Lake Michigan open water ride (Grand Haven)

Jobu

Schrickter
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Likes
68
Location
West Michigan
#22
I'm part of the group that rides port sheldon every sunday.............good times. As far as Grand Haven goes, my brother checked into this last fall. He called the grand haven city manager and the grand haven city police chief. The bottom line is it's completely legal as long as the swimming areas are not set up. So, in the spring and fall you pull your skis up on the city beach. You can even launch your skis off city beach provided you use a non motorized beach cart. We did this last fall and it was a blast. The nice part is if somebody breaks down you don't have to worry about towing them through a channel in big surf also if you get hurt, the hospital is really close!!!! I would be game to do a ride out the channel this summer! Better be legal though, high probability that you get pulled over. Boat traffic will be at it's peak during the coast guard festival which is the last week of july/first week of august i believe.
 

schicks

Karma Enforcer
Joined
May 10, 2012
Likes
213
Location
West Michigan
#25
Do you think we Would be able to launch out of the swimming areas if we idled out to the surf?
No. Like previously mentioned, cops will be on you like flies on schit. Only time you can launch from the beach is when swim bouys are not out (so early spring and late fall only). You are not even allowed to launch and push your ski out past the swim bouys during the summer. Basically, if the bouys are out you need to ride through the channel which is all slow no wake (port sheldon only has 50 feet of slow no wake), if the bouys are not out you can launch off the beach. Also, you need a beach kart because you cannot fill your ski up on the beach, you need to bring it back up to the parking lot to fill with gas. You need to know the laws,... even when there are no bouys you are technically not suppose to ride within 450 feet (150 yards or 1.5 football fields) of the beach at least I think thats the legal distance hahaha. Cops can be nice in Grand Haven if you follow the rules, if you dont follow rules you will hate them (they win you lose everytime).

I plan to ride out from the grand haven beach as soon as the ice breaks up...hopefully next weekend??? if it actually gets above freezing I don't think it will take long. Anyone is welcome to use my beach kart.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 31, 2009
Likes
192
Location
Hudsonville, MI
#26
I usually ride Port Sheldon when I go out to the big lake... I have pulled up to the beach a few times when issues arose, but I believe they private. It is kind up a pain in the butt when you have to get towed through the channel and then still through Pigeon Lake when your ski breaks. I like how Port Sheldon is usually relatively quiet, even on the really nice days.
I only saw one person out in Grand Haven last year (when I was in the area), but I imagine riding through the channel would suck. The beach would be really nice if you could access it, but I wouldn't want to deal with the GH authorities.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Likes
3
Location
Grand Rapids MI
#27
No. Like previously mentioned, cops will be on you like flies on schit. Only time you can launch from the beach is when swim bouys are not out (so early spring and late fall only). You are not even allowed to launch and push your ski out past the swim bouys during the summer. Basically, if the bouys are out you need to ride through the channel which is all slow no wake (port sheldon only has 50 feet of slow no wake), if the bouys are not out you can launch off the beach. Also, you need a beach kart because you cannot fill your ski up on the beach, you need to bring it back up to the parking lot to fill with gas. You need to know the laws,... even when there are no bouys you are technically not suppose to ride within 450 feet (150 yards or 1.5 football fields) of the beach at least I think thats the legal distance hahaha. Cops can be nice in Grand Haven if you follow the rules, if you dont follow rules you will hate them (they win you lose everytime).

I plan to ride out from the grand haven beach as soon as the ice breaks up...hopefully next weekend??? if it actually gets above freezing I don't think it will take long. Anyone is welcome to use my beach kart.
geez that water is going to be sooooooo cold.... lol plus my ski is in shambles right now so its pretty unrideable... my aunt owns a cottage a little ways down the beach from the pier.. but its a pretty steep walk down to the water so we probably couldnt carry them down that way, but there is a public beach like 100ft away so we could park there and everybody walk their stuff down to her shore and drop our skis there.
 

schicks

Karma Enforcer
Joined
May 10, 2012
Likes
213
Location
West Michigan
#28
that would work, no rules about pushing a ski down the beach on a kart during the middle of the summer to private property!!. I keep looking at the grand haven surf cam, still not breaking up. Im still waiting on my hood and pole to come back from the paint shop, so I am still a week or so out before I can ride. The rivers are open though.
 

Ducky J. Trump

Trump 2020
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Joined
May 13, 2012
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4,015
Location
Charlotte, NC
#31
Do you think we Would be able to launch out of the swimming areas if we idled out to the surf?
We did this once during coast guard week...launched two skis right from the beach. Tons of people were looking at us like we were crazy, but we didnt know if it was legal or not, so we just did it. No cops bothered us at all, but we swam the skis out past the swim area and when we werent riding them, they chilled by a boat we had anchored.

I saw one or two stand ups going through the channel during coast guard week, and it didnt look fun lol. All those big boats make the channel super choppy.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Likes
3
Location
Grand Rapids MI
#33
We did this once during coast guard week...launched two skis right from the beach. Tons of people were looking at us like we were crazy, but we didnt know if it was legal or not, so we just did it. No cops bothered us at all, but we swam the skis out past the swim area and when we werent riding them, they chilled by a boat we had anchored.

I saw one or two stand ups going through the channel during coast guard week, and it didnt look fun lol. All those big boats make the channel super choppy.
What would be fun is if you could go at speed through the channel since were so small and just be flying off those wakes!
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Likes
711
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
#35
Any update fellas on when we wanna try to do this ride in grand haven?

Also anybody who wants to go to the Wisconsin Dells Freeride on May 28th- June 1st, me and about 15 of my buddies in our ride group are going and anyone who wants to can come along. It's a blast to ride there, and the free ride is setup great by Paul Sucharski. This year the raffle grand prize is a squarenose Superjet. Pm me or hit me up at 847-651-9295. I will be taking work off Work half the day Thursday and heading out that afternoon.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Likes
3
Location
Grand Rapids MI
#36
im still rebuilding my ski but Im just going to throw a date out there. either we could do it during the coastguard festival if we wanted to show off and make some waves. otherwise we could wait until a weekend when its warmer like June 21st? that's a Saturday. at least for now until we know better.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Likes
711
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
#37
I'm not goin out on coast guard. I'm down for June 21st tho, my Superjet motor is done but need a carb, other than that I just need to turf and get two exhaust hoses and I'm done. I am going to ride the grand river this week at riverside park if anyone wants to join. Maiden voyage for my X2 I got for free
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Likes
711
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
#39
No 104th avenue. My boss took me out there to show me where to launch for free. He takes his big boat out there all the time. Said there's some deep gravel pits that are fun to mess around in. He said you can ride it to Lake Michigan. I've rode way worse than the grand river, it looks clean ish to me
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Likes
3
Location
Grand Rapids MI
#40
yeah im in ada and i look at the river and its that murky brown and im just "nope not worth it" haha I ride mostly in gun lake cause it gets warm super fast
 
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