The Great Lakes Surf Festival Adds Pro-Am Paddle Race

Business News |May 25, 2018|3 min read

Muskegon, Mich. – The inaugural Great Lakes Surf Festival is happy to announce the addition of the Pro-Am Paddle Race to the festival, taking place at Pere Marquette Beach on August 18th, 2018. The Pro-Am is a 5-Mile downwind Lake Michigan elite paddle race that is open to Paddleboarders and Kayakers. Paddlers will start the race at a specific starting point along the shoreline and finish the race at the main Great Lakes Surf Festival Venue in Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon, greeted by hundreds of riders and event goers. Prizes will be earned for the top three finishers in each division. A total of 30 prizes.


The Pro-Am will offer Great Lakes paddlers the ultimate competitive test of stamina and handling of open ocean like conditions. Registration for the Pro-Am is available on the event website and the cost to enter the Pro-Am is $95, however, Pro-Am registered racers will receive a day pass to the Great Lakes Surf Festival and a complimentary race rash guard (A $60 value). Space will be limited to 120 competitors.


The Pro-Am Race will be run and directed by Mik DeBoet. Mik is a highly accomplished and experienced Great Lakes Waterman and a fixture in the Great Lakes boardsports industry, having been a sales representative for the past 25 years. He also has extensive experience with directing paddle races throughout the Great Lakes region.


Great Lakes Surf Festival founder Joe Bidawid, who is credited with pioneering Standup Paddling on the Great Lakes, is excited about the Pro-Am. “We have designed this race to accommodate all types of racers and paddling disciplines. We feel that the venue and the timing are ideal for such a race and we are elated to have Mik DeBoet as our race director.”



Since 1917, the West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA) has worked to market the very best of West Michigan to travelers from around the world. As WMTA celebrates 100 years in 2017, that commitment continues in new and exciting ways.


WMTA’s membership base consists of more than 800 attractions, lodging, events, and activities all across the west side of Michigan, from the Indiana border all the way into the Upper Peninsula. Over the past century, Michigan’s tourism industry has become second to only manufacturing in Michigan, making WMTA a vital resource for the area’s tourist destinations.


Today, WMTA continues its mission as a self-sustaining, membership-funded non-profit. For more information, please visit


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