wild at Felix’s
HOT ITEMS — Felix Pytlinski Jr. is holding a custom built surf board that he stocks for inland surf enthusiasts. Calls from all over the state, and some from out-of-state, indicate a great demand for the surf boards. Surfers equipped with wet suits have ridden the waves of Lake Michigan in early spring.
Felix’s has tapped the demand for a whole new area in water sports equipment.
He stocks California made surf boards for the wide-open sport of inland surfing. On a trip to California last year, Felix Pytlinski, Jr., landed one of the 12 franchises in the nation for custom built surf boards. Surfing on the great lakes has really taken hold, he says.
Calls from Traverse City, Detroit, Chicago and other outlying areas are being received at Felix’s to indicate demand for surf boards.
Over 36 boards were sold last year. The boards are built to withstand rough weather and handling at the waterfront. Custom, hand-made jobs cost as much as $175, but Felix’s stocks cheaper varieties.
To extend the surfing season, enthusiasts have also been buying full wet suits. Surfers are challenging Lake Michigan waves already. Wet suits, made of heavy rubber, provide warmth and buoyancy.
In the small boat business, Felix reports that some of his stock is depleted on account of high sales this year. Triple-bottom boats are the big sellers this year.
Construction of the Stearn’s Bayou bridge has decreased sales in small items, he added.
Slip and boat renting has fallen off a little due to the bridge.
Felix Jr., who operates the Water Thrill Show, says he is planning some spectacular new gimmicks this year. The Thrill Show starts July 2 and continues through August. Ten shows are on Wednesdays, the first on a Saturday and Coast Guard Festival Show is on Saturday, August 6.