Sat 12 Nov 05

Surf Report # 7

Location: North Muskegon, MI – Muskegon State Park
Time: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Air Temp: 60 F
Water Temp: 52 F
Wind: From S 17-18 mph
Waves: 8-10 feet off the pier, 5 feet inside
Gear: 5/3 wetsuit, 5 mm boots, 3mm gloves

After cruising around on some local Great Lakes surfing forums, I got invited out to go surfing with a guy who said he grew up surfing in South Africa. After meeting up in GR, I followed him out to Muskegon State Park in my car and discovered a whole new kind of surfing. Leaping-from-a-pier kind of surfing.

North Muskegon has a neat boulder pier that extends perpendicular from the shore then bends off at a 45 degree angle. So the waves come in, smack into the bend, then kind of roll around the corner with some built up intensity, get big, steep, and rideable, then continue on their merry way.

There were about half a dozen other guys surfing out there when we pulled up, so everything was a little intimidating to me, trying not to ruin anyone’s day with my incompetence. Walked out onto the boulders, getting buffeted by the wind, with a leash around my ankle threatening to trip me up on every step. Said good morning to a few fishermen. Walked to the bend in the pier. Threw my board into the water as a wave crested nearby and jumped right in after it.

I paddled out to where it looked like most people were catching waves, then just sort of bobbed up and down for a while watching a couple of obviously very competent surfers swooping up and down the biggest, cleanest faces I’ve ever been close to.

I didn’t really catch much of anything myself. Stood up on two massive waves but promptly stumbled off my board and was buried under the whitewater. I came up laughing each time. Everything was so happy today. I loved the feel of a giant wave rolling underneath and through me. I loved that my feet were nowhere near touching the bottom. I loved the sixty degree weather and occasional bursts of sunshine in November. I loved trying not to smash by surf board as I jumped from the pier.

Eventually, just to get some reps in, I floated inside and goofed around in the shore break, before making my way back home.