December 15, 2013

4th Annual Shiver on the River

Once again, out friends at The Outpost are organizing the Shiver on the River!  Come celebrate the New Year by joining us for a SUP paddle on the Kalamazoo River.  We plan to start at 1:00 pm on January 1st from the Star of Saugatuck launch...716 Water St. in Saugatuck 49453.

Coffee and hot chocolate at Uncommon Grounds Cafe after the paddle.  Wear your beads, party hats, and appropriate cold weather paddle gear and let's make some noise!

For more information, check out the Shiver on the River Facebook Page.  Hope to see you there!

November 24, 2013

Real Time Wave and Wind Data

Whether you spend a lot of time on the water, or just want to make the most of the time you have, getting accurate and up-to-date information on the conditions is important. Although the usual forecast resources do a good job of helping you plan, nothing beats real time (or almost real time) reports of wind speed/direction, water/air temp, and wave height. If you're interested in easily accessing this info from virtually on!

The National Data Buoy Center is part of NOAA's National Weather Service and maintains (or has access to) a vast network of data collecting buoys and coastal stations around the world. It's easier than ever to now get the data in the palm of your hand!

Get The App!

If you have an iPhone or iPad, get the NOAA Buoy and Tide Data app. This app is the perfect tool to help plan your time on the water.
  • Search for buoys by name or region
  • View buoys near you with customizable search radius
  • Use GPS or manually enter location
  • Works with iPhone, iPod, and iPad versions
  • Interactive map of locations
  • Detailed lice buoy data with access to location specific forecasts
  • Save your favorites for easy access

The NOAA app is only $1.99 and well worth the money.

Get a Text Message!

The easiest way to get the the data is to simply text the buoy number to (734) 418-7299 and you will have the latest info within 10 that's fast.

Buoy 45029 happens to be the one that I check most often...about 3 miles offshore from Pigeon Lake (between Grand Haven and Holland).  

Although some of the buoys are now offline (brought back in for the winter), you can still access data from the mid-lake buoys and also get data (minus water info) from the many land based stations along the coast.  

Using these resources will ensure that you have the data you need if you're heading to one of our great lakes or on a trip to other SUP destinations around the world.

September 15, 2013

2013 Great Lakes SUP Classic

The 2013 Great Lakes SUP Classic…what a great event!  Let me start by saying that this is a very well organized race from beginning to end.  The Outpost did a fantastic job of making sure everything went off without a hitch.

Jim Terrell...dishing the knowledge
The GLSC festivities started on Friday evening at The Outpost with packet pickup and “SUP Talk” with industry leaders Jim Terrell (Quickblade) and Joe Bark (BARK Paddleboards).  This was a unique opportunity for paddlers of all skill level to talk with Jim and Joe about paddles and boards.  A couple groups of 25 or so were able to get insider info on paddle types, construction, fit, and paddling technique from Jim as well as everything you wanted to know about boards (type, fit, construction, R&D, storage, etc.) from Joe.  A couple of my good friends even had their BARK race boards signed by Joe…pretty cool.  On top of the great discussion, Jim Terrell was custom fitting paddles for people and The Outpost had all Quickblade paddles on sale for 20% off…yes please!

Side not on paddle fit…Jim Terrell was fitting paddles by taking you height in inches and multiplying by 1.12.  This should be a starting point and can then be slightly adjusted from there based on your specific needs (race, surf, other).  6’ tall… 72 x 1.12 = 80.64 or an 81” paddle.

Saturday morning started off on the chilly side with temps in the high 30’s.  Although the wind and waves on Lake Michigan had calmed down from the previous day (15mph and 4-6’), the water temp had dipped from the mid 60’s to the low 50’s.  When I arrived at Holland State Park, I realized that I had left my race info (number, lunch voucher) on my kitchen table (doh!), but race volunteers were quick to take care of everything for me without an issue.  The volunteers do a great job with pulling off an event of this size.

3 Mile Race Start
The course was changed this year and I must say that it was AWESOME!  Instead of a down and back style or a triangle, there were several buoy turns and all of the action was much easier to watch both from the beach as well as the pier.  The two near shore buoys in particular were a great change.  Even though the waves were small at the beach (1-1.5’), they were breaking right at the buoys where people were trying to turn.  This location made for some great action…people falling (I fell three times…brrr), traffic jams, and great buoy turns.  The tough part was on the long stretch from the farthest north buoy to the pier.  I’m not sure how it was for the elite race (9:15 start), but for the rec race (my race, 11:15 start) the wind had picked up out of the south and the waves our past the pier were probably 3-5’.  Not that this was that bad, but it was definitely enough to make you glad when you made the turn at the pier.  Elite racers had 4 laps and rec racers did 2, which was plenty for me.

