The Ice Beard Surfers of Lake Superior

Yes, Lake Superior does actually have surfing, and yes, there are people who do surf there year round. The most famous of those crazy surfers would have to be Daniel “Surfer Dan” Schetter, whose ice beard is the stuff of legends. At least it’s the stuff of VICE’s latest addition to their “Local Legends” video series.

Schetter came into internet fame when images of his “ice beard” went viral. How does one grow an ice beard? By first having beard and then by surfing in sub-freezing weather. That practice results in icicles clinging to the hairs of your beard. Add in a trident—which Schetter just happens to have—and you start to look like a real-life Poseidon.

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Ice Beards

In the nine-minute video from VICE, Schetter discusses how he got into surfing, and how it saved his life. He’s joined in the adventure by fellow bearded surfer Allen Finau, who also has an epic beard and hair to match. For Schetter, being called a “legend” is a bit confusing. He’s just being himself. “I don’t really know what a legend is, it’s a lot of pressure, but at the same time, I’m not trying to live up to that, I’m just being me,” says Schetter. “I think the fun stuff we do is so unique that it seems legendary to people when to me it’s kind of, like, normal.” What’s normal to Schetter, however, involves air temperatures of 7 degrees Fahrenheit and water temperatures as low as 24 degrees Fahrenheit.

But it’s not just all ice beards for Schetter. He’s also saved the lives of several individuals while surfing. “When the fire chief told me that I’m the most valuable guy in the water during rescues,” says Schetter, “I agreed with him.” Surfer Dan leads a legendary life, that’s for sure, and it’s one that few people could do.

Check it out

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