I can’t remember what year it was, but I met a guy named John who told me he was going to paddle a solo kayak around Lake Superior. I couldn’t believe this could be done, but when I looked in his eyes I knew he would complete it, and of course he did. That guy was John Abrahams, and I learned never to doubt his ideas.
He would dream about something, and then unlike most of us, he would go out and do it. When kayak racing came to Lake Superior, John was the first person I knew to paddle on an ocean surf ski. I could barely paddle that kayak on calm water, and yet John would be out training in the roughest water he could find. Many times after a training session, his dry suit would be covered in ice with only his arms still working. His hard work paid off, and he won the Great River Energy Marathon in Two Harbors. He also won many other races around the Great Lakes…multiple times.
His passion for paddling rubbed off on many of us, and soon surf skis were a common sight on the cold waters of Lake Superior. John started his business, Lake Superior Surf Systems, and spread the word of performance kayaking across the country. He recruited many other performance paddlers to the two Harbors Kayak Festival, and ultimately became the race director. Again, because of his hard work, several unlimited class ocean surf skis participate and have become a trademark of the Two Harbors Kayak Festival marathon race.
John Abrahams passed away last year. While he will be sorely missed, his dreams and his passion will live on in our beautiful Two Harbors Kayak Festival. Thank you, John.