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surfing the great lakes

  • Great Lakes Surfing Webapp BETA for iPhone and Droid

    I’ve put together a little webapp to help consolidate wave and wind information into an easy to read and navigate web version for iPhone and Droid. I’ve got alot of use out of it over the last few months so I thought I’d open it up to everyone for testing. Since it’s still in development and could go down at any moment, I’m calling it a BETA version. If you’re interested in giving it a try please click the button below.

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Photo Credit: Bryce Bradford

Don’t get me wrong, I love surfing and this year I’ve done alot more surfing than boogie boarding, but when it comes down to it I think you can have way more fun body boarding the Great Lakes. Here’s why

  • Body boarding increases the number of surfable days in the year.  You can often catch smaller choppier waves
  • Dropping into waves is easier when you’ve got the power fins on your side
  • You can move quicker up and down the coast using less energy to get back to where the waves are breaking
  • You have more contact with the waves and the water.  The feeling you get of the energy of the wave is much more intimate.
  • Less chance of getting hurt by your own gear in a wipeout
  • It’s easy to carry your gear in the trunk of your car and be ready for waves at a minutes notice.  This is specially true if you don’t live close to the lake, and you just happen to drive by the lake and see waves.

Those are just a few points to keep in mind if you ever think of taking up body boarding.

Fun fun time surfing Lake Michigan last weekend.  Plenty of waves to be had of all sizes.  I was so tired after surfing that it took all my will power to double back and take some video at the end.  Most of it’s pretty blurry and I hesitated to add it since it’s so bad, but I figure it’s better than nothing, so here you go:

The last month has been really hectic for me and I haven’t been able to get out and do any surfing. Part of that has been the weather too, but that finally changed this weekend.

I spent most of today surfing and body boarding up at St Joe, Michigan. It was a blast, however, by surfing, I mean I would stand up and then immediately do a face plant. For some reason, I think I’ve gotten worse at surfing since my last outing. Oh well, on the body board I was able to catch a few really bad ass rides. I’m guessing waves were ranging from 2-5′, and weren’t too choppy. I was so tired after surfing for about 5 hours today that I didn’t take any pictures or video. That’s why the photo attached to this article is not mine, and unfortunately wasn’t taken on the lake. I’ll try to be better at that in the future.

The surf was a perfect ending to the Third Coast Surf Shop’s 7th Annual Luau. At Saturday morning’s Luau events, I figured what better way to learn to Stand Up Paddle than to enter a Stand Up Paddle race. Needless to say, I got annihilated. There was a brief moment where I thought I had a chance at catching the leaders, but then I promptly fell off the board 3 times in a row. You gotta have good balance on those things, but even loosing was fun. I might have do some SUPing next year. After that I went back to the surf shop and hung out at the party, but unfortunately had to leave before they showed the documentary, Out of Place about surfing Lake Erie. I guess I’ll have to buy the dvd.

Well, time for me to go relax and enjoy the sore muscles of a day spent on the water. Ah, I’ve missed that feeling!

Video I took on a beautiful day. The water was a just starting to warm up, and was very clear.

Here’s a few of the better photos I took from surfing Lake Michigan’s South End on a nice day in May 2010. These are cropped down quite a bit.

Although these videos are not of surfing they are a couple videos I took of some storms that rolled through Lake Michigan up at St Joseph Lyons Beach. Unfortunately, the waves produced were not really surfable.

Smaller sets started to roll in.  Earlier in the morning there were some bigger waves.

Above is some bodyboarding video I took in late August 2009 at Ursula’s.

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