Looking good for South Wind and Waves in Baileys Harbor for Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. Standup Paddleboards, Surfboards, Kayaks Windsurfers and Kitesurfers will all be hitting it this week. NOAA is calling for 15 – 25 mph with 3 – 5′ waves.
If this is your first ride of the season, you might want to inventory your gear. So often, guys show up without their harness, hook, bar/lines pump/hose hat booties gloves – all those small items that get lost over the winter. Tighten your footstraps and fin screws. Then clean your safety quick release systems. Most people never use their safety systems so over time they can get dirty or sticky which may fail if and when you ever need it. And do it before you get to the beach.
Yes, it is still pretty cold and some kitersurfers are waiting for summer weather. It’s a good time to start getting back in shape. But I advise against the standard mantra of diet and exercise. The combination of starting both at the same times increases the chances of quitting both.
Only exercise. Then reward yourself with your favorite dessert. Everytime you workout, you get that dessert. And after about 10 days you will notice that your favorite dessert is no longer so attractive, while the chemical reaction in your body after exercising is making you feel better and better. Then you give up the dessert that you are tired of. Your body is now in a cycle of burning all that excess dessert and will start burning your fat stored up from the winter.
Kite Boarding Door County
Tomorrow looks windy! North winds at 20+ means the crew will be riding near Horseshoe Island up here, and at Red River down in Southern Door.
Wednesday is looking good in Baileys Harbor with 20+ from the South/Southwest. Beginners at Anclam Beach, Intermediates and Advanced riders will be hitting the waves at Ridges Park.
For intermediate Kiters looking to expand their wind range, the best bang for your buck is to get a strapless surfboard. A good used 6’3 tri fin goes for around $300 and will get you up and riding in much lighter wind than what you need for a twin tip. The added buoyancy, surface area, waterline and bigger fins all combine to give you earlier planning and easier upwind performance. Compared to buying a 16m kite for $2000 just so you can mow the lawn on a twin tip, a surfboard is a real bargain. And riding strapless is much easier than you think… when you water start put your feet on the rail like it’s a big twin tip (with your feet equally spaced nose and tail). Use the water pressure created by the kite’s pull to hold the board against your feet. After you pop up you can move your front foot back a few inches. Even small swells and chop waves are fun to carve on with a surfboard.
For jumping strapless, Ollie up the wave face, then press on your toes to expose the bottom of the board to the wind which will keep the board pressed to your feet – rotate your front hip and foot downwind for a soft landing.
Remember, it’s a lot easier to get surf skills dialed in flat water before heading out into real waves.
Steven demonstrates strapless air with grab
Door County Drift wood Pot hanger
Ever since I was a young kid, my uncle would take me to the beach to collect driftwood. He was always fascinated by the look, the feel and the magic it held. So I created a driftwood hanging pot holder for my kitchen.
Spring came early and the Kiteboarders have been riding since mid March. Door County offers many different spots for catching all the wind directions if you are an advanced kiter.
If you are a beginner then we reccomend that you ride in Baileys Harbor at Anclam Beach. Baileys gets clean wind from the Southeast, South and Southwest, plus the harbor fills up with the top layer of Lake Michigan water which warms it by as much as 15 degrees. About a mile downwind there is a big sandy beach where beginners can land and then walk or catch a ride back upwind.
Any breezy day will have a dozen or so locals riding, and their kids playing in the waves with surfboards. Kids usually start surfing at age 4-5 and then start beginner kite flying at 8-10.
For advanced kiters looking for wave riding we do get head high waves on a regular basis and even some 10-12 foot waves if you know where to go. These waves are great for Stand Up Paddleboarding, Longboarding and even some Shortboard Surfing. Not just on Lake Michigan, but some spots on Green Bay produce suprisingly good surf – Chambers Island, Horseshoe Island, Deaths Door and Red River are just a few.
Door County has accomodations for all budgets, from primitive camping to high class hotels and condos. And if you are looking for activities for your non sailing friends/family there are may options from Arts & Crafts, Wine & Cheese, Kayak & Zip Line Tours, Bicycles and Segways. For more information about what to do in Door County you can call 920.868.1400 and talk to a Door County Kayak Tour Guide.
Longboarding with a Dog pulling you is quite fun. Make sure to use an appropriate harness, instead of a collar. Here Pixie is pulling Stein. This was her first run at it! Midway through the session, she made a quick stop to do some business, otherwise I see an olympic champ!
Wisconsin, a bar on every corner. Sister Bay is the place to go if you are wanting some nightlife during the summer. Often called the Barmuda Triangle, the main bars that we frequent are Husbys, The Bowl, & JJ’s La Puerta.
Look for live music, dancing and rowdiness.
Hands On Art Studio. You feel like a return to art class. Back in 2007, Door County Kayak Tours had a nice little co-existing space with Hands on Art Studio. We soon outgrew that location and Cy with Hands on Art Studio was quickly growing too, but the time there was a lot of fun. The opportunities to create were endless, from mosaics, to welding, to ceramics, to sculpture. Getting back to my welding days, I welded my kayak trailer there. Wow, was that ever a daunting task. The trailer turned out great thou.
Adult night is a great date experience. Friday nights Cy brings in a band and you can bring your own drinks while creating art. Be careful with the welder!
David Rack’s personal review of the Whistling Swan B&B and Restaurant located in Fish Creek.
The B&B: While I can’t say much for the B&B, because I have a house in Juddville and I have not stayed there. If I were to judge it by everything else that I know of the Whistling Swan; the workers, the outside look, the atmosphere, the location, even the parking lot (pervious paved) I would imagine it to be 5 stars! Most couples that come kayaking with us looking for a romantic spot to stay, I direct there. If I were staying in Door with a significant other, this is where I would stay.
The Restaurant: Amazing, if you want to stay inexpensive, just grab 3 pork belly tacos(3$each) they fill me up and they are so fresh, mouth watering, and amazing! Think fried brussel sprouts, red onion and bacon. Yum! Otherwise, while somewhat more than the burger joint as far as price, you definitely get what you pay for. Super wine list, and something on the menu for everyone and simple choices! I really hate it when there are too many choices on a menu. The chef does a great job of using local ingredients, be it morels, ramps, or local vendors. They always come out with a surprise midway through the meal…but I don’t want to spoil it. It was a bit slow one evening, and the waiter, a band member of Toivo who plays at anywhere from Husby’s to The Bayside, grabbed his guitar and broke out in song. Always a smile when walking into there.