Lake Michigan - various (Michigan) locations


Lake Michigan, Michigan, US

Disclaimer

various (Michigan) locations

Usual Difficulty I-V (for normal flows)


River Description

When sailboats are heading for cover due to 'Small Craft Warnings", experienced kayakers might want to head to the lake.

Forecast wave heights are generally reported in ranges.
At 1-2', generally forget it -- things are too tame to really get any surfs.
At 2-4', tame entertainment may be found.
At 3-5', you'll start catching some more worthwhile rides.
At 4-7', expect some sweet rides.
Above that, things start to get epic.
(See "Flow Info" tab for info on lake reports.)

DO NOT TAKE LAKE SURFING LIGHTLY! This is a whole different challenge than the river! On the river, each feature (wave or hole) is relatively 'constant' at a given flow. On the lake, every wave changes as it heads toward shore. When waves break, they can have powerful force as the weight of many gallons of water crash down on you. Having some sort of anti-implosion device for your sprayskirt is imperative at larger wave heights. Especially when waves are up, there will likely be strong currents sweeping out and down the shore. If your skirt implodes and your boat fills with water, each successive wave will hit you, making it like trying to run a class III (or higher) river with a swamped boat, but here there are NO EDDIES! Any time waves are larger than 2-3' you should not boat alone. The combination of wind and waves and currents can make self-rescue far more difficult than on any river you'll encounter in the Midwest.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-11-27 00:04:00

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0N/A
20.0Warren DunesN/APhoto
60.0South HavenN/A
80.0SaugatuckN/A
110.0Grand HavenN/A

Rapid Descriptions

(Class N/A)

Obviously there are innumerable locations in Michigan (on the 'East Shore' of Lake Michigan) where one could access the lake for possible surfing action. What follows are just a few known, popular spots.

Do you know of a location where the surfing action is just 'too sweet' (when the wind and waves are right)?
Please feel free to "Add a Comment" or "Report" detailing any additional 'hot spots' you are aware of on 'the big pond'.

Just to have some consistent means of logical order, locations are being listed from South to North, from the Michigan/Indiana border to the Mackinac Bridge. (Listed 'distance' is derived from Google driving directions, using a starting point of MI/IN state line and ending as close as possible via road access to each beach.)



Warren Dunes (Class N/A, Mile 20.0)

Weko Beach

Weko Beach
Photo by Jay Koontz taken 11/18/13

We have no specific awareness of access or wave-break, but this state park should provide a fine setting.



South Haven (Class N/A, Mile 60.0)

Breakwalls extend from the beach, channeling the flow from the mouth of a river. Depending where the waves are breaking best, paddlers may be able to use the calm along the breakwall to paddle out (as far as it extends, anyway) then catch waves as they wrap around the end of the breakwall.



Saugatuck (Class N/A, Mile 80.0)

Breakwalls extend from the beach, channeling the flow from the mouth of a river. Depending where the waves are breaking best, paddlers may be able to use the calm along the breakwall to paddle out (as far as it extends, anyway) then catch waves as they wrap around the end of the breakwall.



Grand Haven (Class N/A, Mile 110.0)

Breakwalls extend from the beach, channeling the flow from the mouth of a river. Depending where the waves are breaking best, paddlers may be able to use the calm along the breakwall to paddle out (as far as it extends, anyway) then catch waves as they wrap around the end of the breakwall.




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