What’s Up With Paddleboarding In Jan. On This Minnesota Lake?
There are a lot of great winter sports in Minnesota. Personally, I wouldn't lump lake paddleboarding in that category.
At the same time the last iron ore ship of the season was sailing into port in Duluth, Minnesota there were Stand-up Paddleboarders out on the icy water of Lake Superior. Yikes!
Over the weekend my brother and sister-in-law were enjoying a weekend in Duluth. They were staying not far from Canal Park and the Maritime Museum when they took these snaps.
And on the southwest shore of the world's second-largest freshwater lake on this cold January afternoon, you could see thrill-seekers stand up paddleboarding among floating ice chunks.
I had no idea that winter Standup Paddleboarding on Lake Superior was a thing? So I googled it. And sure enough, there are even group tours you can sign up and take.
There is a place in Duluth called the Superior Paddle Academy where you can get in on what they call the “Ultimate Novelty Experience”.
They provide all the gear you need to paddle out among the Minnesota icebergs on the big lake they call Gitche Gumee.
You can get outfitted with “ necessary cold-water paddling equipment including a state of the art dry suit, wetsuit boots, wetsuit mitts, high-performance paddle, paddleboard, personal flotation device, and more, all while being guided by a professional paddler and instructor.”
They contend that “contrary to popular belief, winter paddling on Lake Superior is extremely enjoyable, given correct equipment, precautions, and knowledge".
Extremely enjoyable? Perhaps for some. But since there isn't room for a parka and furlined long johns under the drysuit I don't think I'll be venturing out on any Minnesota lake until maybe ... June.