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Northern MI man surfs Lake Superior during polar vortex

MARQUETTE, Mich. — While many Michiganders spent their time during the polar vortex taking shelter from the cold, a northern Michigan man took to the Great Lakes on a surf board.

Surfer Dan is well-known in northern Michigan and is gaining popularity online after a series of photos were taken of him heading to the water with a frozen beard and trident in hand.

Devon Hains, a photographer and Northern Michigan University student, went to Marquette with Dan and Allen Finau for a photo shoot Sunday.

“The conditions from the Sunday shoot were just perfect,” Hains said. “We had beautiful sunlight, which can be a rare thing for the U.P. in the winter months.”

While the subjects of his photos took precautions against the cold like wearing wetsuits made for frigid conditions, Hains had to wear multiple layers and focus on keeping his camera dry.

Hains said he had to be careful with his breath, as the water vapor could freeze over the lens and make the photos blurry.

Despite difficult conditions, the group still had fun and produced stunning photos.

“We’re all friends, and I think that helps these sessions result in such great photos,” Hains said. “It’s pretty hilarious when Allen’s whole face has, he had to guess, about 30 lbs. of ice clinging to it.”

After the shoot, Surfer Dan says it takes “half a hot shower” to thaw out his beard.

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