by Patty Hoben
Since there was no wind on our radar for the first weekend in October, we were pleasantly surprised when the unexpected invitation came on Thursday to join Kevin, Bryan and Rob in Sheboygan, WI to ride the big waves on Lake Michigan. Jim loves a good road trip and the 5 hours seemed to fly by as we enjoyed the beauty of the Wisconsin farmland.
Rob rented a beautiful house (only 5 years old and like brand new) on 5 acres right on the lake! The place was formerly a 30 acre llama farm so the drive in was really beautiful with palatial estates on rolling hills bordering the property.
Kevin, Bryan and Rob were able to travel Thursday night so they could hit the water bright and early and ride big wind and waves on Friday. Sounds like they had a great day!
Jim and I arrived late Friday afternoon, just in time to enjoy Kevin’s culinary skills –Kevin whipped up a delicious meal fit for a king-something you would expect from a top notch chef!
Kevin was up bright an early on Saturday, cooking up a hearty breakfast to ensure we would be able to ride all day without going hungry (it worked!)
We arrived at the launch to winds blowing @ 25-30, huge waves (7-8 foot) and an overcast sky and balmy J 59 degrees. Dressed in thick wetsuits/drysuits and neoprene hats, we ventured into the big surf. Kevin, Rob, Bryan and Jim had a fun time riding the surf and a couple of them checked out the flat water in the jetty-protected area. After launching the kiter’s kites, I made several attempts at getting my windsurfer through the big surf, which was extra challenging due to a super strong side-shore rip tide. On my last attempt, a huge wave ripped my rig away from me, tossed and churned it like a washing machine…. and when my rig surfaced, it revealed a huge rip in the center of my sail. So I went to Plan B – ride my sailboard like a surfboard in the waves – it was fun, but would have rather been sailing J
After everyone had worn themselves out, we were chilled and ready for some warm beverages. We found a quaint British Pub a few blocks from the water and enjoyed hanging out and trying new delicacies (see Kevin’s comments).
As much fun as it was on the water, it was equally as fun to hang out with our kiting buddies. You gain a lot of insight into your friends when you travel with them (that you don’t pick up on just by hanging out on the local beach). Here are some of the things we learned:
Kevin: Along with Kevin’s culinary talents, he kept us amused for hours with one-liner jokes. He also got us ‘up and moving’ earlier than we would have otherwise – he is full of energy and excitement for kiting and for life in general. He also has a passion for capturing every moment of fun and is ready with his GoPro camera at all times.
Rob: Did you know that Rob has a computer file in his brain which houses all of the songs and musician names from many eras of music? I would venture to say he can “name that tune” and artist name for any song from the 60s-90s and no doubt more than that! He also did a reenactment of the best way to remove a bat from the room and in the process make sure that the closest female is thoroughly terrified. J
Bryan: Anyone who meets Bryan soon becomes aware of his insatiable passion for his new sport of kiting – he has earned the Iron Man medal for kiting since he is always looking for wind and out on the water every time the wind blows. He has increased his abilities more quickly and in a shorter period of time than anyone I know. Did you know that he rescued a windsurfer on Waconia this year– in his first year of kiting? That is pretty remarkable! His knowledge of music rivals Rob’s and they had a great time sharing their enjoyment of their favorite musical genres. We also educated us in regards to legal terms so if you want any legal insight – he’s our guy!
Jim: Of course, it is difficult for me to give an unbiased assessment of Jim, considering I have been happily married to him for 26+ years! He is a lot of fun to travel with – easy going, full of positive stoke for riding –and especially jumping huge! J He is always coming up with something funny to say and loves to tease his friends, with the hope that he can make them smile. (Sometimes they wish he would just stop talking, but he is lovable nonetheless!) J
Overall, I rate our trip A+ and look forward to our next adventure!
By Patty Hoben