Michigan Windsurfing

Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan

I survived Lake Michigan Windsurfing!

My 3rd and 4th times ever windsurfing, I'm proud to say, were in Lake Michigan in gorgeously clear water and my favorite beach waiting to catch me after my efforts took all the energy I had.  I'll admit the first attempts were brutal!  A well intending fella tried to give me pointers, but his words just weren't translating to the board. I think he got frustrated with me and so he left the beach.  I, however, didn't quit.  I proceeded to get up on the board, sail, fall, remount, fall, remount, sail, fall....for about 1,500 feet of pristine Lake Michigan frontage.  I did manage a few long rides which were great learning experiences.  Positioning the mast, foot placement, etc... One of the rides took me out about 200 yards off shore.  It's amazing how much distance you can cover without really noticing it.  (My nephew told my brother I was doing great and that I had made it to the shipping lanes!)  Needless to say by the time I made it back to shore I was spent.

The next day everything seemed to come together.  What the old guy from the day before was trying to tell me now made sense and I was sailing with more confidence and ease.  I still fell a lot, but about half as much as the day before and I was riding a lot more too.  I was actually controlling the board.  What a feeling!

Labor Day I didn't sail although I really wanted to.  The conditions turned and on top of that I was very, very sore. 

I think I'm hooked.

I tried to share a picture, but it failed to upload after several attempts.  Anyone else having problems with this?

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Congratulations!

Brent,

Everyone has been there.  Congratulations on sticking it out!

Email me about your problems uploading pictures. 

Brian

I was there one year ago Brent! It almost seems impossible at first but every time you go out you learn something and build apon your new skills!
After roughly a year of windsurfing I am planing in the footstraps fully powered in open water! Tacking, slow jibing! Wave sailing! Having the time of my life!!! Working on carve jibes now! Keep at it! It will all come together!
I have a little advice since my beginnings are fresh in recent memory; go out in any wind conditions you think you can handle and then some. Light wind, strong wind, as long as there's wind. time on the water is all that will keep you advancing! Also, get into the harness ASAP! It extends your sessions! And you need that time on the water to advance! Also, beat your old gear to hell. dont buy a new board until your out of the "catipult" stage! A mistake I made! (Although I did get pretty good board repair) a newer sail may help though.
Keep at it! It's a super rewarding sport!

Hey Brent,

Where is your favorite beach with the crystal clear water?  If it is near me, maybe I can help you get hooked even more.  It is the best sport in the world.  I live in Whitehall, MI.

Randy Bass

Hey back at you, Randy

Just north of you about 20 miles is Claybanks Township Park.  I've been going there all my life and my parents started going in the mid 60's.  It's a bit of work getting the gear down to the beach but once there I just carried up the boom and left the board and sail stashed in the grass.  It's an old sailboard and I figured if someone wanted it that bad, they'd at least have to work to get it.  Without the boom it's useless anyways. 

I see on your profile you mentioned Silver Lake.  I thought about going there (or Stoney Lake), but figured it would be to busy for my skills.  I don't want to be a hindrance to other boaters or a danger to myself.  I'm thinking about one last trip to the west side, but nothing is planned yet.  It'll be a spur of the moment if it happens at all.  I'll look you up if I head over.

Brent

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