Buoy Turn Carnage
The elite race was won by Larry Cain from Canada, followed by Jim Terrell and Team Outpost rider Tony Paul (Tony also took the Midwest SUP Championship Series overall title).  Joe Baker continued his winning ways by taking the 12’6 class.  On the women’s side, Mary Radtke stood atop the podium, followed by Rachel ? and Renee Miller with a strong 3rd place finish.  An abbreviated list of winners is below, check out the GLSC Results page for a complete list.
  • 6 Mile Elite – 14’ M          Larry Cain
  • 6 Mile Elite – 12’6 M        Joel Baker
  • 6 Mile Elite – 12’6 W        Mary Radtke
  •  3 Mile Rec – 12’6 M        Jeffrey Hunter
  • 3 Mile Rec – 12’6 W        Melanie Lefeve
  • 3 Mile Rec – Surf M         Kevin Clark
  • 3 Mile Rec – Surf W         Antje Mueller
  • Kids Race                         Camden Misiewicz
Following the main races, there were the kid’s race and a relay race.  It’s great to see all of the kids out there participating…building the stoke for the future of our sport.  Although I didn’t to the relay race, from what I could see, it looked like everyone that raced had a huge smile on their face.

Before I forget, I wanted to give a shout out to Matt Balmer (6 Mile elite racer) for providing lunch for everyone from his restaurant, Everyday People Café.  It was by far the best event lunch I have ever had (great soup/chowder, bread bowls, fruit, cookies, etc.).  If you happen to be in the Douglas area, check it out.

Rich, thanking Jim and his family
The GLSC concluded with a heartfelt “thank you” from Rich Mosher (owner of The Outpost) and the awards ceremony and giveaways.  In addition to the overall winners, small prizes were also given to all age group winners and all Kids Race participants.  One thing that Rich mentioned was that 100% of all entrance fees (around $6000) went to two charities that help bring clean water to those around the world that don’t have access…what a great cause.  The event sponsors really stepped up to provide all of the prizes and race bags for everyone.  Thanks to The Outpost, Jim Terrell, Joe Bark, Everyday People Café, Rich Mosher, Jim Misiewicz, and all of the other volunteers for putting on a first class event.

In addition to everything described above, one of the highlights of the event for me was to just hang out with a bunch of friends that all have the passion for our great sport.  The Great Lakes SUP Classic was an event that you don’t want to miss next year so make sure to get it on your calendar for 2014…you won’t regret it!

August 23, 2013

Review - Vertical Oar

Realizing there was no comprehensive SUP location resource on the market, the Founders created Vertical informative medium for the global SUP community.
Whether you are searching for a SUP spot, gear, lessons, or tours, the VO map has you covered. The user friendly platform allows you to quickly filter SUP spots and businesses by type. The goal is that this site will be the place to go to find all of this information, no matter where your travels take you.
I've spent some time over the last couple of months adding some of my favorite SUP spots to the database and I've found it to be extremely easy to use. All it takes is a few minutes of time for you to describe the site and add a few pictures. The site works great on a PC as well as mobile devices...I've made quick updates from both an iPad and an iPhone.

The 616 is getting some love on the Vertical Oar site these days...both Reeds Lake and Pigeon River are featured on the Vertical Oar home page. Take a few minutes and check it out for yourself and add some of our favorite spots or shops. Lets show the SUP world how huge the paddle scene is in West Michigan...SHARE THE STOKE!

August 1, 2013

SUP Events to End the Summer

It seems like summer just started, but August is almost half over already. With that being said, there is still plenty of time to get on the water and participate in some of the many events we still have left. If you haven't heard about them out, or signed up already, check out the list below for more info!
It's looking like a great way to finish up the summer...BRING IT ON!

June 6, 2013

Appleby Stars in SUP, Gives Back Too

ESPN recently published a profile of professional waterwoman Candice Appleby. the article outlines not only her dominance on the SUP racing scene, but also her desire to give back and help foster the next generation of athletes in our sport.

We had a chance to meet Candice at the first Great Lakes SUP Classic in Holland a few years ago. Although she was busy, she was very gracious and took the time to talk with everyone...a great ambassador for SUP for sure. It's nice to see athletes in this relatively small (but rapidly growing) sport get some love from ESPN...the worldwide leader. Click on the link below to read the article for yourself!

May 16, 2013

Race Season in the 616!

Race season is just around the corner!  A few races have started registration, and from what I hear, they are starting to fill up fast.

