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Muskegon hosts first ever festival celebrating “surf culture” in the Great Lakes

person on surfboard in Great Lakes
Courtesy of Great Lakes Surf Festival
Bidawid says surfing on the Great Lakes has a more of a "victory at sea" vibe than sunnier surfing spots.

It's been a lot of fun discovering the unique summer festivals happening around the state, celebrating everything from baby food to bologna.

This weekend, a festival in Muskegon will celebrate a sport that most people don't associate with the Great Lakes: surfing.

joe bidawid
Credit Courtesy of Joe Bidawid
Joe Bidawid has been paddleboarding on the Great Lakes for more than 30 years.

Joe Bidawid is a professional windsurfer and organizer of the first-everGreat Lakes Surf Festival. He’s been riding waves in the Great Lakes for some 30 years. He joined Stateside to talk about what surf culture is like here on the Third Coast.

“When you think of surfing in Hawaii or California, your mind immediately goes to the image of a sun-kissed culture," said Bidawid. "On the Great Lakes, it’s a little different. It’s more elemental. There are times when we deal with harsh conditions, and the activity I would say that it would be more 'victory at sea' than, you know, the sun-kissed scene.”

Listen above to hear what surfers and beachgoers can find at the festival, and what it’s like to surf in the Great Lakes.

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