People always ask what SAMA means. It started as kind of a joke. It was a sleeting, snowy day in early December. My friend and I were surfing a swell in Grand Haven. I looked over at him knowing we were supposed to both be at pre-Christmas family functions soon, and said "We are like Self Absorbed Michigan Adventurers." That kind of stuck, and like many of our friends we have a common passion for outdoor sports in Michigan, and we go out in any weather to get our sessions. He replied "Ya, SAMA!"

So it was born, the SAMA logo was fashioned by another like minded surfer friend from Grand Haven. SAMA is for all of you year round Michiganders and vacationers who know, love, and respect all the outdoor activities there are to do in Michigan. No matter the weather you will find us us out enjoying all the benefits of our unique freshwater paradise.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kite Score on Beaver Island

I feel really fortunate after scoring a really memorable session on the south shore of Beaver Island yesterday so I figured I would write up a little tale of the day. The deal was, I had to be on the island, at the Central Michigan University Biological Station, for work by Saturday evening. I was planning to leave my house in South Bend in the morning, cruise up and catch the 2:30 ferry. However, after checking the offshore forecast as I was leaving work on Friday afternoon, seeing that it was calling for winds out of the southwest at 20 kts and 6 foot waves, I quickly started scheming to get up there ASAP. So, I kissed my son and wife goodbye at 8:00 pm, made the 5-hour drive to Charlevoix, met up with my buddies Beau and Ben, who just happened to be renting a cottage up there with their families. Of course, we drank beers until 3, I took a quick nap, and just barely made it to the ferry terminal before the 8:00 a.m. departure, threw two kites, a board, and a bag of clothes and a wetsuit into the luggage cart as they were wheeling it onto the boat, and I was off. Despite the lack of sleep and mild hangover, the 2-hour boat trip got me super stoked watching solid white caps and sets of 6 foot swells slide under the boat as we slogged the 32 miles to St. Jame Harbor. Of course, in my haste to get out of town and up to northern Michigan, I hadn't made any arrangements for transportation on the island. I just figured, if it was meant to be, it would work out. Sure enough, I got off the boat in St. James, swung into the terminal office and asked the women behind the counter if she know where I might get ahold of a car for the day. Now, bear in mind, this is a small island in the middle of Lake Michigan, there's no Avis. She called her freind Pat who showed up in less than 10 minutes and for $40 I was throwing my gear in a rusty minivan. From St. James I headed south, 15 miles of gravel and 2-track roads to the south end of the island. As the winding gravel road rolled out onto the beach, I knew it had all been worth it. Maybe I was getting paid back for those 3 or 4 skunkings I had on the south end this spring, or maybe I was just lucky but what layed out in front of me was the setup and conditions that I had been dreaming of for most of the 5-hour drive north the night before. A sand and gravel spit stuck out from shore and protected a nice little embayment, perfect for launching and some flatwater freestyle. To the west, head-high rights were reeling off a rocky point. To the east, waves were unloading on a shallow sandbar. And to top it off, a solid 20 knot wind was blowing 80 degree summer air (a rareity in northern Lake Michigan). All this, and of course, not a soul around. Any kiter knows the rest of this story... 5 hours later, I packed my stuff up, clicked a few more photos, smiled, threw my gear back into the rusty minivan, and wondered how a Lake Michigan session could ever get any better.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Women's tanks are here!

Hey girls! Check out the razorback tanks! We will have the website up and running soon, and you can order online. Or, swing into Sharkless Boardsports in South Haven to pick one up in person.