Grand Haven Daily Tribune, Friday, November 22, 1974
Surf Year Around in the ‘Big Lake’
SURFER is framed by “white water”
BY JIM REINHARDT
Even though “Coast Guard City U.S.A.” will never be known as “Surfin’ Town U.S.A. in the old Beach Boys tradition, the Grand Haven area beaches have for years been the scene of energetic young surfers who want to try their luck on the waves of the “Big Lake.”
Actually, the 20 or so young men who like to “Hang Ten” on 4-7 foot waves could be considered second generation members of the Great Lakes Surfing Association. The association was made up of men who liked to surf anytime the swells were right, regardless of the season. The association was started in the mid ‘60’s but was disbanded after many members left the area to seek the sun, surf and fun of other exotic locales.
Many of the present day surfers, who are keeping up the tradition of the GLSA are younger brothers of original members and they, like their predecessors, have no regard for weather conditions as long as the waves are right.
STEVE WHITE of Grand Haven lost his surfboard to the rolling surf. A huge wave crashed it against the rocks and broke it in half.
THE BEST SHAPED WAVES, according to the surfers, are formed when the wind comes out of the Northwest in a steady flow. The “Rock Pile” is a favorite spot at the Grand Haven beach because of the size of the waves created when they bounce off the pier. A few injuries have occurred at this spot but none serious and one surfer was unlucky enough to have his board smashed.
Cold weather doesn’t bother these surfers as each is usually equipped with a full wet suit which keeps them warm in water temperatures down in the thirties but can cost as much as $100. The boards can run anywhere from $100-$200 apiece.
The Coast Guard doesn’t usually bother the surfers either, although they have voiced their displeasure at having them paddle their boards across the channel to the North Shore to get to some big waves. Some arrests were made this summer because of that situation.
The female series as always, represented on the water by one girl surfer who can hold her own with most of these young men who will probably never get to the world championships in Hawaii, but that doesn’t really matter in the first place.
Bill Pushaw, Grand Haven, getting ‘tubed’ by a wave.
Bob and Bill Pushaw, a double ride on a wave.
‘HANGING A RIGHT’ to get out of the crunching power of a wave is Steve Baker, Grand Haven.
SHOOTING in front of the ‘white water.’
SLIDING across a ‘glassy face.’
Tribune Photos by Bearle