Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Sup Dude?
. . . .

Sup Dude?

Rick Coates - August 15th, 2011
Surf’s up on Lake Michigan? For that matter, all of the Great Lakes have
become a surfers’ paradise in recent years. While these salt-free waters
may not get the big waves enjoyed by surfers off the California, Hawaiian
and Australian coasts, one must not forget that the waves of the Great
Lakes have sunk hundreds of large ships.
Part of the surging surf scene in Northern Michigan is due to the growing
popularity of Stand-Up-Paddle-Boarding (SUP). This Saturday, August 20 at
the Open Space Bayshore Park in Traverse City the first ever TC Waterman
Stand Up Paddle and Expo will take place.
The event is being organized by Todd and Michelle Mackey and is open to
“We have been a surfing family up here for a number of years,” said Todd
Mackey. “SUP is the fastest growing water sport in the world. A SUP board
is essentially a long surf board. They have the same design features as
surf boards; both sports are rooted back some 2,000 years ago in
Polynesian history. SUP boards being longer than surf boards -- typically
10 to 14 feet in length and you have a paddle. But you can surf using a
SUP board.”

The TC Waterman is both a competitive and recreational event, allowing
those new to the sport an opportunity to learn more about SUP.
“From a competitive perspective there are two main events with a 3.5-mile
recreational course right off the Open Space,” said Mackey. “The premier
event -- the one where we have competitors coming in as far away as Hawaii
-- is the 9-mile Downwinder. If the winds are in our favor we will go from
Bowers Harbor to downtown. if the winds are from the south we will go in
the other direction.”
Mackey and Larry Bordine of the Beach Nut Surf Shop in Frankfort tested
the Downwinder course on a day with perfect conditions.
“We were able to get from Bowers Harbor to Traverse City in about 75
minutes, but we expect that the best competitors under average conditions
will be able to finish in 90 minutes,” said Mackey. “We are also excited
that our event is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA), the
sanctioning body for the competitive end of this sport. We have $2,500 in
prize money for the first year. We will wrap up the day with a Luau awards
The TC Waterman event evolved out of Mackey contacting the WPA looking to
find some events to participate in when it suggested that he start one in
Traverse City.
“I was looking to compete, now I am organizing a competition,” said
Mackey. “Everyone has been great from the City of Traverse City to the
Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau to numerous local businesses
who have jumped on board as sponsors. We expect this event to grow each
year and hope to see the World Championships here someday.”

Todd’s wife Michelle is quick to point out that there are non-competitive
options as well at the TC Waterman.
“We are going to have an expo with several vendors coming in from all over
the country, there will be opportunities to try SUP,” she said. “Plus, we
will have free kids races and free relay races for those wanting to try
the competitive end out.”
The Mackey’s have five children who are all into SUP and surfing and they
see it as a great family activity.
“We go for a whole day and do this. I am not as into the surfing end of it
as much as Todd and some of our children. I find it very relaxing and this
is a sport that everyone can do regardless of your age,” said Michelle.
“This is a fun sport that is easy and very healthy. You can get a great
core body workout from this as well. You will feel it in your stomach
muscles the next day.”
Todd agrees:
“This sport is fun and it appeals to anyone who likes board sports, skiing
and kayaking,” said Mackey. “You can paddle any body of water with these
boards and on wavy days you can surf. You simply paddle yourself out and
hold onto the paddle and surf back in.”

Surfing and SUP were essentially developed simultaneously. In the ’50s
when the surfing craze hit the U.S. paddleboards were used by instructors
to teach new surfers.
“There has been a resurgence in the sport of SUP over the past 10 years.
In the Traverse City area there were two shops carrying SUP boards three
years ago and now there are over 15 stores selling them, including a
handful of surf specialty shops,” said Mackey.
“Here in the Great Lakes SUP and surfing are both taking off because a
long board catches smaller waves better than a typical surfboard and a
small wave you can ride for 50 yards. A few weeks ago we had six-footers
out on the bay and we had 40 surfers and a dozen SUP out there for eight
hours. I have surfed all over, from Hawaii, California and Florida, and it
was some of the best surfing I have ever experienced.”
Rip currents or undertows have been in the news recently, but Mackey says
understanding the currents makes the sport more enjoyable and the
experience safe.
“We look for those rip currents; it is our version of a chairlift. One
thing is they only last about 20 yards and they are usually only 20 or so
feet wide. So you don’t panic and let it take you; then you swim parallel
to the beach ‘til you get out of it,” said Mackey.
“I have seen people panic but the surfing community has been active in
learning safety awareness. A few weeks back Larry Bordine hosted a class
on how surfers can save people in the water. In fact Larry saved a person
last year in Frankfort who got caught in an undertow. Larry was able to
pull him onto his board.”
The popularity of surfing and SUP on the Great Lakes appears to be
growing. Websites that report on surf conditions around the world now
include the Great Lakes. A great way to learn more about the sport will be
this Saturday, Aug. 20, at the TC Waterman Stand Up Paddle & Expo.
Volunteers are encouraged to contact the Mackey’s at 231-360-1806. To
register and more info, check out
www.tcwaterman.com or find them on Facebook.

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