Buffalo BEAST - Buffalo's New Best Fiend

June 15-29, 2005

Issue #77

  .........................Buffalo's Best Fiend

Free to Agree
Sensenbrenner's Sensibilities

by Allan Uthman

Gettin' Rucky in Pyongyang
Kim Jong Il gets his fleak on
by Matt Taibbi
Dean Was Right
Hey Howard, Keep Up the Good Jerk
by William Pitt

Throat Job
Newsweek Still Gagging on Unnamed Sources

by Matt Taibbi


8-Step Summer Makeover
by Dan Devine


Goth Kid's Summer Survival Guide
It's not fun for everyone

Hallmarks of Summer
What makes Buffalo summers so darn special?


The Sports Blotter
The Week in Sports Crime

Sports Desk
Sporting News

Lake Erie Surfin'
People Really Do This

Cover Page
Buffalo in Briefs
Page 3
Blind Date Scenario
Kino Korner - Movies
[sic] - Your Letters
The BEAST Blog


ISSUE#77PDF FILE (right-click & "save target")


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Lake Erie Surfin’
by Matt Higgins

“Every day revolves around surfing,” said Kenny Ashburn. The South Buffalo native was on the phone last week talking from Hawaii, where he lives. “It beats going to the Elmwood Strip and getting fucked up every night. I did that for a while. I would be dead if I kept at that.”

Ashburn began surfing about 10 years ago on Lake Erie after visiting Virginia Beach. He saw surfers riding waves smaller than what he was used to back home. So he bought a board and brought it to Buffalo, then paddled out and began catching waves. Soon he met other surfers in the area and began to learn the best spots. Eventually he caught the bug big-time and moved to Hawaii to dedicate himself to surfing.

About 50 hardcore surfers remain in the Niagara Frontier, including Canada, and hundreds more are spread out over the other four Great Lakes. They are all hearty guys – and women -- who surf in thick wetsuits late in the season when the water and air are freezing, and the waves get big due to fall and winter windstorms.

Surfers have been riding waves in the Great Lakes for 40 years. The Wyldewood (Ontario) Surf Club, a local group of surfers from the U.S. and Canada, was founded in the mid-1960s. Still, little is known about Great Lakes surfers, even though there are hundreds of them.

Now, they are finally getting their due: A surfer from Grand Haven, Michigan, has made a paean to Great Lakes surfing with his film “Unsalted.” It depicts the sport’s intensity, along with some history.

The visuals are awesome. Chances are you’ve never seen waves like these on the lakes. If you have, you’ve never considered paddling into them. Some of the waves in the film are easily 15 feet. Big, nasty foaming monsters. A few local Lake Erie surfers are depicted in “Unsalted,” carving big waves on the Canadian side of the lake near Port Colborne during some nasty weather in late fall.

Alas, there are few nice days at the beach for Lakes surfers. If the wind is howling out of the southwest, and you wouldn’t think of going to the beach, then there might be surf, according to Ashburn.

“You can tell: If you drive to the Peace Bridge and waves are going over the break wall, then it’s going off in Canada.”

“Unsalted” will be screened in Toronto June 26 at 6 and 9 p.m., at The Fox, 2236 Queen Street East. Call 416-691-7330 for information.

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