For many ocean dwellers the concept of surfing on a freshwater lake is unfathomable, let alone in the dead of the Canadian winter. However, on the windiest and seemingly coldest of days those familiar neoprene clad bobbing heads can be seen within the waves of the Great Lakes. These lakes have a comparatively new surf scene but it is expanding quickly. Within that scene is a strong community of women that ban together to scratch that itch of waves that the ocean fosters. These women are outdoor outliers, braving the normally unpleasant conditions and wind to do what they love. They are also a fairly small percent of the population, most of the lake surfers are men. Someone recently said to me “we can’t always be what we can’t see” and that resonated with me. Outdoor Outliers aims to document these outliers and represent more women in the surf scene. Many female forerunners in history have been what they can’t see and it’s time we honoured them and helped more women see what they thought they could not be.
This project is the beginning of a long term project on outdoor outliers who exist in the outdoor world. The next group of outliers being explored are female Ice Climbers in Southern Ontario.