An article and photographs in the  Torontoist - "For Lake Ontario Surfers, Winter is No Obstacle"

Winter in Toronto has its proponents and its detractors—and then there are the surfers, whose relationship with the season falls into a category all its own.

“You gotta be careful. I mean, you can get hypothermia pretty quick,” said Gavin Fregona, a long-time boarder, originally from South Africa, who discovered three years ago what area wave riders have known for decades: Lake Ontario is surfable, year-round.

Yes, the water gets extremely chilly over the course of the winter months, but as long as its phase of matter is still essentially liquid, surfers can be found enjoying swells kicked up by the high winds associated with cold weather.

“Sometimes they get up to seven, eight feet—probably closer to January, when the storms come through,” Fregona told us. We were speaking with him over the phone, from the relative comfort of a downtown apartment. It’s generally acknowledged that the lake’s surf is higher in winter than in summer, but even so it seemed possible that he was exaggerating.

Last Thursday, we drove to a spot along the Scarborough lakeshore whose exact location we promised not to reveal. Our contacts were concerned that wide publicity would cause the area to become crowded with inexperienced surfers. Cold-weather surfing on Lake Ontario can be dangerous, and so it makes a certain amount of sense to create obstacles for first-timers, though how many people would be enticed by the prospect of submerging themselves in water for several hours on a freezing-cold day remains anyone’s guess.

>>> Click for the complete article and pictures

Kenny Ashburn on Magilla's old board at Magilla Memorial Contest

Shortboard Results:

NAME Div. Div. Points Open Pts

Daniel Robinson Masters 1000 1000

Kody Kasper Mens 1000 900

Aurelien Bouche-PillonMasters 900 810

Ryan White Sr. Mens 1000 730

Kenny Ashburn Sr. Mens 900 660

Matt Thompson Mens 900 560

George Holmes Masters 810 480

Jim Hoop Grand Masters 1000 480

Alex Colvin Masters 730 430

Jonathan Ambeault Masters 730 430

Gavin Fregona Legends 900 390

Bob Castleman Legends 900 390

Longboard Results:

NAME Div. Div. Points Open Pts

Jim Hoop Masters Long 1000 1000

Kenny Ashburn Masters Long 900 900

Ryan White Masters Long 810 810

Alex Colvin Mens Long 1000 730

Jonathan Ambeault Mens Long 900 660

Matt Roy Mens Long 810 560

Bob Castleman Legends Long 1000 480

First SUP4MS paddle from Hamilton Bridge to Toronto, Ashbridge Bay - >> story and details on the first paddle (PDF) website (click here)

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