Cabana Ad

Great Lake Surfers Spring Surfer Derek Mackenzie


Derek Mackenzie

June 30 1974

Home surf Break
I grew up in Nova Scotia but did not surf. My home break here in Ontario is hard to say because I am willing to travel anywhere there is a wave.
If I had to choose a fave spot it would be HBay on Erie.

How many years have you been surfing?  How many years have you surfed the lakes?
Ha. I started surfing last summer. I am a total grom.
I have only surfed the lakes. I am fresh water through and through. 

Favourite shape of board to ride?
I ride a super fish so that's my favourite.  
I am feeling that  as my quiver grows every new board will be my new favourite. 

Favourite surfing brands? (Billabong etc…)
I honestly and still figuring it all out.
I am like a kid in a candy store when I am in a surf shop.
I want to try everything.

What does surfing represent for you?
Wow. Surfing keeps growing in my heart.
The more I surf the more it means.
I am starting to realize that it has become  a great love affair.
I was a skateboarder back when skateboarding was all about style and skill.
I always took that seriously and did my research on whoever came before us and innovated the sport.
I have been trying hard to figure out the true spirit of surfing and what stoke actually means.
Surf stoke is real. I never would have believed it.
It always seems so cliche from me being an outsider to surfing but now I have experienced it for myself. 
As far as being a Great Lake surfer that means everything.
I am proud of that. I wear that badge and fly that flag when ever I have the opportunity.
The people I have met surfing the lakes have changed my life.
I love all these crazy fuckers!!!

What do you find most difficult about surfing the lakes?
Nothing. I love it.
Well, getting a 6/5/4 off with three inches of ice on it does pose some problems. 

What do you love the most about surfing the lakes?
The people I have met.
Waves are cool but it's the other surfers who share the same passion that make me keep at it during a "polar vortex”!
I also love that it is inconsistent.
It makes us appreciate it more when it is really good.
I also makes us drive 4 hours at the hint of waves.
The lakes keeps you hungry and pure I think. We are not spoiled here.

Which seasons do you surf? (spring, summer, fall and winter)
What kind of question is this? We surf all of them!

Favourite music to listen to before going surfing?
Dude, I am old now.
I listen to talk radio. 

Describe the best ride you have had on the Lakes or Ocean, biggest accomplishment you've had surfing the Lakes.
Every day out is my biggest accomplishment.
-25 degrees and crawling into water with ice chunks that could crush me is an accomplishment.
Every time out I am learning and getting stronger.
I am always just trying to lay a solid foundation for my future in surfing.
Every day has been the best day. 

Favourite place to surf in the lakes? Favourite place to surf in the world?
I love hbay, k pier, the bridge, mcp, light house. 
As far as the world.
No idea. Have not had my dream trip yet.

Tell me a bit about the first time you learned to surf.
It was a shit show.
Some days it is still a shit show out there.
I have been out on some really big days and have been humbled greatly.

What are some of the ways you stay healthy or fit for surfing? (ex: foods you eat, types of activities/exercises, lifestyle etc)
No idea.   Beer?

If you could surf anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to surf Peru for some reason.
I want to just surf where ever I am surrounded by good vibes. 

Who is your pro surfer idol and why?
To be honest, it's Larry Cavero. 
He has been such an amazing influence on me that he personifies what surfing is to me.
He is an inspiration to so many people I know.
Of course I love Kelly Slater, john john and all the old school cats....
They are all amazing but are so far removed from me that it's the locals who move me.
I have been lucky, I have been able to access the stoke of people like Edgar Mendes, Dave Burke,
Elias Tobia., Alan And Deb Reany, Mike Sandusky, Nancy woods, Dave hon, Stephanie Kwong, Robin Paquin,
Antonio and Helene,James Carrick, Josh Davy, Elie Landesburg, Lake kook, Matt Roy , Dana Stringham,
Aurélien Bouché-Pillon and the list goes on and on and on.
So many rad people. So many rad days getting to know all these people.
I can't wait to meet everyone who shares the lakes.
I just wanted to shout these people out because they have all made a huge impact and supported me in some way or another.
The thing that has been the most fun for me has been sharing the stoke with my mermaid Gillian Schiffner.
To have a partner in crime has been amazing.
She understands it because she is as stoked as I am.
I love that and feel super lucky.  

Have you ever suffered from a surf injury? If so feel free to explain what happened.
Nothing beyond frost bite and getting my ass served to me every time I get in the water.
I have had my ego destroyed a few times.

Do you participate in local surf competitions?
Naw, maybe but I doubt it. 

Other than surfing, what are some of your favourite things to do?
I make music. Rap music!

Is there anything you would like to say to people who are thinking of learning to surf? (tips, words of wisdom, words of encouragement etc). 
Surfing is hard.
The only thing that has helped me besides words of wisdom from my crew in the lakes is just by getting out as much as possible.
That will be the only way to improve.
I am still waiting for my next big “a ha “ moment out there.

In a  few words please describe your personality.  Are you outgoing? Shy in the water? Sense of humour…etc
Like I said earlier, I was a skater and how we grew up was if someone ripped we told them.
We were all vocal and supportive and I have brought that to the water.
I love seeing people rip in the water.
I am always hollering props at people!

Are there any life goals you would like to achieve?
Life goals? Thats a huge question but if you mean for surfing I just hope to be surfing for life I guess.

Feel free to provide me with any other information about yourself and surfing that you would like to share.
This message was typed on an IPad with two over sized thumbs.
Please excuse any spelling mistakes you may find!

Derek Mackenzie

E -
W -
P - 647 868 7625


You might also be interested in:

  • Girl Power
    GLS Girl of the Month

    February kicks off another month of Lake surfing. With schizophrenic weather patterns and numerous freeze-thaw cycles, surfing hasn’t exactly been consistent. Sure, there are a few eccentric nut

  • Tarp surfing
    Great Lake Surfer Angela Gunn

    Great Lake Surfer Angela Gunn This girl is wicked, not afraid to kill on land or in water. No matter what the temperature lol. Angela has been a part of the Sauble local family for a long time.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos & Photos

Subscribe to Newsletter

You are subscribed.
Email already exist!