You may not realize it, but Michigan is a fantastic location to surf! We know what you’re thinking, snow and surf couldn’t possibly be a good mix, but Michigan’s Great Lakes are a thing of beauty, and their waves can have a pretty heavy swell.
We will show you the best surf camps and surf schools in and around Michigan so that you can explore this strange collaboration yourself.
10 Best Surf Camps In Michigan
There are around 7 surfing camps in Michigan, but we want to show you 3 great surfing schools as well, so we have rounded up our number to 10. Most of these camps are for kids, but there are adult options too. Check them out!
Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak
Sleeping Bear has three types of camps; kids, women, and day trips.
Because the weather in Michigan can be wild, the staff don’t want you to miss out. You’ll be going out on your camping adventure no matter the weather, but that also means that you have to be good in the water already.
As Sleeping Bear put it, “taught by water enthusiasts to create water enthusiasts”.
The gear and photography will already be included for you. All you have to bring is food, clothes, and water!
Third Coast Surf Shop
The Third Coast Surf Shop is more than just a shop. They have day-out camps available too.
Again these camps are designed for children. Because of the child age group, you don’t need to worry about wetsuits as the kids won’t be going too far into the water.
Swimsuits, boardshorts, and rashguards are enough!
Because the weather can be a little rough, if the Third Coast Surf Shop thinks the waters are too unsafe for your kids, they will reorganize a beach activity instead.
Don’t think of this as a downgrade, though, because your kids will get to sandboard through the dunes!
M28 Surf Camp
The M28 Surf Camp is a home right on the beachfront near Marquette. Marquette was rated the 8th best small city in the whole of the United States of America, which should tell you what a gem this little city is.
If you wanted a camp that does more than surf, you would find a ton of extra activities with M28 Surf Camp. They offer mountain biking, hiking, golfing, fishing and snow sports like skiing and snowmobiling.
The M28 Surf Camp has everything you want in a vacation, but with the atmosphere of home.
PKF is a religious camp that follows the Christian bible. The week-long summer camp is aimed at introducing middle school students to Jesus.
You can only register for this camp as part of organized group activity, but if this sounds like the right camp for you, then you will love the activities they give.
There is a private beach, wave running, horseback riding, and more!
The sand is soft, and the water is inviting!
If you want your surf camp vacation to be away from city life completely, then join Surf Camp on an electricity-free adventure. There is no potable water, no showers, no wifi, and no laundry room.
Live life like you were meant to, with your dog by your side as you warm up a campfire.
But don’t worry, you won’t be entirely away from civilization. If you are desperate for a burger, then you can drive a few miles to Manistique to a drive-in diner.
Bring our tent, car, or RV to this surf camping trip.
Boyne Mountain Wake Camp
The Boyne Mountain Wake Camp is an expensive surfing camp vacation, but its activities are all worth it.
Designed for all skill levels, the camper learns wakeboarding and wake surfing by professional expert surfers.
There is also a trampoline adventure park to learn spins, flips, and grabs on your wakeboard, and a zipline that starts on the mountain!
There is everything you would want from a lakeside holiday, so get a ticket before they are all gone!
The riders who come to Camp Action start off as beginners and end up as advanced surfers. Their main activity is wakeboarding which is terrific fun for adults and kids alike, but recently they have added in paddlesports wake surfing and boat days too!
Whether you are looking for a birthday day out, a hen or stag adventure, or a fun week away, Action Camp won’t let you down!
You can buy a week’s camping activities or just a day if you want to include Camp Action on your tour of Michigan.
Motor City Kite & Surf
Although being a Kite and Surf experience, Motor City primarily offers kiteboarding lessons.
Each lesson has a 1.5-hour long land study to help you learn the basics before getting into the water.
Imagine yourself launching into the air, controlling the winds around you while the waves slip under your board.
All you’ll need to bring is swimwear, board shorts, and a rashguard to get yourself ready for the day of a lifetime.
Great Lakes Kiteboarding
We might be backing away from surfing and treading more into the kiteboarding side of water and sea sports, but if you wanted to kiteboard anywhere, it should be in Michigan’s Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes Kiteboarding school was Michigan’s first kiteboarding school and is arguably their most dedicated.
