Sunday, November 13, 2011

From Brazil to Michigan

After a month long kiting trip to Brazil, the last thing on my mind was kiting in the cold Great Lakes, but once I heard the stoke in Bryan Elkus's voice I knew I was in for an adventure.
Sensi and I met up with Elkus mid day began packing the gear into the car and fueling up on food for the days activites.  We drove north to Montague Beach, a quiet little beach just north of Muakeegon.  The second I stepped out of the car the first thing that hit my mind was "brrrrrrrr".  All the while Bryan is raving about how nice the weather was, it actually was really nice sunny and 60.  We headed out to the beach only to find five other kiters on the water already, so we got our kites setup and suited up in the thick stuff.  Sensi was lucky enough to snag some booties, gloves, and a hood, just a 4/3 for me.
There was some really fun kickers on the inside, and a nice jetty to...I guess jetty start.  We had a blast riding some small, but really clean waves.  We ended up riding right up until sunset, racing back to the car to get warm at the end, we were stoked!  All bundled up and warm we headed back home for some much needed rest and to prepare for the next days adventure!

sunrise in my backyard

After a little bit of discussion we decided to make the long drive up to Frankfurt, MI to make the most of the Great Lakes swell.  When we showed up to the beach there were 10 people out kiting, and a handful of surfers already in the water.  The wind was cranking and the waves were rolling in off the jetty, solid head high and clean.  We ran back to the car and got setup alongside plenty of frothing locals.  One thing about riding on the Great Lakes that blows me away is the level of stoke.  Everyone had smiles ear to ear, I heard plenty of hoots, and met some amazing new people. 

The wind ended up just getting stronger and stronger, I rode my 9m Envy got litt, put up a 7m and Elkus got blown off the water.  I managed to slide the pretty gnarly concrete jetty and throw some mega boosts.  The color of the water even reminded me of the Caribbean, the temperature was just a bit off.  After our session we headed out the jetty to play a game of don't get wet with Lake Michigan.....we both definitely lost.  We made the long drive back home as the post session coma was setting in.  It was a great weekend, certainly one I never expected!

Hurricane Irene Kite Shots!

So I'm pretty jazzed to see the shots from Nate Appel and I's post Hurricane Irene disaster session made it into this months Kiteboarding Magazine.  It was a really fun sessioning all the destroyed docks, but it came at a heavy cost.  The hurricane ended up shutting down the island for 5 weeks and ruined countless houses on the island.  You can read the full story in the article
 Looks mellow, but to tap this pole you had to hit the downed portion of the dock as a kicker, and land on a slightly flooded slick island.  Sleazy and I couldn't stop smiling!
The slick island was completely flooded!