Kathleen Neuman just sent us this note, updating a feature we did on Vince Deur – This weekend marks the first time in Chicago history that surfing the waves of Lake Michigan will be pronounced legal, just in time for International Surfing Day on June 20th.
WHAT: Surfing in Chicago is legal
WHERE: Montrose and 57th St. beaches during the summer
Montrose, 57th St., Rainbow and Osterman beaches during the off-season.
WHEN: Surfing in Chicago becomes legal 6/13/09
HOW: In early summer of 2008, Vince Deur, the Co-Chair of the Surfrider Foundation Lake Michigan Chapter, decided he would try to reverse a city-wide ban on floatation devices, a law that ultimately put Chicago surfer Jack Flynn behind bars overnight when he attempted surfing a cold and stormy December day. The letter/email campaign was stepped up when Pro Surfer James Pribram joined the ranks. Together with Surfrider Foundation Member/Surfer & Attorney Todd Haugh and local Kitesurfer Mike Urban, the four went to meet with officials at the Chicago Parks District to make their case for surfing in Chicago.
Nearly seven months later, after several proposal revisions, dozens of phone calls and hundreds of emails, a deal was made to open two beaches for summer (Montrose & 57th St) and four beaches for off-season surfing (Montrose, 57th, Rainbow & Osterman).
“We are very please with decision of the Parks District to allow surfing in the city of Chicago, although limited, we feel it is a great opportunity to prove ourselves to the CPD and the community that we are respectful stewards of the beaches and we hope to potentially open more beaches in this great city in the years to come.” Vince Deur, Co-Chair of the Surfrider Foundation: Lake Michigan Chapter said. “Surfing is a sport that definitely teaches you respect, especially when the waves get big, so we appreciate the privilege to have the opportunity to surf on freshwater and to be able do it in this great city, makes it even better!”
For more information on surfing in Chicago please contact: VINCE DEUR – 616-402-3638 or JAMES PRIBRAM – 949-355-9814