It doesn’t matter if you are 4 or 80. Bend the elements of wind and water to freestyle ride over the constant waves of Michigan’s Great Lakes!
Great Lakes Kiteboarding will give you the proper lessons you need to keep yourself safe and having fun in the water.
MACKite Kitesurf School House
With MACKite, you can have almost any kind of kitesurfing schooling you want! They offer 2 day kiteboarding lessons, simple ground lessons, 3 hour private lessons, and more!
The camp is designed so you can get as much out of your purchase as possible. Eventually, the little red-brick building with the blue trim will become the image of adventure for you.
No matter where you come from, prices will range. If you are an American who comes from a different part of the country, then your knowledge of Michigan is probably very low.
And if you’re not American, then you probably know next to nothing.
Let us help you plan on a budget.
Meal price range
The price of a meal in a restaurant can vary. On average, you might be spending $29 per day, with the average dinner out being $11 per person.
Breakfast is usually the cheapest of the three main options, so if you want to eat out and save some money doing so, we suggest ordering breakfast.
Some surf camps will have the renting amount in their overall price, and some will charge you to use the surfing equipment. On average, you might be spending $20 – $50 for a half-day or day use.
A day bus ticket in Michigan costs around $4.50. But it would be cheaper to buy two single tickets if you are only riding to the lake and back every day.
A single ticket costs $1.50, but you have to pay cash. Therefore, two single tickets only cost $3.00, so if you didn’t have any other plans, there is no point in buying a day ticket.
If you aren’t sure what your day will bring, buy the day ticket because $4.50 isn’t too expensive.
Types of Risks
There are 8 types of natural disasters which could occur in Michigan. Before you start your trip, learn about each type and give yourself an emergency plan in case the odds are not in your favor.
Disease outbreaks might sound like a generic issue that every state or country has to deal with, but moving from one state to another will mean that the local virus and bacteria that you bring with you could breed into something new in Michigan.
The same goes for the other way around. If you have never been to Michigan before, then their virus and bacteria might be new to your body, so you will not be ready to deal with their symptoms.
The best way to stay safe is to wash your hands and cook your food all the way through.
Michigan doesn’t tend to suffer from the devastating effects of earthquakes, but its neighboring states do. If you are staying in a state nearby, then you might have to prepare.
If that’s the case, ask the staff you are staying with what their earthquake procedures are.
Michigan summers can be hot, and if you spend all your time out in the sun, you might start suffering from heat exhaustion, heatstroke, heat cramps, or sunburn.
Being in the water will help you keep cool, but you need to remember that drinking water and staying out of the sun is the best way to keep you cool.
Check on your friends and family for signs of drowsiness, confusion, sunburns, and dehydration.
Every year Michigan gets another devastating flood warning. If you visit when another flash flood comes, then you will need to turn off your main electrical breakers or fuse boxes and get yourself up high.
It might be tempting to get into your vehicle, but 6 inches of water is enough to lose control of your car, and 2 feet is enough to make your car float away.
Thunderstorms can be surprisingly dangerous because of the strong winds and lightning that they produce.
If a thunderstorm hits, keep yourself inside. The lightning is looking for a connection to the ground, and if you are the only thing around then, it might pick you.
Tornadoes are extreme winds that are highly dangerous. If a tornado alert goes off when you are in Michigan, you need to take shelter. If there is a basement you can hide in, go there first.
If not, go to the lowest area you can hide in and avoid the windows. You want to stay under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table.
Do not drive into a tornado and do not stay in a mobile home. Both of these are considered bad shelters because the tornado can take them.
If you cannot go inside, you will want a low-lying area, like a ditch, to lie down. Cover your head with your arms and wait for the tornado to calm down.
There are between 10,000 to 12,000 wildfires every year in Michigan. If a wildfire happens when you are vacationing, you will need to evacuate the area and then go towards the designated safe zone that the authorities have given.
Michigan’s winters can be deadly. To make sure you are safe you will need to bring warm clothes. Ideally, you want several layers of light clothing, mittens, and a hat that covers your ears.
If a snowstorm hits, layer sand, rock salt, or non-clumping litter on your walkways and steps to stop them from becoming slippery.
Don’t travel until the authorities announce that the storm has passed.