Surfing in Chicago: Top 5 Surfing Spots in Chicago for Lake Surfers!

Can you surf in Chicago? Yes! Absolutely! The shoreline of Lake Michigan nestles numerous spots for surfing. The cold weather, the strong winds all culminate for the Great Lakes to be a great spot to surf. Even though Chicago had banned surfing for quite some time, lifting the ban has been a boon for the surfers. There are some inevitable spots in the Windy City for surfers to explore and quench their thirst for surfing!

What Is the Best Time for Surfing in Chicago?

Short and peaky-winds during the fall, winter, and early spring are the most convenient season for surfing in Chicago. During this time, the wind-producing weather patterns are in greater abundance aiding surfing weather for the surfers. 

Cruise across Lake Michigan with these Surf spots in Chicago!

5 Fantastic Spots for Surfing in Chicago

1. Kathy Osterman Beach

Formerly known as the Hollywood Beach, Kathy Osterman Beach is one of the best beaches in Chicago. With a large volleyball area and several eateries, this beach is one of the most well-maintained and famous beaches in Chicago. The beach attracts plenty of visitors, mostly surfers, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, wherein it serves as a surfing ground. The best time to surf here is during the fall, spring, and winters. 
Address: 5800 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60640
Open Hours: 6.00 AM to 11.00 PM

2. North Avenue Beach

Located just off Lincoln Park, the North Avenue Beach is fun for all ages. Being Chicago's famous beach, the North Avenue Beach not only nestles a beautiful steamboat-shaped boathouse along with other attractions but offers surfing options as well. The waves here range between 50 meters to 300 meters that are ideal for any level surfer. 
Address: 1601 N. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60611
Open Hours: 6.00 AM to 11.00 PM

3. Rainbow Beach

Offering a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline, the Rainbow beach nestles in the South Chicago neighborhood. The south end of Rainbow Beach is ideal for non-motorized paddle sports like kayaking and surfing, making it a popular spot amongst surfers and kayakers. However, kiteboarding is not allowed at Rainbow beach.  
Address: 2873 E. 75th Street Chicago, IL 60649
Open Hours: 6.00 AM to 11.00 PM

4. Montrose Beach

Located in the uptown neighborhood, Montrose Beach offers its visitors several water sports in the Lake Michigan water trail. Visitors often are seen kayaking, canoeing, SUPing, and kiteboarding at the south end of Montrose Beach. Moreover, Montrose Beach is the only Beach in Chicago that allows kiteboarding. Additionally, visitors can also enjoy bird watching at the beach since many migratory birds fly here during the fall and spring seasons. 
Address: 4400 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60640
Open Hours: 6.00 AM to 11.00 PM

5. 57th Street Beach 

While indulging in recreational activities like swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, the 57th Street Beach in Jackson Park is an ideal spot to enjoy the Lakefront. Few miles walk away from the beach lies the Promontory Point- a peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. It is the perfect spot for surfing when the winds are strong. 
Address: 5700 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60611
Open Hours: 6.00 AM to 11.00 PM

3 Best Surf Schools in Chicago

Housed in the city are several surf schools to purchase surfing accessories and learn surfing. Led by experienced surfers, you will be cruising across Lake Michigan in no-time with these schools for surfing in Chicago.

1. Third Coast Surf School

Third Coast Surf School started surf lessons in 2005 on Lake Michigan. Whether you are a beginner or want to hone your surfing skills, instructors at Third Coast Surf School will cater to your every need. Not only does it offer surfing lessons but also surfing accessories.
1.5-hour lesson
Ages 6+
Includes all equipment
Group of six people:1 instructor
Pricing: USD 75 for 90 Minutes.

2. Chicago SUP

Whether you are a seasoned paddler or looking to learn surfing skills, Chicago SUP caters to all your needs. Get yourself enrolled in our surfing group of 7 or more and learn surfing with the most qualified surfing instructors. 
Address: 1601 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, Illinois 60614
Contact Information: (773) 575-4787
Pricing: USD 65 -a half-hour of coaching followed by another hour of equipment rental to practice your technique.
5-Hours Pass: USD 150,
10-Hour Pass: USD 250
Unlimited Season Pass: USD 500
Rentals: USD 35

3. Wakeboarding Chicago

Wakeboarding is another sport for you to enjoy the waters of Lake Michigan. Located in the suburbs of Chicago, the Wakeboarding Chicago school teaches its students the thrill of wakeboarding. Instructed by experienced mentors to learn wakeboarding, all you need to know is swimming.
Pricing: USD 129 (summer months only).
Age Group: 3-76 years

5 FAQs on Surfing in Chicago

1. Which Type of Surfboard Is Ideal for Surfing in Chicago?

Surfers' body weight, skill, and wave conditions determine the surfboard required for surfing. However, beginners can opt for the longboard, whereas avid surfers can surf in almost any king of surfing boards. 

2. How Big are the Waves?

The exact number is hard to predict since the size of the waves depends upon many factors. These factors include wind speed, wind direction, wind duration, the length of water the wind is blowing over, and so on. It is best to check the surf report on the following website. It gives a clear indication of the waves on an hourly and weekly basis.

3. What Are the Other Accessories Required for Surfing Besides a Surfboard?

Surfboards and wetsuits are pretty obvious. However, other accessories include a surfboard bag to protect your board, wax, leash, and soft racks to carry your board in the car. 

4. What Are the Dangers Associated with Surfing in Chicago?

Jetties, Piers, rocks, cold air, etc., are some of the obstructions faced by surfers while Surfing in Chicago. Most of the surfer injuries occur when the surfboard hits the lake bottom or another surfboard. 

5. Will Wetsuits Keep Us Warm During Winters?

Right wetsuit and gear that commensurate with the weather conditions are necessary. Wearing a 3/2 mm wetsuit is appropriate for summers but not for winters. Avid surfers often carry different wetsuits and accessories that are apt for all seasons. It helps them surf comfortably and safely.

Surf in one of the Great Lakes of North America, with these surfing spots in the Windy City. Be rest assured that Lake Surfing in Chicago can be as much fun as ocean surfing!

This post was published by Akshita Dhiman

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