Local surfing shop plans opening


This summer, the Lake Effect Surf Shop plans to join Shorewood’s group of diverse businesses on Capitol Drive.

Jake Bresette, owner, has always wondered about the lack of surfing shops in the Milwaukee area, despite an increasing interest in the sport.

“When I came around the Milwaukee area to surf, one thing that I noticed was while the number of surfers were increasing, there was never really a surfing shop in Milwaukee,” Bresette said. “I thought it would be a good idea to bring one to the community.”

Bresette chose Shorewood for both its proximity to the lake and the community.

“I decided on Shorewood because it’s so close to Atwater beach, and Shorewood has always been a nice area,” Bresette said. “It’s a historically good neighborhood.”

While working for an insurance company, Bresette has continued his passion for surfing. He has been an avid surfer and athlete for over 10 years.

“When I was younger, I would skateboard and snowboard a lot,” Bresette said. “After high school, I moved out to Colorado and on the weekends, my friends and I would take trips to California. That’s where I discovered surfing and learned how to surf.”

Despite his roots in coastal surfing, Bresette finds the culture of the Great Lakes surfing to be more enjoyable.

“The surf culture here, on the lakes is a lot different than on the coasts; it’s amazing here,” Bresette said. “On the coasts, you usually get negative vibes, lots of people who are pretty territorial and intimidating, and it’s really hard to get inside the community…But on the lakes I’ve never gotten that feeling. Here, everybody is always welcoming, helping each other set up their boards, get into their wetsuits, they’re almost like a family.”

Other members of the Great Lakes surfing culture agree.

(Ben Davis) The storefront destined for the Lake Effect Surf Shop remains empty before its coming opening. Bresette aims to educate the community about Great Lakes surf culture, and sell surf products.

“I would compare the culture here in the Great Lakes to what surfing was like in the golden age on the coasts,” said Eric Gietzen, English department chair and avid surfer. “There’s a close knit feeling — that’s a very Shorewood vibe, and is something that I know that Jake has and his business will exude … it’s a perfect fit for the community.”

Others also agree that Bresette and the Lake Effect Surf Shop will bring a sense of community, as well as a new awareness for freshwater surfing.

“Jake Bressette is my cousin, and he’s really cool,” said Monica Dix, senior. “I’m really excited for Jake to move to Shorewood and start the business, I think he’ll really become part of the community, and being at the High School I feel like I can share it with my classmates and help them get interested as well.”

Members of the surfing community and around Shorewood believe that the new business will raise awareness of the surfing culture around the lake along with the environment, and ways to keep it and ways to keep it clean and safe.

“I think [surfing] is cool because it’s a way to keep focusing on our environment, and find ways to appreciate the lake,” Dix says. “I think this is one of those ways we can do that by getting out there and keeping it clean and safe.”

Gietzen agrees.

“[Surfing] has really given us a great relationship with the lake, a relationship that unique for anyone who tries it,” Gietzen said. “The Lake Effect Surf Shop is just another manifestation of that relationship.”

Despite being his first business, Bresette hopes his passion for surfing will inspire the community and raise awareness.

“This will be my first business venture I’ve ever done, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Bresette said. “I think with a surf shop in business, the interest in lake surfing will increase.”

Bresette invites anyone with a curiosity on freshwater surfing on Lake Michigan to stop by.

“Anytime people want more information about the shop, they can walk right in, and ask away,” Bresette said.

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