Mt Pisgah SUP/Run Duathlon - 5/27 Holland, MI
This is an informal "race" that is free to everyone and even includes a pancake breakfast at the beach!  The event will begin at 9:00 AM on Memorial Day, May 27th, at Holland State Park.  The Duathlon will consist of a 1.5 mile paddle, 1 mile run (with steps), and a 1.5 mile paddle.  Call The Outpost of Holland with any questions and ask for Jim or Steve 616.396.5556.

Sweetwater SUP Challenge - 6/15 St. Joseph, MI
Family friendly event with demos and kid's races.  The Recreational race is 3 miles and the Elite race is 6 miles.  The Rec race is reserved for "surf" style SUPs only...all displacement/race style SUPs will be entered into the Elite race (12'6" and 14' classes).  For additional information, including registration, please see the link below:
           Sweetwater SUP Challenge

TC Waterman Challenge & Expo - 8/17 Traverse City, MI
Staged on the shores of beautiful West Grand Traverse Bay, the TC Waterman event includes a recreational 3.5 mile course as well as an 11 mile open-water "downwinder" distance race.  Whether you're racing for the WPA points, or just want to get your feet wet in the waters of SUP for the first time, the TC Waterman Challenge & Expo is the perfect way to experience the rich tradition of the Northern Michigan SUP lifestyle. For additional information, including registration, please see the link below:
          TC Waterman Challenge & Expo

What are you waiting for?!?!

April 24, 2013

Live Q&A with Danny and Candice

Tonight at the Outpost of Holland, I had the opportunity to participate in an exclusive live FCS Q&A Webcast with two of the most successful SUP athletes in the world, Danny Ching and Candice Appleby. Danny and Candice answered questions via phone, tweet, and email for over an hour on anything to do with SUP. lots of great questions dealing with fitness, nutrition, racing, surfing, and SUP lifestyle.

The Outpost did a great job hosting the event with 20 or 30 local paddlers in attendance...they even got a special shout out from Candice about how great of a store it is (check it out if you haven't). Out of all the questions asked of them from around the world, I would guess that 25% were from our group. SUP is alive and well (and growing) in the 616 for sure!


April 8, 2013

Great Surf Forecast App

I'm sure some of you are familiar with this app already, but I just stumbled upon it recently...and it's pretty cool. The app is called magicseaweed and is loaded with information for over 3000 beaches around the world. Included in the list of breaks, are several Great Lakes locations including: Grand Haven (screen shots below), New Buffalo, Chicago, Empire, and many more.

You can visit the website at for the online version or visit the Apple App Store for the iPhone/iPad version.

Let me know what you think or if you've used it before.

April 4, 2013

Abu Dhabi All Stars Invitational

The Standup World Tour is making its inaugural stop in the United Arab Emirates for the Abu Dhabi All Stars Invitational this weekend.  Some of the top paddlers in the world will go head-to-head, paddle surfing in the unique Wadi Adventure wave pool and then racing in the standard world Series Sprint Racing format.  The wave pool will allow everyone to get perfect right, left, and closeout waves that are all consistent...every 90 seconds!

Although the time difference is 8 hours for us in West Michigan, you can check out the schedule on and you can view the live webcast at the link below.

March 29, 2013

Weekend Outlook

This weekend is looking pretty good for some early Spring paddling.  Most of the inland lakes are still ice covered but the rivers are ice free and ready for paddlers.  No more ice on Lake Michigan so it makes getting on Big Blue much easier too...although water temps are still in the mid 30's, so make sure you have the proper gear on hand.

  • Temps:  near 50 to approaching 60 on Saturday afternoon inland, cooler on Lake Michigan
  • Wind:    light wind on Friday and Saturday morning, picking up Saturday afternoon into Sunday
  • Waves:  calm waves Friday and most of Saturday, picking up Saturday afternoon and 2-3' on Sunday
It looks like we currently have a bit of fog at the beaches in Holland and Grand Haven, so be careful if you hit the water.

As always, check out the resources on the right side of the blog for the most up-to-date information on weather and water conditions.

March 20, 2013

Surftech Shootout at the Lane


The stage is set for one of the most exciting SUP events of 2013!  The Surftech Shootout and Surf & Sand Duel Race will feature many of the world's top SUP surfers and racers.

For those of you like me, however, who are stuck in the never ending "winter" of West Michigan, you can check out the LIVE WEBCAST during half time or between March Madness games.  The Webcast will begin at 11:00 AM (EST) on Saturday and continue through Sunday to cover all the action.

For additional event information check out this article on Supconnect.

