Earlier this week Chicago surfer, Rex Flodstrom, was arrested for surfing off Oak St. Beach. After his session he was accosted by several policemen, his board was confiscated, he was handcuffed, and he spent four hours in Cook County (still in his soaked wetsuit).
|Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media|
This story has me amazed. Thankfully its absurdity brings to light an issue that Great Lakes enthusiasts have been facing: with thousands of miles of coastline, why are board sports banned in most areas of the Great Lakes? As stated by Surfrider Foundation's Jim Moriarty, "Surfing is not a crime. Period."
Flodstrom's arrest has even got the attention of Kelly Slater, who says "Chicago's regulates its waves like a police state." - http://www.suntimes.com/10110667-417/11-time-surfing-champ-slater-says-chicago-regulates-waves-like-a-police-state.html
I'm uncertain of the likelihood, but Slater has stated that he may attend Flodstrom's court hearing on February 16th to show support. If so, he will most likely be joined by other individuals and groups who have active rolls in the Great Lakes surf community.
For more information on surfing the Great Lakes, check out some of the sites below: