Two hard-core surfer brothers helped transform Sheboygan, Wisconsin, into one of the most recognized freshwater surfing spots in the world!
SOME LIKE IT COLD
A Sheboygan Surfin’ Safari
By William Povletich
“Some Like It Cold highlights the good-time years of surfing on the Great Lakes of North America. Brothers Williams are true surfers who will suffer through cold water and weather to feel the feeling only a surfer knows. A great read for anybody interested in the lesser-known history of surfing.” –John Lyman, Director, The Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum
“Surfing in Wisconsin? You bet! Some Like It Cold is a story that screams to be told. The ongoing saga of brothers Larry and Lee Williams documents a near five decades deep impassioned love affair with surfing; all this amidst the uncharted wave fields of an inland ocean. Larry and Lee could have easily pulled up stakes along the way and migrated to the fertile surfing grounds of Southern California & beyond…. but they didn’t. These guys are on to something and they know it in their hearts. Follow the Williams brothers and their surfing sub-culture coterie through episodes of life’s conquests and tragedies played out in America’s Heartland.” –Mark Fragale, Curator, Honolulu Surfing Museum
For the past six decades, twin brothers Lee and Larry Williams have been surfing the gnarliest waves despite living nearly 2,000 miles from any ocean. To overcome the obstacles of being born and raised in Sheboygan, Wis., they brought their dreams and long boards to the shores of Lake Michigan. Some Like It Cold: A Sheboygan Surfin’ Safari (Clerisy Press, May 2010, $14.95) chronicles the lives of two brothers and the evolution of the unique culture they helped build.
Since the Williams brothers rode their first Lake Michigan waves as teenagers, surfing became their life’s ambition. Often braving 35-degree waters and wind-chill temperatures hovering below zero, they quickly realized the “Malibu of the Midwest’s” biggest adversaries weren’t the lack of waves, but rather hypothermia and frostbite. Customizing their wetsuits to allow them to last nearly three hours in the iciest of waters, the brothers helped revolutionize a surfing culture unknown to most.
At the encouragement of friends and family, the Williams brothers organized the first Dairyland Surf Classic in 1988 as an opportunity to meet and compete with those who shared their love of Great Lakes surfing. What began as a humble social gathering of a couple dozen friends now attracts hundreds of surfers and thousands of fans from around the world. The event parallels the Williams’ lifelong mission to ride the ultimate wave while bringing a newfound respect to the sport they love in the place they call home.
Native Wisconsinite William Povletich is the author of Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak and Green Bay Packers: Legends in Green and Gold, as well as numerous magazine articles on sports and entertainment. As an Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker, he recently produced Police Women of Broward County for TLC, Beach Patrol for Court TV, and A Braves New World for PBS’ Milwaukee Public Television. Povletich lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and two sons.