Teaching Kids to Wake Surf in Northern Michigan
Wake Up North relies on the generosity of its donors and its volunteers.
As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, all donations to Wake Up North are tax-deductible charitable contributions.
Wake Up North’s crew all volunteer their time to our cause. Their payback comes from seeing genuine joy burst from your child’s face after they surprise themself with a newfound skill.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Wake Up North?
Wake Up North is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our mission is to teach your kids to wakesurf. Our goal is to be the source of your adolescent’s nostalgia.
What is wakesurfing?
Wakesurfing is a stand-up watersport in which the surfer rides a wave created by the boat’s wake. To stand up, the surfer uses a tow rope. Once up, the surfer steers into the wave to find the pocket. The pocket is in the steep face of the wave just below its crest. Once in the pocket, the surfer can drop the rope, and ride the wave’s push rather than being towed by the boat.
When can I wakesurf?
Our season runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Email us about who you are and when you’re available in the Traverse City area, and we’ll keep you posted as the season nears.
Who can wakesurf?
Since it is a low impact watersport, wakesurfing is for people of all ages. While younger kids have ridden on the wakesurf board with an experienced surfer, the youngest rider we’ve gotten up on their own was 8 years old. The oldest wakesurfer we taught was in their seventies. Since you don’t have to be the fittest or very athletic, anyone can wakesurf. But, we prefer to focus on ages 10-17.
Is wakesurfing fun?
Wakesurfing is fun because it is gratifying. The feeling of goal accomplishment accompanies every progression, and progress comes quickly. The best wakesurfers in the world are youngsters who have only been wakesurfing for a few years. One day, wakesurfing will be an Olympic event. When that happens, gold medals will no longer be limited to surfers who grew up on an ocean. Do you want to be the first freshwater trained gold medal surfer? There are no sharks in our waters.
How do you wakesurf?
Wakesurfing is about subtly shifting weight between your front and back feet. Front foot pressure is the gas pedal. Back foot pressure is the brake.
Why our boat?
We operate a 2017 Mastercraft NXT22 equipped with the second generation surf system. The boat’s three ballasts take on hundreds of pounds of water to sink the transom to create a bigger wave. Remote controlled surf tabs allow the operator to shape the wave’s height and length, which in turn modify the size, push, and location of the pocket.
The Zero Off cruise control system uses GPS satellites for consistent speed control within .2 mph precision through varying conditions. And, no more accelerating past the desired speed and then experiencing the decleration drop off back down to the desired speed.
Now, the boat’s accelertion gradually decreases as it nears the desired speed to keep momentum forward. The boat seats 14, but generally we don’t exceed 6 riders per session to ensure more space, comfort and personal attention.
What is there to do in Traverse City?
Boating and watersports are quintessential summer activities in Northern Michigan. We provide these activities to kids who don’t have access to: a lake (especially as beautiful as ours), a properly equipped boat, and a patient, experienced & fun crew.
How does Wake Up North Function?
Wake Up North relies on the generosity of its donors and its volunteers. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, all donations to Wake Up North are tax-deductible charitable contributions. Wake Up North’s crew all volunteer their time to our cause. Their payback comes from seeing genuine joy burst from your child’s face after they surprise themself with a newfound skill.