Sunday, June 28, 2015

Day 48 of the 2015 season: Kiteboarding Harsens Island with 4 star conditions

Bonus session today - we took a gamble at Harsens on a "no parking" Sunday and got lucky.

HD Video of  HI 5 at HI


Given me five at the middle channel slick

Craig and I Ripping up the middle channel slick

No parking tickets issued and I had a fantastic nonstop 4 hour kite session.     
The foul weather looking start to the day keep the boaters from showing up - until the skies cleared and the summer sun warmed the atmosphere up. That's when the Boaters appeared and the wind cranked up a notch or two.
Craig, Millard, Larry, Jimbo, Pablo, Jerry and myself enjoyed the elements. The early guys got the best of it.
Kiting the slicks on 2 upwind trips and at times comfortably overpower and using that power to boost easily.
The late guys rigged 9s due to the heavy winds when they arrived. Craig started on the 12 and rigged down to 9.

TOW:    Nonstop 1100-300 session
Gear:   11M 140 board
Water Conditions:  1 foot swells at best with the butter smooth channel slicks.
Weather:  Mostly sunny 65+ degrees
Wind:  Cranking up to 30 MPH from NNE
Highlight: 2 trips to the slick
Schooled:   Boost pops in the slicks

Wind data from Mitchell's Bay

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Day 47 of the 2015 season: Pinconning to Linwood - EPIC kite downwinder

EPIC Pinconning to Linwood downwinder session.  One of my best flat-water downwinders to date.
Depowered line pulled all the way out the entire session with very gusty/punchy winds aloft.
The slicks were awesomely butter smooth I could really edge hard to assist the boost in jumping.
29 miles in 2.5 hours of downwind bliss. Then an hours local session to the slicks add 15 miles there.
Scratch this Pinconning to Linwood downwinder off of this summer's bucket list.

Killarney Beach Data
TOW:   Kiteboarded from 11:00 - 1:30, 29 mile downwind session. Also 3:00 - 4:00 local session at Linwood up to nearby slicks
Gear:   9M 140 board
Water Conditions:   wind driven 1-2 foot swells with butter in the slicks.
Weather:  Mostly cloudy 65+ degrees
Wind:  Cranking up to 35MPH from the NE
Highlight: Kiteboarding in the slicks
Schooled:   Boost pops in the slicks

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 46 of the 1015 season: Harsens early riser - kiteboarding my favorite "the channel slick"

True to the forecast for wind early and then lightning up by 1:00.
Met Keith at Harsens, he was on it at 8:30. I got on the water by 9:30 with the 11M.
Tested the conditions for a few runs and then decided there was enough to head upwind to the slick.
Wind was enough to make it upwind with some work - once there I found the butter smoothness that I craved.  Playing for 45 minutes in the shallow slick, carving some deep carves downwind and then headed back upwind to do it again. About noon I noticed a dip in the wind so I made my way back downwind enjoying the run back. And that was it, came in for a break and the wind died off.
Hung around for awhile until the 16M kiters couldn't kite anymore.
Keith, Tom, Larry, Jerry S., Smitty and Doug Victor were the participants. The early birds caught the best worms today.

Wind data from Mitchell's Bay 4-23
TOW:   Kiteboarded from 9:30- 12:00 one nonstop session
Gear:   11M 140 board
Water Conditions:   Fairly flat - some good ollie jumps heading into the wind.
Weather:  Bluebird 70+ degrees
Wind:  Peaking near 2 from the WNW
Highlight: Kiteboarding in the channel slick butter
Schooled:   toeside to heelside ollies

Monday, June 22, 2015

Day 45 of the 2015 season: Kiteboard -Post storm, evening session

With a forecast for kitable winds and some serious storms today it looked promising. Arrived at 1:00 with lite winds, hung around waiting and watching the big kites until 4. With wind not cooperating and a storm coming I decided to call it a day and head back home.
Got home a minor storm hit, nothing like the forecasted storms that were suppose to hit.
Ate dinner and noticed the sun, clearing skies and wind starting to blow. Started to receive WAs from MB got a call from Craig and soon I was on my way out for a post storm MB evening session.
Once at MB I rigged the 11M and took out the Mako 140 and had non stop action until 9:00.
The best lifting wind day of the year - got some of my best boosts to date.

TOW:   Kiteboarded from 7:30-9:00 one nonstop session
Gear:   11M 140 board
Water Conditions:   Typical LSC conditions
Weather:  After storms skies cleared and wind turned on, 80 degrees
Wind:  Peaking near 25 from the SSE
Highlight: Kiteboarding - lofty air
Schooled:   Boosts - some big ones for me

Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 44 of the 2015 season: Linwood/Hoyle's finally lites up for me - near epic conditions

TOW:   Kiteboarded from 11:00-4:00, 3 sessions in that time frame
Gear:   11M 150/-140 board
Water Conditions:   From OBX style to butter paradise conditions
Weather:  Bluebird day near 70 degrees
Wind:  Peaking near 25 from the NE-ENE
Highlight: Kiteboarding - the best spot for easy access to butter smooth water
Schooled:   Boosts and deep dish carving in the butter
Nearby wind data

A near epic day brought on by a perfect wind direction and a great venue.
Met Bob Hoffman and he showed me the ins and outs of the weeds and slicks.
Arrived at 10:30 and immediately rigged the 11M and headed out on the 150 board.
Great first session with the 150 board which eventually was to big of board, came in and took a break.
I Watched as Bob tore up the inside slicks. I headed back out in bigger winds and a smaller board. Followed Bob around and learned the ins and outs of the weed beds and slicks.
Had a riot in that butter, slapping high 5s with Bob as we wizzed by each other.
Had 4 hours on the water and every moment was fantastic.

