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Kite U.S. Forums _ Travel _ H.O.M.E.S.

Posted by: KyleK Jul 20 2005, 12:19 AM

In recent windless weeks Ive been forced to look abroad for good riding. Not to coastal Florida or the Carolinas, not to our largest continental states Texas and California, not to the Gorge and the Oregon coastline but right around the neighborhood: the Great Lakes.

I realize many of you get around more than I or maybe you live in one of these wonderous locales but I am consistently surprised by the quantity and quality of spots in the region. Me, I dont leave the metropolitan area much so I am always excited to peep a new launch or revisit an old BigLake session. Recently I have gone searchin on Northern Lake Michigan, South Lake Michigan, and South Lake Huron.

Getting up to Northern Mich was a long time coming, had been planning a trip since they opened the wave machine at Boyne Mountains new water park. Marginal winds in Little Traverse Bay gave us plenty of time to work the kinks out on the wave machine - no walk in the park that pump powered wave. Took my first cruise down 31 from Petoskey to Charlevoix to Traverse City, parts of that gorgeous drive could be mistaken for the PCH. Frazier put his 4Runner to work and we did some rallying up the beach near Atwood. The next day it was blowing N and the Broneah Bros were kind enough to give us directions to Petobego. After locating the tricky parking and a 20 min hike with lots of gear on shoulders the fabled sandbar came into view. Its legit. Two sandbars actually, one works on a N the other a S, SW. Lit 18 session, board shorts and shallow depths, cruise out for some big rolling ramps, cruise in for warm pretty flat water. I guess when the other sandbar is ridable it really goes off, Super nice spot.

The Intonation Music Festival in Chicago spurred the next trip to Lake Michigan. Started with a peek at the lk in Coloma and then rolled south through the windless Venetian festival in St. Joseph, MI then further south with a flyby Warren Dunes state park, Michigan City Indiana, and finally Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Lots and lots of sandeee beaches in these parts, not all super wide but certainly plenty of room for everyone. The next day we climbed Mt. Baldy (surreal view: panning left to right looking at lush forest below you, large dunes abound, beach stretching til... the nuclear plant just to the N. They say its clean?) where it seemed windy and I could see more whitecaps out there. Rushed to the Central Beach and launched a 12 to check the wind and for the most part had to work to keep it in the sky, flew it unhooked for a long time leaving some heel troughs in the beach. Slept the day away waiting for wind then drove hwy 12 (Michigan Ave) to the windy city for two days of debauchery and rock and roll but no kiteboarding but did drive past Montrose beach several times.

Most recently a random shot to the Blue Water Bridge to find a place to ride todays NW. Based on an excited tip from a friend I was hopeful but when I heard they were scrapping to ride a skim board at Kettle Point and no good word from Tkettle or Sloan we opted out on the border crossing. Getting skunked on Canadian soil is lame so we drove Hwy 29 down through Marine City to Algonac (fresh drive for me, most enjoyable) and got skunked on Harsens Island instead.

I guess the point is if you've got a day or two or three and there is no wind on fair st clair, get out there. So many very nice spots on all of these big ol' lakes - HOMES for the homies (huron, ontario, michigan, erie, superior).

Anybody else been to a new Great spot and stoked about it?

Posted by: notyou Jul 20 2005, 10:08 AM

Kyle, i have recently been scoping out some islands around Pelee island. I have found one that stands out. It is called Chicken island, it is to the west of Pelee island. My neighbor and i went fishing 2 weekends ago. I always pack my 16m and board with me , just in case i want to ride. So, the fishing was getting lame and the wind was coming up. I had Charlie drop me off on the island to check it out. It is maybe a 1/4-1/2 mile around or so. The water is nice and shallow for about 100 yrds of the shore. I pumped up and rode around the island. This place will go off in bigger winds. Nice flats and kicker waves near the point of the north tip. Anyhoo, i will be going back for camping trip to this spot this summer. The island is owned by the Canadian goverment, no one lives on it.
If your spot sucks, go grab a map and just look around. We have tons of water around us to ride. We just have to find the spot.
Cheers,
Brent :twisted:

Posted by: FellowCountryMan Jul 20 2005, 09:16 PM

This sport is amazing it has taken me to several new places on the great lakes that I never knew exsisted. The cool thing is so many of them can be done on a day trip or one night stay.

I currently have my eyes on two spots on northern Lake Huron and one just across the bridge in the UP. I hope to spend a week in September up there exploring these locations. I also have my eyes on several locations along the Saginaw Bay from Caseville to Pt. Au Gres which I intend to explore as soon as I slow down at work.

I have found terraserver.com, google earth (very cool), and topicgraphical maps to be very helpful in my search for new locations.

We are lucky to have all this fresh water around us.

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