Our Headquarters Name Change!

May 20th, 2016 Comments off



Just a heads up for all of our 2016 LOL participants looking for our headquarters…….Sydney’s has gone through improvements and now a name change!  With over 40 years of combined hospitality experience, Munising native Cheri Tannehill Goetz and husband Tony Goetz of Sault Ste Marie recently purchased Sydney’s Family Restaurant. After months of remodeling, refining their new menu and services, this family dining and catering establishment has been renamed 387 Restaurant & Beer Parlor (387).  The Ladies of the Lake Sea Kayak Symposium will still be upstairs at 387 with all of our off water activities!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Friday Night Presentation: “Lake Michigan in a Dugout: The Documentary”

March 31st, 2016 Comments off

JeffKatz photo


This is going to be a good one!  Friday after a day of paddling be sure to stop by the headquarters, grab a refreshment and be prepared to be inspired by a couple of ladies who had a dream and acted on it!

“Lake Michigan in a Dugout: The Documentary” is a film following the story of two women chasing their ridiculous dream: to journey around Lake Michigan aboard their handmade dugout sailing canoe, an adventure that would ultimately take them over 1200 miles in 93 days. Told in part through the friendly banter between the two and the friends they made along the way, the documentary explores the search for everyday adventure and the power of our imaginations to push dreams into reality.

Amy Lukas graduated from Valparaiso University in 2011 with a BS in Biology, minors in Chemistry and Humanities. Mary Catterlin graduated from Indiana University in 2011 with a BA in Fine Art, minoring in Art History. The summer of 2012 found them doing other things… When Mary started hand carving a cottonwood tree into a dugout canoe, Amy knew they were in for an adventure. Spurred by their love of Lake Michigan and a desire for a challenge, they dreamed big. Both Amy and Mary were relatively (okay, completely) new to long distance expeditions when they set off on their 1200 mile journey around Lake Michigan aboard their handmade dugout sailing canoe in the summer of 2012.

Amy and Mary are also completely new to the realm of book & film, but they thoroughly enjoyed the process of telling a story they love. Their 93 day adventure has recently taken the form of a published illustrated journal and a full length documentary detailing the ins and outs of their dream coming to life. They hope to inspire others to follow their dreams, no matter how big, small, or ridiculous.

When asked what is currently taking up their time as 27 year olds, frequent answers include speaking, writing, creating, and adventuring on the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan. Side jobs include non profit work, graphic design work, surf instructing, traveling, and ice cream scooping. They have also decided on their next adventure; to finish what they started by circling the remaining four Great Lakes in one nonstop multi-modal journey. This time, the answer to your question is, yes, they will be taking Makeba, the dugout sailing canoe, for a small portion of the trip. A very small portion. This journey will take them over thousands of miles of freshwater shoreline through seasons as they travel by dugout, kayak, SUP, bike, snowshoe, ski, and sail. Needless to say, they have a lot of planning to do.

KevinMiyazakiPerimeterProject (2)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

LOL More Than Just Kayaking!

March 24th, 2016 Comments off


Need a break from paddling? Tired or sore muscles? Then how about switching it up a bit and taking in some of the other scenery Munising has to offer. Join our staff on a Munising Waterfall Hiking Tour where during this ½ day field trip we will show you some of the waterfalls close to Munising and allow for some great photographs.
Prerequisites: Good shoes/boots, vehicle for traveling to different destinations.  PLEASE NOTE,  THIS CLASS THAT MEETS AT LOL HEADQAURTERS.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Who Wants To Go Kayak Camping?

March 14th, 2016 Comments off


We strive to give you as many chances to learn and grow as a paddler as possible.  Sometimes we come up with something that is outside the scope of our standard instruction.  These are our special educational opportunities.  This year we offering two overnight trips!   Although anyone can sign up for these classes, both are intended are paddlers with Red or Gold skill level. Space is limited so if you are interested make sure you sign up early.

Grand Island Sleep Over: Skill Builder Class – All Day Thursday and Friday

This 2-day course, combined with one night of camping on Grand Island, will prep you for your next big adventure, whether that may be a trip to Baja, a multi-day Lake Superior trip, or just a overnighter on a local river. The class will cover everything from basics like how to pack your boat for tripping, to more advanced concepts like loaded-boat handling skills, rescues, navigation and trip planning, all while exploring the beautiful scenery of Grand Island. Participants must have appropriate gear for the overnight stay on Grand Island.
Prerequisites: A sea kayak, at least 14ft long with water-tight bulkheads, camping equipment, food for 2 lunches, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast, water and snacks. Able to perform partner rescue, high comfort with wet exiting, ability to paddle at least 10 miles a day in moderate conditions. Instructors may request additional items.