Bob jumping the weed beds on the inside slicks

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 43 of the 2015 season: Windsurfing at it's local best - a rare day that happens once maybe twice a year

A John Simpson Photo

One of those rare days that happen once maybe twice a year - hot, sunny and windy. With most of the wind down on the water's surface. Some gustiness and some holes but not the usual conditions for MetroBeach.

For me it was better Windsurfing then kiteboarding, a rarity.
Early on I rigged the 5.7 with the 100 liter board and had a blast from 12:30 to 2:00. Played in some nice LSC swell on the outside. As the wind increased I rigged down to the 5.0 with the 100 liter board. Windsurfed until 4:00 or until I was wasted strength wise and the wind was soft on the inside due to more of a west direction.

Decided to take a break and do the easy stuff,  kiteboarding.  Rigged the 9M from the beach launch and kited for an hour with punchy conditions. Got some big 180 ollies with the easy swell and wind conditions. Came in and called it a day when the wind direction clocked to more of a northwest direction causing the wind to get fluky on the inside by the beach.

The local gang had nearly an epic day so we decided to go out for dinner at Terry's Terrace and celebrate amongst ourselves a great day...exchanging tales of our successes of the day.
Craig, Jerry/Paul, Jab, Chris, Chuck, Lou and Tom.

MetroBeach wind data 6/10/15
TOW:   Windsurfed from 12:30-4:00, Kiteboarded 5:00-6:00
Gear:   5.7/5.0 and 100 liter board/ 9M kite with 140 board
Water Conditions:   Typical LSC swell outside and choppiness near the launch site
Weather:  Hot and sunny - nearly 90 degrees
Wind:  Peaking at 30 plus from the SW
Highlight: Windsurfing - best conditions locally this year for WS
Schooled:   How hard Windsurfing is

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Day 42 of the 2015 season: Kiteboarding at Sleeping Bear Bay - 1st Lk Michigan session of 2015

Gear for the day on Sleeping Bear Bay
Above marginal day with winds from the NNW to 20mph at best. Good direction for the Bay Street launch practically side on shore direction.
This launch is magical when there is a northern component to the wind it is enhanced as it funnels
between the islands and the mainland. While winds were lite in Empire a check of the Leland Wind Alert usually shows higher wind speeds.
The 2.5 hour session started out on the lite side but it soon turned on to a good steady 18-20 mph. The water here gets deep very quickly you can come within inches from the shore and make your transitions. With  kite over the beach while you are carving downwind, very cool feeling. Took an upwind run to the Homestead resort  - then downwind run back to Bay Street. Very satisfying day especially after the Linwood skunk.
The boys downstate hit epic conditions at Linwood today.

Carving near the beach

TOW:   Kiteboard from 2:45-5:30
Gear:   11M and150 slingshot board
Water Conditions:   Choppy with an occasional organized swell on the outside.
Weather:    Sunny upper 50s
Wind: Steady 18-20 from NNE
Highlight: Riding upwind to the Homestead resort - riding downwind from the Homestead Resort
Schooled:   Not much - to lite for me to boost without losing a lot of ground.

Vista with South Manitou Island

Wind window from 2:45-5:30

Monday, June 1, 2015

Day 41 0f the 2015 season: Welcome to June - still Kiteboarding in drysuits

After missing Sunday's session with it's big winds, 45 degree temperatures, rainy and thick overcast skies, no bad feelings on my part. I Actually I took a rain check as others took to the water in Caseville, Hoye's and Lexington.
Blow out gale conditions up in the thumb for Keith and Chris, while 9M kiting at Lexington for Craig.
My make up day for me was Monday. Conditions were more sane on Monday at Lexington. The forecast called for 10-20 from the north and that's exactly what Craig and I had from 3:30-600.
Somewhat gusty/punchy on the inside of the breakwall and steadier beyond the wall.
Took a trip upwind to the other side of the breakwall where the swells and wind felt steadier.
Very cold water conditions, an early crash left me with a ice cream headache for most of the session. Had to be near 40 degree water temperature.
Dinner and beers at Steis's Village Inn - great pizza.
Overall a great day, well worth the drive for this first session of the year at on of my favorite spots.

TOW:   Kited from 3:45 - 6:00
Gear:   11M and 140 Mako 
Water Conditions:   Fairly flat on the inside with 2-4
footers on the outside
Weather:    50ish, mostly cloudy
Wind: Up to 25MPH mainly from the north
Highlight: Love the flat water on the inside
Schooled:  Still working the boosts

Just Craig and I taking advantage of this lonely beach on a cold June day