On the northeast side of Lake Carlos is a business that is all about helping people experience the fun of being out on the water.
Mike Jost is the man behind Hang Loose MN and Lake Carlos Marina. He doesn’t just promote the fun of surfing, wake boarding, wake surfing, stand up paddle boarding, e-foiling, and on and on—he has walked the walk, so-to-speak. From all over the warm Caribbean waters to the stormy chop of icy Lake Superior, Mike has experienced the fun and challenge of being out on the water.
He gets almost as much if not more excitement from sharing his passion for water sports with his guests and students. He has seen so many people conquer the waves for the very first time and greeted them with that familiar big smile. He says his students range in age from 4 to 74. On average, he will spend about 400 boat hours each summer teaching about four people per hour. Mike guesstimates that he has taught over 15,000 lessons. Although some were repeat customers, that is still a lot of people catching his excitement for being on the water. Mike absolutely loves what he does and says that helping others succeed and find the sense of accomplishment and empowerment while out in the boat with him is the greatest gift he can give.
Mike says, “Life is like a song, when it’s over it vanishes, but the memories of it will last in the minds of those that heard it and if it’s good, hopefully they’ll remember it forever. I want to help families and friends make memories together that will last forever.”
Mike’s memories of “lake time” with his family and friends are some of his most important and dear. He adds, “The sense of accomplishment from some of the challenges can hold me up through just about anything. It’s a great bonding experience that you can share with so many too.”
The Alexandria Lakes Area features more than 350 lakes. Nearly all are good for fishing, but there are many recreational lakes in the mix. Because of the demand to vacation in Douglas County, it may take months, if not years, to get into a cabin or lodge on the water, but it’s worth a look. Once someone does experience a little of that lake living, like Mike, it’s difficult to think of life in the lakes area any other way.