North Beach January Sesh

Check out the ice on the pier!
Check out the ice on the pier!

After a week of below freezing weather it’s starting to look a little bit like winter.  There’s ice on the shoreline and on the break wall along the pier.  But with air temperature around 40 degrees in Grand Haven and a strong southwest wind conditions were ripe to go kiteboarding at North Beach.

When we got to the beach there was already one person kiteboarding on the water and a couple of stand up paddle surfers too.  By the end of the day I counted seven kiteboarders.  Not bad for January in Michigan.

I thought it was a good day to try an experiment and track my kiteboarding session with the GPS on my phone.  I used an Otterbox 2000 waterproof case to hold my galaxy S3.  Apparently this case is waterproof up to 100 feet and with the way I was wiping out in Lake Michigan yesterday I needed that kind of protection.  All in all  I found out that a smartphone with a waterproof case is a great alternative to shelling out a couple hundred bucks for a waterproof GPS watch.

I tracked my session with Sports Tracker which is one of the top rated GPS sports related apps available on the android market. It’s also available for iphone and Windows phone.  I plan to try a few different GPS tracking apps but after one session I’m pretty satisfied with Sports Tracker.  I was surprised to see that over the course of about an hour and a half I had traveled almost 17 miles with a top speed of about 20 miles/hr.  It was interesting to take a look at the map view and see where I had gone and how fast I was going at the time.  If you click on the “view full workout data” on the map below  you can really get a lot of detail.

Another thing I’m starting to find is that riding in cold water really seems to sap the energy out of you.  The waves were chest high and after battling them for an hour and a half I was ready to call it a day.  Below are a few pictures I took right before the wind dropped off.