The water has warmed up! The North wind has produced some surf. The best places right now are going to be on the leeward side of a pier. The wind is side shore and the lateral current is pushing everything south.
The swell period is only about 6 seconds so the paddle out can be a little rough if you don’t time it right.
The wind is expected to blow all day so there should be waves all day. Have fun and be safe.
Berrien County Board of Commissioners have installed life rings on the south pier in St. Joe!
After Matuli team members and many water safety groups like the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project lobbied for ring buoys. They are now installed.
The standing wave on the campus of Michigan State University was working again. The flow rate was over 1400 so I grabbed my Matuli Fresh 10.6 Paddleboard for a surf. Standing waves can be difficult to ride because you do not have forward momentum. Sometimes it is easy to fall off the back of the wave. Using the the paddle it was a lot easer to stay on the wave. Current forecasts do not look good for surfing the river. We will need a lot more rain for it to work again. The good news is the Ice on Lake Michigan is melting and will soon be ice free. Fall is the best time to surf the Lakes but Spring waves can be fun.
I am sure more Great Lake area races will be added. If you are interested in finding a paddleboard race take a look. There are events all over Michigan. Some races like Third Coast Surf Shops Sweetwater Sup are in Lake Michigan. Other races are on smaller lakes. This years racing calendar starts out with a free paddle run paddle in Holland, Michigan.
I have heard a lot about how Sochi is a summer vacation hot spot. Naturally, before I think about going anywhere I always ask myself, “can you surf there?” A quick Google search and I found that Russia has its own version of inland sea surfers. Sochi is located on the black sea and from the looks of footage on youtube the waves are a lot like the waves we see in Lake Michigan. The sea is salt water it must feel a lot like the ocean. Lake Michigan has a Max Length of 307 Miles while the Black Sea has 730 Miles. The more distance wind has to travel over water the bigger the waves are. The Black Sea is almost 8 times deeper then Lake Michigan with a depth of 7,254 feet. At first I thought surfing in Russia must be really cold. February looks like the coldest water temperature for Sochi with an average of 47.7 degrees F and is warmest in August at 77.5 degrees. It doesn’t look like they are having the same ice problem we have in the Great Lakes.
Here is a video from TheLibertyfilms
What do Surfers do when the lake freezes over?
They go to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners meeting and talk pier safety
Today there were an estimated 25 people in attendance, to speak to the board of commissioners about why the South Pier in Saint Joseph, MI needs life rings. Among the speakers were 4 Local surfers. Joseph Hayman, Bob Pratt, Chris Matulis and Lori Westlake took turns speaking. Each person was given 2 minutes to speak, however, Bob took a little longer. After today’s meeting I am even more hopeful that the board will come to a final decision to install life-rings on the pier. Let’s hope they do so quickly before another life is lost.
The last week has been great for Michigan surfers. Wind generated waves were breaking all over the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The water has cooled off but I was still able to go out with just a 3/4 wet suit and without boots or gloves. Chris Matulis was able to find a few waves good waves in St. Joseph, MI.