So here are some basic questions that will probably be asked quite a bit:

  • Who comes to The Gales?

For any sea kayaking event, or any party, or any kind of fun at all really, the first thing people ask when you’re getting together is, “Who’s coming?” We want to keep everyone in the loop on that very question with up-to-date information as the Gales dates approach (October 6-9, 2022).

Stay up to date on Facebook and Twitter to figure out who’s coming, ride share, swap boats, pictures, accommodation information, make friends, fall in love or just go paddling before and after the event.

  • What kind of conditions will classes really be held in? How big will the waves be? How strong will the wind be?

Each day we will assess the conditions and decide where courses will be held to take advantage of wind and waves but not overwhelm students. (You can’t learn if conditions are too gnarly.) There are always places that are more exposed and places that are more protected, so we’ll divide students by challenge level and coaches will assess their skills and the conditions at the start of each course. The Gales is designed to be fun and safe, but challenging. The coaches who’ve been invited to The Gales are very good at striking the right balance and ensuring that you’ll be safe but also challenged.

  • Do I need to know how to roll to attend the Gales?

A roll is not required, but a desire to work on rolling and bracing is a strong indicator that you’re ready to attend the Gales.

If you have not even started working on your roll and you aren’t comfortable bracing, you may be anxious about capsizing. And trust us, it’s hard to learn when you’re anxious. But we also recognize that everyone is in between swims. So don’t worry if you haven’t yet dialed in your roll.

  • Do I need a proper sea kayak to attend the Gales?

Yes. A closed deck sea kayak with bulkheads and perimeter deck lines (not bungees!) is required for this event. Most classes will be held on Lake Superior in windy/wavy conditions. We will, however, be running a surf kayaking class using small open and closed deck kayaks near the beach if we have the proper conditions. There will be special precautions taken for this class. If you bring your own whitewater or surf kayak, it must have flotation bags.

  • Do I need a drysuit to attend the Gales?

Immersion protection of some type is required. A wetsuit/drytop combo may get you there, depending on your fortitude and the air and water temperatures. If you know you get cold, a drysuit is a good idea. A full surfing wetsuit at least 4/3 ml would also work quite well. Using Facebook, Twitter, or just emailing us might net some surprising results on loaners, great bargains, or maybe even a good purchase prior to the Gales.

  • What other gear will I need to attend the Gales?

Helmet, tow belt, rescue knife or hook, life jacket (PFD), spray skirt, warm clothing in a dry bag, food in a dry bag, water, thermos with warm drink, plus whatever else you keep in your day hatch (first aid kit, boat repair kit, marine radio, etc.).

  • Where should I stay while attending the Gales?

We’ve arranged a block of rooms at the Birchmont Motel, a family-owned and operated motel with views of Lake Superior. You can reserve a single (one queen bed) for $85 or a double (two queen beds) for $100 per night.

To reserve your room, call the motel at (906) 228-7538 and let them know you are with The Gales.

  • What about meals?

We strongly encourage all participants to sign up for the meal package because the food will be excellent and important planning sessions occur during mealtimes.

The meal package will include a buffet breakfast and lunches to go from Cafe Bodega, as well as two dinners: one at Cafe Bodega; the other will be from another local eatery.

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