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 headed out early to Canada. It was cold and rainy on our drive. As we were driving onto the beach, the clouds broke to let in some gorgeous morning light against the stormy day.
The wind was cranking and I wound up riding my 7m Envy on short line really really powered. The waves never quite got to the usual size we were expecting, but I still had a blast. I took out the foil for a few tacks and took some good beatings.
We then packed up and headed back to the states and drove a little north to surf. As we arrived it looked FLAT. But we found a small wave in a little cove and wound up surfing for over two hours.
We scored this weekend. I was lucky to get the time to hit the lake this weekend. I had one of my best surfing session on the lakes as well as a few other sessions to keep a smile on my face for a while.
The highlight was a surf up in Frankfort, MI. We arrived when the lake was glass there were no waves to speak of. We were pretty bummed, but the wind kicked up. We wound up kited for a few minutes until we looked south and saw what we thought was a small rain storm approaching. At that time the waves slowly started to build and you could tell that they were starting to push in. We landed our kites to prepare for the rain and the rain just didn’t stop coming, but neither did the waves.
We hustled to the grab a board and rode a few waves near shore. We kept having to paddle back out further and further until the waves were breaking at the elbow of the pier and were chest to head high. Even though it was pouring rain the waves were clean, long and amazing. There were only a handful of us out maybe 5-8 surfers/paddleboarders. It was a great session!
I was having way too much fun while riding to go out shooting. I did take out the go pro for one wave at the tail end of the session after the waves started to die down significantly.
We traveled up to the thumb to find a few waves this weekend. The wind direction was great leading up to our mission, but it shifted North just before we arrived. By the time we headed out into the line up, the waves were on the small side. The wave that did make it in was really clean and provided a nice long ride. We surfed for 2-3 hours.
The wind shifted on me a bit early and went straight west. It was really windy, 35-45 knots. With the wind on shore I decided to grab a little session inside the pier heads. I had a few fun waves.
I headed west to visit Ryan and Nate before the Cooper workshop in San Fransisco. We surfed at The Lane Saturday morning. The waves were well overhead. We surfed for an hour and wound up taking 8-10 set waves on the head. We decided to call it quits for a bit. We rested up for the second session. We took out foam boards. The tide came up a bit which made the waves a little smaller. It was an absolute blast. We surfed for hours. As the sun started to set we headed in to cook dinner. Chris meet up with us and Ryan made it back from his trip in time to join.
Sunday we packed up and headed to kite the coast. The waves were even bigger than the previous day in the bay. The wind was a bit challenging as were all the kelp. We still had a good time and everyone made it back to the beach safe. What a weekend!
We had a great session at Frankfort, Mi. As we arrived we were socked in with fog. There was a fun tiny wave coming through very consistently. I surfed for a while then kited for a few hours to cap off the session. It was a great day.
Today was pretty much one of the best surf days I’ve had on the Great Lakes. The forecast was calling for SSW winds 20-30. There was a large storm cell brewing over southern Lake Michigan which looked like it would stay just south of Muskegon. Amer, Edgar and I packed up the car and headed West. As we were driving over, the southern buoys were reading 45+ knots. We were getting excited. Fall was here! We drove through part of the storm and it was windy!
We arrived to our location to find about 8 knots of wind and tons of waves. Marc was already out surfing when we arrive with a smile from ear to ear. I ran back to the car to grab my board and bolted back to the break. It was a great day with blue skies to the North and an ominous front brewing in the south. The water was warm so I wore a sleeveless-shorty. By the time I made it out to the end of the pier, the waves had picked up a lot.
The sets coming through were at least over-head and glassy. I missed the wave of the day right off the bat and still kicking myself for it. Then, I took the set of about 5 waves on the head. The lefts were going for 100-200 yards. The wind never really picked up to kite. The waves really died down by mid afternoon. It was a great day and so rare to have a day with that big of waves with no wind. The lack of images is a testament to quality and brevity of the session.
The forecast looked incredible in Northern Michigan for kiteboarding and surfing. So, we gathered the crew and headed North. The conditions were good, but the waves were really fun. They were well lined up allowing for long 200-300 yard rides. There were a ton of surfers an paddleboarders out.
The wind was a bit punchy all day. We rode 9m kites most of the day. I had a great session kiting my 9’3 In The Pink Longboard with my 9m Liquid Force Envy. It was a blast! It took me about an hour to get the turning down on such a long board, but after that it was game on. It rocketed up wind with no problem. I just had to remember to not jump or land hard in order to not break it.
We did an improptue downwinder down to Point Betise, which was fun but much smaller waves than last week’s Frankfort Session. Louis’ dad Jim graciously gave us a ride back South. We spent the rest of the day surfing and kiting at the jetty.
It has been a less than stellar spring and summer seasons this year for kiteboarding or surfing on the Great Lakes so far. We decided to take a gamble on a good looking forecast for the upper part of Lake Michigan. They were calling for 20-25 knot SW winds and 3-5′ waves. We packed the gear and made the drive arriving in the morning to find a light slightly offshore breeze.
We hung out for a while on the beach watching the surfers and standup paddleboarders catch some small waist high waves as the conditions started to build. I had a fun session on a SUP before the wind started to pick up. We rode larger kites at Frankfort for an hour. The wind really ramped up and we gathered up the crew for a downwinder to Point Betsie. It was amazing, clear water, shoulder high waves pinned on out 9m kites with good friends.
We then headed back to Frankfort and rode powered for a few more hours. I had a really fun boost session while the wind was at its strongest. We packed up our gear as the wind and light started to fade. It was great to see so many people taking advantage of the water activities whether it was surfing, kiting or standup paddling. It was great to see a couple really good surfers with great style out riding too. I’m reminded every time I’m up north how great the northern MI crew is. Until next time…