It was Friday night and I was biting my nails the entire drive up to Manistee. I left from work at 4:00 PM and wind readings were marginal at best. When the wind meter data updated at 5:00 I was nearing Ludington and things were looking dismal. 7-12 knots! I wasn’t even gonna be able to ride. Matt was also on his way up north and texted that Muskegon was going off at 20 knots plus. Just my luck I thought as I turned on to US 10 and Meijer came into view…
The setup for Friday looked great for Manistee with a NNE wind so I was scratching my head trying to figure out why there wasn’t any yet. Then Matt messaged me that he was checking the webcam(Manistee Surf Cam) and was seeing a few caps. I didn’t want to get too excited about the whitecaps given the wind readings I had just seen. Matt was 20 minutes ahead of me and almost to the beach.
“I’m pumping up my 10m, it’s on!” was the next text I received. 10 mins later I turned onto Cherry St. I neared the hill next to the golf course and Lake Michigan came into view. What a beautiful site that was. Lake Michigan was capping big time. I started hooting and hollering in my car by myself unable to contain my excitement as I pulled into the parking lot at 1st St beach.
When I got to the beach I pumped up my 12m Ocean Rodeo Flite. Wind speeds felt like the low 20s which I confirmed later. Matt was already rigged and self launching by the time I got down there. I watched him take a few tacks and knew I was in for a good session.
I was good and powered up on my 12 and boosting well. The Flite continues to impress me with its turning speed and boosting ability. The wind had just kicked up in Manistee so the water was still pretty flat but swells were starting to develop at the south end of the beach. The wind was good and the water had a bite to it but it was warm enough that I didn’t need to wear a wetsuit.
I was riding and grinning from ear to ear for an hour and a half. Cutting in close to the pier and slicing through the butter flat water then drifting down wind to play in the surf. Then abruptly and as quickly as it had turned on earlier in the night the wind shut off. Matt and I both ended up with kites in the water and had to swim them in.
After kiting I tried my hand at the stand up paddle board. The swells were really nice without the wind knocking them down and I got a couple fun rides before calling it a day. That night my wife and I went to the Glenwood in Onekama for dinner which was a great ending to a perfect summer day in Michigan.
Michigan Dawn Patrol is a kiteboarding blog focused bringing the stoke in Michigan. Subscribe to automatically receive this forecast in your inbox