Kiteboarding at Grand Haven
The Mecca. Home of many successful Kiteboarding events and MACkite. The owner, Steve Negen, has been power kiting for over 25 years and is a serious kite buggy rider. He saw the potential kitesurfing offered the area 14 years ago and has not looked back. His successful spring kite event dovetailed perfectly with kiteboarding. Last spring the kite event delivered 8 to 16 meter kiting for 2 days. The fall King of the Great Lakes event delivered a 9 to 18 meter days. Local shop riders Jake Mitchell and Tony Heydenburg can frequently be found at the beach. This spring and fall offer a clear beach but it can get crowded in the summer. Be respectful when visiting and always launch downwind if the beach is packed. Grand Haven offers a great family beach next to a rowdy city beach. The town is a sailor's port and has plenty to offer for the whole family. Grand Haven works on anything except east winds. The best days are the strong northwesters that offer knee to head high ramps and plenty of area to kite. Locals are friendly and always willing to launch or land a kite. Local riders Brad Knoth, GS, Marc Hoeksema, Robby Pedersen, and Barry Sholtz have been spotted several times at stratospheric heights this past summer in GH. Northern visitors Matt and Keegan Myers will show you how a spin is done with style. Naish Rep Joe Bidawid visits enough to be considered a local and is always welcoming new area riders.
Because of the popularity of this beach for sunbathers, it is often off limits to riding in the summer. There is no safe way to launch when the beach is wall to wall people, we ask everyone to choose another beach during those times. On the other hand, the beach starts to clear when the winds pick up over 15 knots.
Snowkiting on Harbor Island
Harbor Island, located in Grand Haven on the west side of North Beacon Boulevard/US 31 near the bridge, is a great spot for Tri-Cities riders who want to score a quick session squeezed between other obligations, practice their snowkiting skills, or don’t quite have confidence in the ice thickness levels on the nearby lakes. Harbor Island contains a large, flat field that offers relatively good conditions for snowkiting. The wind can get a little swirly depending on the direction due to some surrounding tree cover, but that challenge only adds to the charm. A local favorite.
Useful Grand Haven links:
More Boarding Locations
Austin Lake (snowkiting)
Special thanks to Skip for the writeup on this kiteboarding location!