It was a cold but fun morning and even collected our first icicles of the year. Our first two spot checks at dawn were a bust on Lake Huron. We traveled further South to find a better wave. Kevin headed out first and I followed shortly after. The wind stayed a bit West longer than anticipated which resulted in smaller waves than we anticipated. Best of all the current was not a bad as it usually is at this location which made for a much more enjoyable morning. We still had some fun rides and we were thankful the sun stayed out.
We had a great time out on the lake for a quick session. It was a blast being the only ones out riding, mostly thanks to the great wetsuits. We each scored a few really fun rides and learning new tips and tricks to improve the riding. On the Slingshot wing, the slower pumps really help rather than sprinting to pump as hard as you can.
We have been foiling a bit both behind the kite and on a standup paddleboard behind the boat, but this was a whole new experience. Riding the shorter boards with a foil behind the boat was a really fun time. The shorter board was a lot like the feeling when kiting a foil. It was fast, snappy and lively. The boards we rode were a little wider than I have used in the past which helped prevent making drastic weight adjustments.
We first rode right behind the boat where we would normally ride a wake surfboard. This was similar to how we rode in the past just with different gear. You had to be careful to not ride too high onto the wave or catch too much speed to catch up to the boat. Given the size of the wake, it was easy to retain speed and feel comfortable dropping the rope. Then we pushed back to the following wave behind the boat. This took a bit of commitment as at first we didn’t have a rope long enough so you had to drop the rope then drift back to catch the wave. It was a pretty crazy feeling. From 2′ up it doesn’t look like much of a wave, let alone have enough power to propel you. But it does and it was amazing. We all had much more fun on the 2nd wave back which felt more like surfing a longboard. It was a little slower more cruisy feeling. I would have to do a pump then a couple turns followed by another pump to get back to the sweet spot on the wave and repeat.
We rode the Slingshot Alien Air Foil board with the Slingshot H2 foil on the second wave behind the boat and the Slingshot WF1 board with the Slingshot H5 foil right behind the boat. Both foils were really fun and very different. The H2 was a bit less maneuverable from side-to-side than the higher performance H5 foil. Carving was much easier and more fun on the H5 (higher performance foil). You are able to generate a lot more speed from pumping on the H2 than the H5 foil. This allows you to more easily catch back up to the wave if you drop too far back or allows you to create your own momentum with little to no wave.
A big North front came into the region. It gave us a nice break from the hot humid temperatures. It also happened to deliver us a few hours of joy on Lake Huron. The crew headed out for an evening paddle. We were out there for a good 3-4 hours. It is hard to stop when we don’t get waves that often in the summer.
Everyone caught their share of fun waves. The wind started to die out just before sunset and the waves started to glass off a bit. The size started to drop but not before it was dark. We topped the night off with a dinner and called it a day!
I headed North with Sean and Bhavim to try for a flatwater day in Tawas. We arrived to some mild whitecaps in the bay, but it was hazy and didn’t look too promising. Walking out to the beach we see Parks riding a 9m and foil ripping up wind. We started to get excited, but oddly only the tall trees were moving in a mild breeze. I was feeling pretty nervous with my biggest kite being a 12m. I pumped and suited up. We launched the kites to find there was a ton of wind up top and very little on the beach, due to the warm air and cold water.
It took 2-3 tacks South to get to the point finding the classic buttery flat water. I was powered and knew it was going to be a great day. It was a pretty surreal trip as Tawas was the first place I kited. A bunch of the old crew showed up and it was amazing getting to catch up and ride with everyone.
We rode behind the point for a few hours as the wind continued to increase in strength. We became very powered on the 12m kites and had a great boost session. Aaron recorded a 44′ jump. The wind came to be too much and we headed back to the beach for a quick lunch. We then rigged 9m kites and headed back to the point to do it all over again. What a day!
Jon and I took a trip for a dawn patrol session on Lake Huron. We stopped a few places along the way. The waves were not as large as we expected, but it sure was as chilly as forecasted. It looked pretty flat and unappealing from the car. So, it took quite a bit of effort to muster the strength to change into a wetsuit and brave the cold side-shore winds. We wound up finding a nice little point to catch a few waves.
There were a few decent rides but the wave angle wasn’t ideal for the locations we checked. There seemed to be a lot of closeout waves mixed in with the gems. I had quite a few fun waves before we had to pack it up. We made the track up the beach into the wind, through the rocky shore back to the car. We changed, warmed up and headed home.
We had a great Spring ride at Island Lake. We did around 9 miles through picturesque views of forests, lakes, and rivers. It’s definitely worth checking out. It also looks like a terrific place to paddle. Here are a couple quick pics before the ride.
I headed out to check the surf today. It wound up being an unseasonably warm winter day. The wind was on the waves too much by the time I made it out to the lake. I took pictures of a few braves soles before heading out.
We had a great time shooting with Deena, David and their kids. It was a beautiful warm fall day and the photos show it.
We had a great time in Colorado for Jeff and Sarah’s wedding.
I challenged myself to shoot only film that day. All the photos were shot on a Hasselblad 503CX with 80mm lens. I shot 4 Rolls 3x Tri-x 400 and 1x Ilford DELTA 3200 pushed 2 stops. The 3200 was a big experiment that didn’t go too well. The shots were too dark and super grainy. But, I was happy with the Tri-X shots and the success rate from each roll.
A huge congrats to Jeff and Sarah!