Experiencing Interruptions?

On Days Like These We Must Surf

Surfing on a lake? Impossible, right? Wrong. Loveable wild-man Larry Cavero lives for surfing the ice-cold waters of The Great Lakes in this short documentary about the burgeoning surf scene around Toronto, Canada.

  • Jake Kovnat
  • Skin & Bones Film Co.
  • Larry Cavero
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Action Sports, Surf, Surfing, Extreme Sports, Sports, Character, Human Interest, Environment, Water
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 15, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Rochester International Film Festival
    United States
    April 22, 2017
    Shoestring Award
  • RideOn Film Festival
    November 5, 2016
    Golden Ride On Award International Connection
Director Biography - Jake Kovnat

Jake was raised in Upstate NY before moving to Toronto in 2003 to attend The University of Toronto to study cinema. He got his start by directing a number of short films and music videos, including “Monday Morning” (Finalist, YouTube / Sundance Film Festival Project:Di- rect, 2010).

Since then, he moved to directing commercials in the US and Canada for a number of top international brands including: HP, GQ, Bud Light, Weber, and Campbell’s, to name a few.

When not behind the camera, Jake enjoys traveling to surf destinations around the world and taking stupid pictures of his French Bulldog, Biggie Smalls.

His latest film, “On Days Like These We Must Surf” is a personal meditation on the seemingly-insane sport of surfing on the ice-cold waters of The Great Lakes. Premiering October 2016.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I first met Larry in the fall of 2015. I was a beginner lake surfer who was looking for someone to help guide me in this crazy winter sport that I knew nothing about. What kind of wetsuit do I need? What kind of board? Where do I go? Cold water survival? Etc.

A friend sent me to Larry who runs a small surf shop out of his basement in a suburban neighbourhood just north of Toronto. As soon as I rang his doorbell, he burst through his front door and welcomed me with open arms, obviously thrilled to see another person interested in his beloved sport. In no time, he set me up with full-body wetsuit coverage, and even lent me surfboard (for free!) just so I could get out on the water that weekend.

Larry is rare gem. He’s the kind of person who instantly falls in love with everyone he meets and in turn, makes everyone fall in love with him. His one mission in life seems to be to spread the joy of surfing to as many people as possible. This means sharing everything with everyone and doing whatev- er it takes to get people out on the water. But if you’ve ever tried surfing in one of the more popular destinations around the world, you know just how rare it is to meet someone like this. All too often the international surf community is dominated by a ‘locals-only’ and ‘find-your-own-wave’ mentality.

As soon as I met Larry, I realized that his story needed to be told. How does this suburban father, originally from Peru, discover surfing on The Great Lakes? Why is he so damn happy about surfing waves that most ocean-surfers wouldn’t even look at? And how does he survive / thrive in surfing such brutal conditions?

With this film I set out to capture the essence of Larry’s playful, loveable attitude in the context of the beautiful, mysterious, unforgiving and harsh realities of surfing on The Great Lakes.

Jake Kovnat