Surfer Gets Community Service for Catching Lake Waves

Rex Flodstrom was arrested last month for surfing at Oak Street Beach

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rex Flodstrom, 40, was arrested last month for surfing at Oak Street Beach on a particularly windy day producing choppy lake waters. (Published Thursday, Feb 16, 2012)

    A local surfer got 20 hours for hanging 10 on Lake Michigan waves.

    Rex Flodstrom, 40, was arrested last month for surfing at Oak Street Beach on a particularly windy day producing choppy lake waters.

    Beaches are closed until May 25, and Flodstrom was arrested. He was cited for disorderly conduct and violating a Chicago Park District ordinance.

    In court Thursday, a judge ordered Flodstrom to serve 20 hours of community service. If the service is met, the judge said, charges will be dropped.

    "I hope that people will be able to surf in Chicago," Flodstrom said after court, "and that there will be more access and all beaches and all waves will be accessible to all people."

    Flodstrom supporters, including Laguna Beach surfer James Pribram, said 20 hours is nothing compared to the community service Flodstrom already does and surfers in general do.

    "When I heard this story, I was just blown away that another surfer was arrested here," said Pribram, who hasn't previously met Flodstrom.

    From court the group headed to Montrose Beach to clean up the area and paddle out on their boards.

    The Chicago Park District urges people not to swim off beaches because lifeguards are not on duty until later this year, but Flodstrom said he thought surfing off the beach was legal.

    "Surfing is not a crime," he said.

    "We all think that surfing should be legal," Pribram said, "and [offenders] maybe get a ticket and a slap on the wrist at worst."