Chapel Beach Sleep Over: Skill Builder Class – All Day Thursday and Friday

This 2-day course, combined with one night of camping at the famed Chapel Beach backcountry campsite, will prep you for your next big adventure. While paddling to your campsite, you will paddle in caves, under arches and waterfalls, and experience the best of Pictured Rocks.  The class will cover everything from basics like how to pack your boat for tripping, to more advanced concepts like loaded-boat handling skills, rescues, navigation and trip planning, all while exploring the beautiful scenery of Pictured Rocks. Participants must have appropriate gear for the overnight stay.
Prerequisites: A sea kayak, at least 14ft long with water-tight bulkheads, camping equipment, food for 2 lunches, 1 dinner and 1 breakfast, water and snacks. Able to perform partner rescue, high comfort with wet exiting, ability to paddle at least 10 miles a day in moderate conditions. Instructors may request additional items.


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

New Tour- Miners Castle Tranquil Paddle

December 7th, 2015 Comments off


The Pictured Rocks cliffs hold great spiritual significance to Native Americans who have called the Upper Peninsula home for thousands of years.  The most iconic landmark in the National Lakeshore has to be Miners Castle.  Miners Castle was named by Englishman Alexander Henry’s employees when they were exploring the area for minerals in 1771.To the geologist, Miners Castle is fascinating as it reveals the history of the Earth in its layers of sandstone at the northern edge of the Michigan.

The Miners Castle overlook is one way to experience “the castle” and offers arguably one of the best views of the Pictured Rocks cliffs available from land.  Thousands of visitors flock to the overlook, 200 feet above the teal green waters of Lake Superior to catch a glimpse of the formation.  Besides driving to the overlook, another unique way to visit the castle is to take the Pictured Rocks Cruises. The PRC has been guiding the public to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for over 50 years and gives folks the opportunity to see the castle from the water.


In our humble opinion the absolute best way to experience Miners Castle is by kayak or stand up board! Paddling out in your own craft gives an intimate experience that others just can’t duplicate.  There are six or eight large caves in the base of the castle, which the lake storms have carved out over centuries allowing the paddler to experience a symphony of sounds. Small waves combined with dripping water provides “lake music” offering a pleasurable mix of rhythm and sound.

On this trip we will experience the castle during a brief presentation at the overlook and then head on down to the water to paddle in and around the formation!


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Money Spent On Life Experiences, Not Material Things, Brings Happiness

November 30th, 2015 Comments off


Tis the season.  Running around figuring out the perfect gift for someone can be daunting.  Some years you hit it….some you don’t.  This year why not commit to a grand experience by paddling with your friends at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, considered by many to be a world class sea kayaking destination.

Socks wear out, are lost, and soon forgotten.  A weekend of smiles and laughs with your friends, now that is a gift and memories that will last a lifetime.  Start your adventure by registering today!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Registration For The 2016 LOL Is Now Open!

November 19th, 2015 Comments off


Hey this might be a record!  We have officially opened registration for the 2016 LOL located in Munising Michigan.   We have been really busy planning an awesome event based on feedback from last years participants and coaches.   Here are some of the most important things to know for this year:


With planning an event like Ladies of the Lake many logistical problems come up and year after year we try our best to fix them to offer a high quality experience for our participants.  Over the past few years we have had the problem of keeping the correct ratios of participants to coaches.  Our issue has been we really want to keep this an all female event and to be honest- sometimes it is hard to come up with enough coaches to meet our needs.  Having said that for the first time in our history we are capping our event at 130 participants.  By doing this we know exactly how many coaches we will have to hire to meet industry safety standards.  What does that mean for participants?   It means folks will have to sign up early if you want to guarantee yourself a spot!


Just like last year all registration will be done online.  We’ve changed our registration a little in order to make it easier.  You will no longer have to sign up on one page and then pay at another. It’s all done in one place this year.  In past years you’ve had to fill out a waiver when you arrived at the event. This year we’ve wrapped that into your registration. PLEASE REMEMBER TO USE THE COUPON CODE:  EarlyBird to receive your discount!


Last year we offered online scheduling and it was a huge success.  We will be doing the same thing this year.  You’ll be able to select all of your classes and tours while you’re signing up.  Again this year we will be using a color coding system to help you build the perfect schedule and make sure you get into classes that are best suited for you and your paddling goals.  To learn more about this year’s scheduling check out this post: LOL 2016 Schedule.   Some classes and all tours have a limited number of available spots.  We’d recommend signing up early to ensure that you get what you want.


In the past we have carried all canceled registrations forward to next event, sometimes for multiple years.  This became more complicated with higher attendance. We are no longer carrying registrations forward.  We will offer partial refunds to all cancellations.  If you sign up and are unable to attend please let us know as soon as possible.  If you let us know you can’t make it before April 15th we will refund 75% of your registration fee.  If you cancel between April 15th and July 1st we will refund half of your registration.  No refunds will be given for cancellations after July 1st.


