Top 5 places to kite on Lake Michigan

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Top 5 places to kite on Lake Michigan

Post by Northerner » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:18 am

While driving to one of our favorite waves spots yesterday, Mr. Jens and I were discussing the best spots for kiting on Lake Michigan. Besides sharing a little local pride, I don’t think we have ever tried to rank the best options on this big lake. The great size of the lake and the high cost of ferries create problems for this as very few people have had the chance to get to many of the different spots. For the Sheboygan crew it’s just as fast to catch a big NW on Superior as to make it to Indiana and South Michigan, 4 hours. Guys like West and a few others are very much the exception to this problem of distance, so we need your input on this.

Things to consider when ranking kiting spots are: Frequency and quality of wind, reliability to predict a forecast, water surface conditions: flat water, waves or both (break walls), quality of launch, non-kiting scene.

Here’s my list to get things going. I would like to make a note that I have never made it to the Michigan side. So I’m listing based off information and perceptions from the forum and wind meters over the years. I will only list why for places I have had first-hand experience with.

1. Muskegon area

2. Leelanau peninsula

3. Sheboygan: Strong thermal bump, waters not choppy, great smooth long waves at times, resists early season wind doming effect.

4. L.S.P

5. Door county peninsula area: Lots of riding options and verity, some local areas thermal

What’s your list and why,
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Post by snowball » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:59 am

#1 waukegan haha
the other beaches arnt even competition :wink:

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Post by adseguy » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:03 pm

snowball wrote:#1 waukegan haha
the other beaches arnt even competition :wink:
Haha. I'd say Montrose for me cause it's also only 10 minutes away too.

If it wasn't for the drive I really want to try spot like LSP and Sheboygan. I really like flat water sometimes and these can provide it from what I hear. As long as it's blowing with friends I'm good
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Post by West » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:07 pm

My favorite spots on the lake are dictated by wind, waves, and FRIENDS!!!!

In no particular order are:

South Haven.....great crowd, great beach, a jetty to smooth it all out

Sheboygan.......friendliest kiters around (each and every one of 'em), longest jetty on this side I believe, thermal factor as well gotta see it rockin' to believe it, as beautiful a place as you will find

Zion...............the first beach that I kited, great on a NNE, home of the best downwinder around....

Miller.............really Lake St., cannot beat it in the fall when the WNW pumps, the water is cold and there is noone else around!!! And did I say WAVES!!!

several other spots have been deliberately left out, cause I have been sworn to SECRECY!!! gotta have a couple that not too many folks know about!

Lake Michigan has so many gems, that my list could have been up to a dozen very quickly!!

Nice topic Sherriff!

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Post by sunder » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:50 am

Favorite Spots in no order

Zion&Waukegan....Awesome down wind rides

Miller .....................Long Beach, no one every there, Hugh waves


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Post by Northerner » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:55 pm

Favorite places are nice, but besides fond memories and the fact that a place is close to your house doesn’t make it one of the best areas on the lake to kite. Not at all looking for people to share their secrets just like West said, I got a few places I won’t post about. I also wouldn't put them in the general top 5 either as they work during very limited conditions.

Then there is the over all wind speed data and general water conditions, which make a place. So explain why your spot or area should make the list or is even better then Sheboygan. Let’s gets some thoughts from people on the Michigan side of this lake that we share and a few thoughts from the Bi-sided veterans.

And West, thanks for the kinds words about our small crew. Of course we’re nice as gets, as long as no one is pulling any bone headed moves on our turf…
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Post by Chris@sharkless » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:28 am

love to see SH on your list west awesome time the last couple days! I owe you some beers!

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Post by Rorke » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:24 am

There are a few spots over here. :wink:

Frankfort is unreal on a S, SSW, SW.

However, it can't handle many riders. About 200 yards down wind of the jetty is a huge dune that stalls the wind. If you get taken into shore there, you are shame walking.

I can't wait for cold, crappy weather to thin things out at Frank's. Until then, I'll head elsewhere.

Here is my recommendation for the list. Highway 2 just west of the Mac bridge. Drive 20 miles, stop, gear up, and downwinder yo ass off.

Plenty of room for those willing to head up there. Great camping. Zero nightlife.

Yesterday, was light and variable here in TC. Annie said it was blowing 20 up there; she couldn't even SUP. So I looked it up, yup, Small Craft Advisory.

I've only been to Sheboygen 2 or 3 times. One time was epic. I think that West wrote a novel on it.
Too bad I broke a line that day. Actually, my kite probably did me a favor as I was getting my ass kicked. Conditions were WAY out of my league.

It is too early to talk about the white stuff. But let's do another TOP 5 in about 17 weeks.

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Post by skysurfr » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:28 am

1. South Haven- Nice Pier, grerat local riders, easy pazrking.

2. Tascornia / St. Joe- Nice Pier, great local riders, easy parking.

3. Grand Haven.- Nice Pier, great local riders, easy parking.

(1-3 are actually a tie I really like all three places)

4. Miller/Marquette - Sweet on a W, WNW for flat water rides. Killer waves on any big N.

5. Montrose- Hey it's "my" beach. The riding isn't all that good, but it's close to home, and the selection of restaurants afterwards is amazing!

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Post by Eric A. » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:30 am

I like waves.

1. SH - my home break, great people, great conditions on either side of the jetty. North wind rules for SH as does SW. Great kite shop right in town with a super cool team of outgoing, generous, unconditional loving riders. Big beach. No Ego...leave that crap somewhere at your home break, but not here please. we are peace and love kiters.

2. Silver Beach - SJ - WAVES baby !!!! on a N, NE....thats all i need to say....the best right hander I've had yet in Lake MI. power and smooth are 2 words to describe it there. not many outs careful. Big beach

3. LSP - old trusty....give it any S flow and some sun and you are riding when everywhere else is hot and dead. One of the windiest places in the area as well....windsurfer still go's really the only place they can go to ride frequently.....poor windsurfers. Small spit of sand. ALWAYS wind your lines up here so others can get out. It gets crowded quickly on a good sunny day.

4. HSP - Grew up here, learned to windsurf, broke a ton of gear there.....basically this was my proving grounds for many years.....GREAT on a S, smooth near the jetty and the wave near the pavilliion is long and steep with many sections to hit.

5. Sugar Tits - THE best south swell break in the area. I have had spiritual days out there....too bad it's backside riding for me, but still absolutley UNREAL wave there.....I haven't seen or had anything better on a south wind in Lake MI, however I haven't got to ride Frankfort on a S, SW yet. Your legs will give out before the wave quits. It reforms all the way down the coast...the sandbars just seem to link together and create this beautiful steep powerful wave that just goes and goes and is just crazy that it happens in a lake. If you have not seen sugar's ok...maybe you shouldn't. small beach small sand spit.

so many more, but these are the go to sopts for me.

Honorable mention

MK - NW thermal is frequent, but the drive is sort of long, water seems to be always COLD, no good wave there...lots of junky mess. Super smooth near the jetty great for tricks. Lots of wind, but not to lifty . MK is a wierd windy place.....I go there when you can go anywhere else.

Ferryburg - Love the butter on the inside, the wave gets crazy and really good just downwind of the jetty, but I have not had too many sessions there so I can't really say it is in the top 5 for me......way tiny launch.

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