February 28, 2013

Jaime Mitchell Puts a Paddle to Big Waves

ESPN recently published a short article about Jaime Mitchell's desire to paddle into monster waves all over the world. Follow the link below to read the article for yourself.
ESPN Article: Hard Paddlin' Man
We had the chance to meet Jaime last summer when he was here for (and won) the Great Lakes SUP Classic at Holland State Park. From the little that we talked, he seemed very down to earth and took plenty of time to hang out with everyone...even the kids (see picture below).
In 2011, Jaime won the amazingly hard Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race for a record 10th time in a row. Not many, if any, professional athlete in any sport can claim 10 world championships in a row. The process of winning his tenth championship is documented in the movie Decade of Dominance...worth a watch for sure!

February 24, 2013

View From The Other Side

When this time of year comes around, I start jonesing for blue skies and warm water. Just because its still winter (plenty of cold, snow, and ice in the 616), doesn't mean that your paddling has to be put on hold until spring. With the right cloths/gear, you can get an entirely new perspective of your favorite paddling areas. Once you're able to safely get into/out of the water and paddle without too much ice getting in the way, you should check it out!
While many of us in West Michigan have ventured out onto the ice that forms on the shore of Lake Michigan, few people get the opportunity to view the ice formations from the other side...from the water. My friend Jim from The Outpost of Holland has a couple of very cool videos that show how cool this perspective can be. Check one of his videos below...part one of his SUP Winter Wonderland video can be found at The Outpost of Holland.

February 17, 2013

Reeds Lake SUP Race

Although not much information is available yet, it looks like the 2nd annual Reeds Lake SUP Race will be held on Saturday, August 31st.  I wasn't able to race last year but I'm planning on checking it out in 2013.  This race will be a good tune up for the Great Lakes SUP Classic that is scheduled for September 14th.  For additional information (when available), check back periodically or visit the race website at the link below.

Reeds Lake SUP Race

February 16, 2013

Stand Up Guy

If you have a few minutes free (actually 25 minutes), check out this awesome video/movie about Shane Perrin's amazing paddleboard journey.
This documentary is the story of Shane's 340-mile paddle down the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Charles in October 2011. Shane competed in the 6th annual Missouri River 340 and became the first person to attempt as well as first to complete the race on an SUP. This historic achievement contributed greatly to his rise to fame in the stand up paddling community, and it propelled him to accomplish further incredible feats on an SUP.
Check out what Shane is up to these days on his blog...

Stand Up Guy - The Documentary from Duncan Wilder on Vimeo.

February 10, 2013

Stand Up World Tour - Sunset Beach Pro 2013

If you're like me and and are dreaming of warm weather, nice waves, and paddling, check out the 1st stop on the Stand Up World Tour....the Sunset Beach Pro 2013 on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Although the event was called off today due to large surf (what?) and inconsistent conditions, you can check out the live feed tomorrow afternoon (Michigan time) from the link below.
Live Feed - Sunset Beach Pro 2013 (Check back on Monday 2/11/2013)
If you need your fix today (or any other time), check out the highlights below from the first day of the contest.

February 3, 2013

2013 Race Schedule Released!

Progressive board shops and SUP enthusiasts in the Midwest joined forces to create a series of events that feature friendly competition and a host of fun activities, in an effort to foster athletic growth and broaden interest in the sport. The Midwest SUP Racing Series aims to provide a platform for serious paddlers to test their skills against their peers, while encouraging others to take their first stroke on a SUP board and see what the sport is all about.
I know from experience that these events are awesome for paddlers of all levels. Check the 2013 SUP/Beach Events list (at right) for more information on each race or follow the link below.
Midwest Stand Up Paddleboard Championship Series

January 30, 2013

This is what it's all about!

"Aunty" Candice Appleby shows us that you don't have to have big waves to have a blast in the water.

January 27, 2013

Welcome to SUP616!

The idea behind SUP616 is to provide one site for all the Stand Up Paddling resources you need for current and future beach conditions as well as local beach events, both on the water and on the sand.  Rather than visiting several different sites (which are all great btw...check out the links on the right) to get information such as current weather/radar, water temps, wave forecasts, wind forecasts, and beach events (Volleyball, Soccer, etc.), you can find all of this information under SUP Resources on the right side of the site.

Although I'm not a meteorologist or anything, look for posts outlining what the weekends look like for paddling or just hanging out at the beach.  Hopefully the resources can give everyone a little more specific information on things such as when the winds will be picking up or if the waves will be diminishing after a certain time.

Local SUP events will be highlighted on a regular basis as well as other events that you might like to participate in, watch, or just be aware of in case you want to avoid the crowds. Even though the main focus is the Grand Haven, Holland, and Grand Rapids (yes, inland paddling lakes and rivers) areas, other West Michigan areas will definitely get some love too.

Feel free to comment, send in some feedback (, and pass along the info to others on TwitterFacebook, or Google+ (see the share buttons below).  Most of all... thanks for visiting SUP616!