Sleeping Bear Surf
Sleeping Bear Surf
5
Friday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
Sleeping Bear Surf is a family owned & operated community hub; specializing in retail, rental, lessons, classes, camps and retreats, providing education around water safety, advocating for Great Lakes protections, and hosting not-to-miss community events. Make it a day and choose from a large fleet of surfboards, wetsuits, stand-up paddle boards, bodyboards, skimboards, and cargo or fat tire bikes. Book a surf lesson, sign your kiddo up for Jr. Waterman Camp, invest in yourself via Shred Camp, join a Community Full Moon Paddle, or take on the Bear the Elements Challenge. At the shop, find a wide assortment of high quality gear to ensure you’re well suited for your next surf mission, paddling trip, beach outing, or everyday adventure. At Sleeping Bear Surf we are dedicated to connecting all who walk through our door with the bountiful freshwater playground that is the Great Lakes, no matter what the weather provides! So come, Get Your Feet Wet, and experience the Freshwater Life!
Empire, Michigan

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(2 reviews)
(6 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles14 reviews
Excellent
12
Very good
2
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

hollyslaughter5
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
This was the second year for our kids (9 and 10 years old) to have surfing lessons with Ella! And it was once again a fabulous experience!!! It is their favorite vacation activity:)

Ella spends time educating the kids, and then adjusting the lessons based on their individual skill. She has a great personality, and immediately connects with the kids. She is encouraging and celebrates their victories. We will be sure to continue this activity each year!!! Thank you for an awesome experience!!!
Written July 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda W
Dallas, TX29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Friends
This location was perfect for kayak rental! Super easy and extremely helpful and friendly people in the family owned store. It is only a couple of blocks from the beach, so no long drives or dropping off your car and taking a bus back, etc. There is a small lake for all levels to paddle on or practice and then right across the beach parking lot is Lake Michigan. The beach was also very nice and clean. I highly recommend renting here and taking in some relaxing time on the beach. Return was also really quick, just returned the gear when we left the beach for the day and they went down alone and picked up the kayaks. The owners were great and suggested a drive down to Frankford, which we would have missed and was a perfect end to our MI trip.
Written August 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cruiser585102
Cincinnati, OH3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018
Excellent staff! Friendly and helpful! We were not sure if our car could hold a paddle board on top but the staff came up with a plan that worked beautifully . Prices were reasonable too! I would definitely rent from this place again.
Great customer service!
Written June 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

R_G
Illinois183 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Family
Our vacation plans were to stay at Traverse City, but since we own skim boards, we were looking for a place to teach our kids how to use them.

Looking on the web, I found the Surf shop, and gave them a chance.
Many people have asked me - Who surfs on Lake Michigan??
Well, our kids did and they loved it.

Our instructor, Ella, was great with the 3 kids. Friendly, patient and fun, all smiles.

We ended up taking 2 lessons over the week span, and our kids want to come back for more. When you sign up for the lesson, rent the wet suit, you are renting it for the entire day, not just for the surfing lesson.
Having the wet suit for the entire day will allow the kids to enjoy Lake Michigan more, especially on a cold windy day.

Our 2nd lesson was on a cool, windy day that help build up the surf, and our kids had great time riding the waves. Great little shop, with an awesome family that runs it
Written July 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KellyF5623
Chicago, IL5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Friends
Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak did a great job repairing a stand up paddle board that was damaged in a recent storm. They were helpful and friendly- when it was done, you couldn't even tell where the SUP had been damaged!
Written September 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

slabelle2016
Flint, MI26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Solo
my Bucket list of surfing lake MI with excellent instruction! Ella provided great information & her enthusiasm is contagious! I cannot wait to do this again. I highly recommend Empire Surf Shop! Great inexpensive fun!!!!
Written August 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fletchsmom
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Couples
My husband and I really enjoyed our lesson a few weeks ago. Even though it was a super calm morning water wise, Ella still had plenty to teach us in regards to the sport of surfing. She was super knowledgable and made it interesting and fun for my husband and I (in our 30's) and the 10 year old girl also in the lesson. Fun and informative for all ages. We definitely got the itch and hope to take more lessons in the future.
Written August 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelli C
73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Family
Since our 10 year old son has surfed off both the east and west coasts, while we were in Michigan he thought it would be fun to surf off of the northern part of the U.S. The experience was also unique in that he had never surfed in freshwater.

Ella at Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak was just the instructor to take him out as she is passionate about surfing. She is great with kids as well.

The backdrop for surfing Lake Michigan is great for photos as well with the Manitou Islands and Sleeping Bear Dunes behind.

Sleeping Bear Surf shop in Empire has some great surf gear as well. Our youngest fell in love with the shop dog "Mimi" who met us at the door!
Written August 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vic S
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Family
Great people and great instruction from Ella during our surf lesson!!! Highly recommend stopping by the shop for a kind, hometown feel in Empire, MI!
Written July 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kat M
East Lansing, Michigan, United States8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Friends
This was our second time renting kayaks from SBSK. They deliver the kayaks to us even though we are about twenty minutes away. The kayaks and paddles are in great shape and safe. We are not "expert kayakers " but not beginners, either. Great people and I will rent from them every summer from now on.
Written August 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Sleeping Bear Surf - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Sleeping Bear Surf Information

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