Tuesday and Wednesday were the best two consecutive day riding conditions we’ve seen this summer!
On Tuesday the wind was blasting out of the south all along the west coast all day long and was forecast to be good at least until 6. By the time I got out of work and arrived at Meinert all the kiters were packing up and the wind had come down. The clouds were dark to the northwest but there was light sky behind them. Jetty had already rigged but I decided to wait and see if we’d get any wind.
45 minutes later the dark clouds had passed and the wind started kicking up again. At least I thought it was picking up. You never can tell if the wind has really picked up our if it’s just your imagination when you’re excited to get out. The ripples I saw on the water a few minutes later were the
sanity check I needed to get motivated to rig my gear.
It was a good big kite sesh. The water was warm and the sun came out of the clouds towards the end of the evening. I was well powered on my 17 and had enough juice to make for a fun ride. After a couple of hours we packed it in. As we walked to the parking lot you could hear thunder from the storm that would bring the north winds that were to fuel our ride for the next day.
Overnight there was a lot of rain, lightning, and thunder. By morning a strong north northeast wind was blowing up in Manistee. Perfect conditions for 1st street beach but again I was at work and had to hope the wind would shift northwest and stay strong enough for me to get out in West Michigan.
By the afternoon the wind had shifted and it was on! All over West Michigan wind readings were looking good in the low to mid 20 knot range and were still looking good when I left work. It looked a little stronger towards Holland so we made the call to hit Kouw park. I grabbed my gear and headed through the parking lot, into the woods, and onto the boardwalk to the beach. At the overlook you could see there were some nice waves rolling in off the big lake. I picked up my step and rigged up as fast as I could.
The waves were the nicest I’ve seen all year. Long 3 to 4 footers that were fairly clean. They created some great kickers on the way out and it was a blast trying to ride them in.
After getting beat up and tossed around for an hour or so I saw that Jetty was on the beach and it looked like he was going to land his kite. The kite was overhead and I saw him pull the safety but instead of flagging out the kite detached and went flying a few hundred yards down the beach!
After recovering his kite we decided to call it a day, ending the best two kiteboarding rides I’ve had this summer…. -DP
Michigan Dawn Patrol is a kiteboarding and water sports photo and video blog with webcams along Lake Michigan. Subscribe to receive emails when we post and follow us on FB, Twitter, and Google+ to stay connected to the lakeshore.