What the cool kids do in the Twin Ports (surf and make art)

Remember that day earlier this week when it seemed like everyone was just shovelling out from the storm? Well, not everyone was digging.

“People are digging their cars out and we are strapping our boards on and heading to the lake,” says Luke Kavajecz. Luke’s a Superior surfer, one of a hardy breed who see the storms on the big lake as a classic chance to ride some waves.

“Nobody’s staying that warm out there, but once you catch a couple of waves out there, you get warmed up, and we don’t get waves all that often so you have to take advantage of it,” he says.

Luke has also taken advantage of the unique views that he and his fellow surfers get of Lake Superior. They surf from Duluth north, up the north shore.

“The water perspective, not many people get to see that,” he says. “It’s really worth it to get out there and get those shots.” (And yes, that is the Duluth lift bridge in that picture.)

Now Kavajecz is showing some of his work at the Red Mug Coffeehouse Gallery in Superior Wisconsin. There are 14 images in the exhibit, and he says it was hard to pare down the selection.

“I tried to get a mixture of actual surfing and then just what we actually see when we are riding up the coast and searching for waves,” he says. “I’m trying to get the whole vibe. There’s people standing in blizzards with surfboards, and the classic gray lake lighthouse scene with somebody paddling out. Just try to get the sense of the whole adventure that we go through.”

The shots are dramatic, but Kavajecz admits he could have more great stuff, if only he’d take his camera out more.

“I’m too selfish to bring it out there. Surfing is a really selfish sport and you want to get all the really good waves and get them all to yourself. I have a hard time to pick my camera up when I could be getting waves. But there’s some really neat angles and perspectives that nobody else has of Lake Superior and the north shore, and I am hoping to get out and get more of those water shots because they are really cool.”

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