Wknd Kiteboarding Forecast Sept 13th and 14th and Leelanau Question

Last Week:  Nailed it!  There was wind out the NW to ride Saturday.  It was a little earlier than I expected though.  Further north there was a West wind.

Tally So Far: Nailed It! – 9, Close –12 , Way Off – 0

Today: The wind is looking light and offshore out of the NE.  It’s keeping our temps cool and dropping the water temperature.

Saturday:  It looks like there should be a NW wind in the afternoon in the 15 to 18 knot range from Grand Haven down to Holland.

Sunday: The weather pattern is changing to a southwest breeze and clear skies.  Little Sable Point and Pt Betsie should be rideable at 15 to 20 knots.  Possibly higher.

A reader submitted a question in response to my post about kiteboarding in Leelanau.

Don says,  “I greatly appreciated your article on the Leelanua area since the closest I have ever rode was in the Acme/East Bay area twice back in my old windsurfing days 15-20 years ago and I might be going there at the end of the month.  Your report sounded much like what I would expect to find there (beautiful beaches with some rocky launches).  A couple of my buddies have also ridden near where you described.

My GF has us tentatively signed up for a long weekend with the neighbors in Northport 9-26 thru 9-28 for everything non-kiteboarding and I was debating on even taking any gear based on what I have always seen or heard of in that immediate area (assuming the forecast is good).  With that in mind I was wondering what your or any other reader’s opinion would be of my kiteboarding possibilities that weekend based on my spoiled parameters of:

I don’t want to drive too far to kite preferring to be within 45 minutes max of the Northport area where we are staying on the bay and want to avoid dangerous rock launches .  It would be nice to see some wind readings if any exist up there pointing me in the right direction to travel (any sites available)?

Those parameters probably make me sound crazy for having such high expectations but I am one of the luckiest and most spoiled kiteboarders in Western MI living across the street from Pere Marquette Park where I typically can be launched within  15 minutes after I decide to go kiteboarding.  Also if the forecast is good for Muskegon that weekend, there is a good chance she might be making that trip without me as she knows the priorities of a kiteboarder (and I am big talker knowing she is not reading this post).

Any insight is greatly appreciated as the person I talked to at Broneah was either not particularly forthcoming or perhaps only  works in the retail area as she only mentioned the secret spot on East bay that we have all heard of and Frankfort.

Don,

First off, thanks for the feedback!  It is awesome to hear from people who visit the site and I agree Muskegon is a great spot.  Also, there is a wind meter at Leelanau State Park which is really close to Northport.  Aside from that you can also use the Manistee wind meter and upper mid lake bouy to kind of estimate what the wind might be like along the coast north of Manistee and south of Leelanau State Park.

Assuming the forecast looks good, of course I’m going to recommend taking your gear!

As for spots to go on Lake Michigan up there, just from my experience last weekend, I would say that it is rocky north of Leland. There is a beach at Leland, there is Good Harbor Bay and there is Glen Arbor/Glen Haven which are all within your 45 min driving distance restriction.  I only kited at Good Harbor Bay and the wind direction was pretty due West.  I’m not sure anywhere north of Pt Betsie is good for a south wind.  With the lake levels up, there is not a lot of sand for launching and landing either. You almost need help.  Empire, Esch Road, and the Platte River outlet are a few more spots, but they are more than a 45 min drive for you and pretty close to Frankfort.  I’m sure there are more places up there, but either I don’t know or it is private.

Good luck and feel free to comment anytime or if you have

20140911_174531
Paddle boarding the leftovers of the NW wind
 This is a weekly blog post of my best guess at the kiteboarding conditions for the coastline of Lake Michigan from Holland
north to Pt Betsie.   Subscribe to automatically receive this forecast in your inbox

3 comments

  • Jetty, What about right in the middle of Cathead Bay? Did you check that area out? There is a road with a few houses and what looks on satellite view with what looks to be a wide sandy beach. Probably no public access though…

    • I know what road you are talking about. It just looked so rocky up there that I didn’t spend the time to check that road out. I’m pretty sure there are at least some hiking trails that are part of the state park that can get you out into the bay. My guess is the road is for the private houses.

      Also, Sunday is looking windy out of the SW still from lsp and north

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