Fall Kiteboarding Update

The last few weeks have been hit and miss.  Made a trip up to Manistee three weekends ago and had a decent saturday afternoon session.  Wind was out of the NW, which made it close to onshore and messy waves.  The wind was really gusty as well.  DP and I rode our 12m and 8m kites and were powered nicely in the gusts, but somewhat underpowered in the lulls.  This made it tuff in the messy waves to stay upwind.  At one point we took a break and began pumping up a 15m to switch so we could both ride big kites.  Then, 15 min later the wind picked up and we were back out on small kites.  This lasted for 20 min or so and came to an apex with a crazy strong gust that both had us shaking our heads afterwards like “where did that come from”, which almost lifted us (me at least) up out of the water.  After a couple hours it was enough.  Overall, good day when you get out and ride.  Got some neat pics too thanks to DP’s wife!

This same weekend in Manistee I made a trip to the DNR fish egg collection facility (the weir) on the Little Manistee River.  It was already getting late in the salmon run up the rivers, but there were still plenty making their way.  Pretty cool to see the hundreds of salmon in the clear waters of the river waiting to make their sacrifice.  The tanks in weir were filled with salmon for egg collection.

Salmon making their run

The next Monday I had a really good session on a 28 to 30 knot south wind at the North Shore beach in Grand Haven.  One of the best rides this fall for me.  Waves were clean with lots of flat water between them along with steady strong warm winds and some sun.

Later in the week we had a another SSW blow reaching the 30’s and gusts being recorded up to 40 knots.  Neither DP or I got out (darn jobs), but a surfer I know could not believe the size and quality of waves the day generated.  Absolute monsters wrapping around the Holland pier and North Shore Grand Haven pier.  One of the surfer’s from the day was able to get this sweet pic.……









We had one more interesting session in Grand Haven at City Beach last week.  We were watching the wind all day at work blow in the 20’s out of the south, but as soon as we get out of work it clouded up and rain was headed our way.  Well, we were bound and determined to get a session in, so we met up at the beach and rigged up.  Wind was light, but I rode alittle bit until I looked to the south and saw the rain coming.  I didn’t want to be out on the water when the rain got to us, just cause you never know what the wind is going to do with it.  I landed my kite and we put up DP’s 15m.  Well, that came right back down because the wind picked way up as the rain came.  We stood in the gusty downpour for about a half hour.  After it passed we tried to ride again, but it was way to gusty.  DP’s kite dropped out of the air and crashed on the beach in a lull and I came in due to being underpowered as well.  Then, as I’m standing there with the kite overhead a huge gust came and picked me up off the sand maybe a couple inches.  Well, going from kites falling to gusts picking me up was enough for us to call it a night.

One more note I’d like to say is that I picked up a Hyperflex 6/5/4 front entry hooded wetsuit in anticipation of the weather and water turning colder this fall.  So far I haven’t been out with it in under 50 air and 55 water, but it is really warm and flexible.  I used to wear a 2mm top under my 4/3 suit in colder conditions which restricted movement around my arms and cut off some circulation to my hands.  This suit is great.  It will allow me a few extra sessions as winter gets closer.