Munising is a paddler’s paradise with great access to Lake Superior and some of the most beautiful shoreline you’ll find anywhere on the planet.  LOL headquarters will be located upstairs at Sydney’s Restaurant where the always friendly staff do their best to cater to our every need.

Werner Paddles Theme Party –  This is it.  The one you’ve heard about. The now famous, or infamous, Ladies of the Lake theme party. It’s hard to describe the unbridled fun that comes from 100+ women dressed in costume and partying down.  In the past themes have ranged from Woodstock to the Oscars; from Pirates to the Wild West.  This year we are taking it under the Big Top with a Circus Themed party!  So grab a friend, listen to the Ringmaster, and get ready for the greatest show on earth!


One great thing about registering early is that the sooner you register, the less you pay. If you sign up any time between this Friday and March 10th, your registration will only cost you $200!  PLEASE REMEMBER TO USE THE COUPON CODE:  EarlyBird to receive your discount!

If you sign up between March 10th and June 1st, registration will cost $300.  After June 1st, the price will rise to $350.  This fee gets you world class instruction and all of the breathtaking tours that are offered at the event.


If you have any questions or if there is anything we can help you out with please email Bill at downwindsports@gmail.com or call us at 906.226-7112

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

It’s always more fun with friends

June 8th, 2015 Comments off


The very best thing about Ladies of the Lake…  better than the classes, better than the tours and better than the amazing socials…  are the friendships we develop throughout the weekend. These friendships last longer than the weekend and many lifelong paddling partnerships were forged at the symposium. We treasure these above everything else we do. Many friends find renewed excitement through kayaking together during the tours and classes, and many paddlers introduce their non-paddling friends to the sport during the symposium.

We want you to bring to your friends with you when you join us this summer. It’s just more fun for everyone that way.

So from now until July 10th we are giving you a little something extra if you bring a friend with you. We will give both of you a $25 gift certificate to Down Wind Sports! That’s right, $25 for you and $25 for your friend! The gift certificate can be used on any of the paddling gear at the symposium or any of the products in either the Houghton or Marquette stores. This is a great way to get an even better deal on the already discounted paddling gear at LOL headquarters. If you bring multiple friends, you can get multiple gift cards.  Want a new dry suit?  Just bring 25 friends with you!

This deal is valid only to participants who register for the 2015 Ladies of the Lake Symposium or coaches teaching at the event. It is only available to those who register between June 8th and July 10th. If you have already signed up and you get a friend to register before July 10th, you are still eligible for the gift cards. All you have to do is email Heidi (heidi@downwindsports.com) after you sign up and let her know who your friend is.  We will have the gift cards waiting for you when you arrive in Munising.

Register By Clicking Here!



Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Some Friendly Competition

April 22nd, 2015 Comments off

ThrowDownAnyone who has been to LOL before probably knows Kelly Blades and Edith Nelson, and if you don’t know them, you’re missing out. On top of representing two of our great kayak manufacturers (P&H and Wilderness Systems respectively) they are a huge part of our LOL family.

So, what could be more fun than a little family competition? We decided to combine our next promotion with a bit of a contest. We’re pitting these two wonderful people against each other in an epic battle to see who can get more women to register for the symposium based solely on their great looks and stunning personalities.

So here’s the promotion: Anytime between now and May 15th, if you use one of our coupon codes you can save $75 on your event registration.

And here’s the contest: We’ve created two codes and you can cast your vote based on which code you choose.

Vote for Edith With Code

Vote for Kelly With Code


Both codes get you the same deal, we just want to see who you love more.  Sign up today to cast your vote and show these two some love.  We really couldn’t run Ladies of the Lake without them.

Click Here To Sign Up


Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Where’s everyone coming from?

March 30th, 2015 Comments off

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 4.53.46 PM


We have just over 60 participants signed up for LOL 2015!  We are well on our way to our minimum of 100 paddlers and more registrations are coming in every day.  The map above shows the hometown of (almost) everyone who’s signed up to come to this years event.  We have people coming in from all over the midwest and as far as Utah!  If your area isn’t represented there is one sure way to fix that: Sign up today!

There is still time to take advantage of our current special. Checkout and use coupon code 1Lake2Events to save $100!  The deal ends tomorrow night. This will be your last chance to get a deal this good.  If you’ve been waiting to sign up, now’s the time.

Paddling season has already started in many parts of the country (some parts it never stops) and it’s getting close here on Lake Superior.  The ice is melting and the water is at least starting to think about warming up someday, maybe.  Spring is creeping in our direction.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: