43-Mile Lake Superior Downwinder 3

bryce by lift bridge

Last Saturday, MNAdventure team rider Bryce Johnson did 43 miles by kite on Lake Superior, from Flood Bay (just north of Two Harbors) all the way to Park Point in Duluth.

While it’s 30 or so miles as the crow flies from Two Harbors to Duluth, Bryce’s tacks made his distance traveled much farther. WindAlert shows the wind was 25-28 mph from the northeast with gusts up to 35. He flew an 8-meter kite (a 2008 Liquid Force Havoc) and rode a Liquid Force directional surfboard, with straps. The whole journey took about 3 hours.

jump and skyline


He was flying downwind. Bryce’s support car- that’d be me- was battling traffic and could hardly keep up to him. I was able to track Bryce’s location by his cell phone, which was inside three plastic baggies, in a pocket inside his dry suit. He mapped the whole journey on Google’s My Tracks, so his GPS was constantly updating. We used Google+ location sharing to allow me to see where Bryce was on the water. It worked well- the GPS must have updated his location every five minutes or less.

My Tracks shows Bryce’s track through the water. Below is a screenshot, but you can see the Google Maps interactive version here.

bryce downwinder track

And below are stats from My Tracks:

My Tracks stats

Check out that max speed!

The hardest part of the whole thing, Bryce says, was finding a good place to launch. He was able to launch in Flood Bay, but had to do a lot of tacks to be able to safely clear the bay and get out on the lake. The best part? Arriving at Park Point, where the waves were head height after building all the way across the lake. While he would have liked to kited around in them longer, he said his legs were jelly by the time he got there.

Bryce says he’s been wanting to do a downwinder like this for years. His original plan, which is still a future goal, is to travel the roughly 100 miles from Grand Marais all the way to Duluth.

Finally, here’s the wind and weather from that day, from Wind Alert:


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