ahhh surfing schmurfing this is a kite forum.
Nice to hear you were able to get out after work Andrew. Based on when the wind shifted for us down south I would suspect that the wind in Sheboygan was North most of the afternoon. Guess we will never know because the meter is down, and has been all season. Why can't my tax dollars go to fixing that thing?
I think when the waves are forecasted to be as big as they were then a North would be fun in Brattown. We get the shaft on this side of the lake as far as riding behind jetties goes. It is so nice to be able to ride behind them and take advantage of what they create. In the bitter cold I am reluctant to put myself in a position that forces me to stay out off shore. Which is the case in Sheboygan on a North. Especially trying to exploit the waves to the limit of my ability which usually includes taking a pounding. A pounding I was not willing to take yesterday(due to rib injuries) and a pounding I do not want to take far away from the shoreline. Can't wait to catch it with you again on a warmer weekend in the future, there is no arguing the fact that Sheboygan has the potential to create some of if not the best wave conditions on the western shore.
Ryan, Joe, Sam, Greg and I went to Grant park in Milwaukee and had quite an experience. When we arrived around 10 the wind was still Northeast and the waves were building rapidly. I was first out on my 4.5 and halfway into my first tack I quickly came to the realization that it was the most wind I have been out in on my surfboard. So windy in fact that when I did wipe out the wind would pick up the board and hurl it downwind, right passed my head a couple times. I had no issues making it to the wave break and found it to be just as I was expecting. Breaking in its normal spot HUGE and glassy closer to shore and the jetties.
I was intimidated by the wind speed and the wave size and uncertain how my injured ribs would react to getting in the swing of things. As it turned out using a seat harness completely took the stress of my ribs and enabled me to ride as close to normal as I could with the different feeling of the diaper. So all good right? Well not so much. I slowly got acclimated to the conditions. I started with just making a top turn on the wave and then riding gravity as I went down the face and shot out in front of it. Normally this is the moment I have been craving, hard bottom turn, face the wave and slash. Only problem was that I was so lit I could not make a proper bottom turn cause I could not fly my kite aggressively enough across the window to lead the way down the line.
The wind was gusting down the shoreline and making conditions gnarly. Sam joined me up by the break for a while and we shared expressions of excitement and intimidation. Greg and Joe were riding down by the launch and experiencing the same Gnar we were.
I made the most of it for an hour and a half and had some fun for sure. Every once in a while getting a couple turns on the wave when the wind would allow. At about 1:30 the wind clocked around to the north and ramped up even more. As the wind got flukey on the inside I decided to throw in the towel.
When I came in Ryan was eager to give my kite a whirl on his twin tip. He went out and ripped it for a bit, boosting big and slashing waves in spots where there was no room for error. He came in after a while and said he was so lit up that as he pointed his board upwind the wind pushed so hard back on the face of the board that it was difficult to not get spun around. The Milwaukee Fox affiliate was on the beach and here is a link to the brief story they aired. Greg on the surfboard and Ryan on a 4.5.http://www.fox6now.com/news/witi-201111 ... 0699.story
The wind was not letting up and it was crushing the waves at the break. We all decided we had had enough and called it a day. Ryan, Sam and Joe went around the corner and were able to surf some nice shoulder high waves coming around a marina pier.
Now to be real about Great Lakes surfing. I have the utmost respect for anyone at any ability who is willing to go out in the weather conditions required on Lake Michigan to create good surf. Although I have never seen anybody kill it on the waves I do not doubt that there are people out there ripping it. I can't fathom what it feels like to be laying on a board staring up at those mountains coming at you. Talk about perspective!! Kudos to all those who do it and Scottie G for telling us about it. I will be joining you guys in the future once I learn how to surf. Hopefully that will be next season as I am going to Hawaii this January and plan to get the basics down and start paying my dues to be able to legitimately be out there with you guys some day in those conditions.