Beginner/Intermediate Kiteboarding Sunday 4/20

Kitesurfing or snowkiting...if the wind's blowin'...where you goin?

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Beginner/Intermediate Kiteboarding Sunday 4/20

Postby mikeyj345 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:18 pm

Hey All,

My name is Mike and I'm a beginner/intermediate rider, taken a bunch of lessons, recently back from a Corpus trip where I randomly met the famous and totally awesome Rocky Chatwell. I'm in Chicago and looking to get out this weekend, hopefully Sunday (20th) for some riding and some good old fashioned practice on the water. I'm thinking Keegs but it looks like the wind direction is not cooperating. Are there other beginner/intermediate riders looking to get out this weekend, not sure exactly where (obviously not Montrose) in the vicinity of Chicago? Can any experienced riders suggest a good practice spot based on this weekends weather?

Looking forward to meeting some of you guys on the beach,

Mike
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Re: Beginner/Intermediate Kiteboarding Sunday 4/20

Postby West » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:29 am

Mike,

good to see the stoke, obviously you got the BUG!!!! Yeah, Rocky's skills on the water are second to none, bet you had some good riding in Corpus, I hear it has been blowing like stink....

Not sure how familiar you are with Lake Michigan, but it is pretty damn cold this time of year...there are guys riding out there that's for sure, but it is imperative that you have the proper cold water gear and some fellow kiters at the beach with you. Personally I adhere to the 40/40 rule; air and water temps, and we are still a couple of weeks away from that. It's the swim in that can kill you, so SAFETY FIRST!!!!

That being said, Sunday the winds are forecast to be 10-15 SSW....There may be some guys who will try to kite Waukeegan, but it may be a bit offshore; don't be surprised to see guys try to kite in those conditions, there are those who push their luck. However it is highly unsafe to kite in offshore conditions this time of the year!! Wolf Lake is an advanced spot, but some intermediates try to kite there on a SSW; use discretion when kiting there, it is a "tight" launch with sometimes "gusty" winds. St Joe and South Haven, in Michigan, look to be light on Sunday, and there is still intermittent ice floating on that side of the BIG LAKE. The Madison lakes can be real good on a SSW, but it looks light out there as well....you can always check the kiteriders site for Madison conditions and riding spots.

If you are not familiar with Waukeegan, you could make the drive to familiarize yourself with the beach, and perhaps meet some other kiters. Who knows, maybe the conditions will be good. IF, you are thinking about going kiting on Lake Michigan anytime soon, you need at least a 5/4 wetsuit, hood, 5mm ankle high booties, and 3mm gloves...some kiters prefer thicker gloves and booties in the Spring. DO NOT deceive yourself into minimizing the dangers involved in COLD WATER kiting, this ain't Corpus. Good to have the stoke, just have some respect for the conditions as well.....have fun, keep it safe, and welcome aboard!!
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Re: Beginner/Intermediate Kiteboarding Sunday 4/20

Postby xwindsurf » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:47 pm

Mike,
Have you seen West riding? I have, and I think for him the 40/40 rule is quite reasonable - he only gets water on him when he chooses so, say, during a tight turn in 15-foot waves.
For mere mortals, still learning, and hence more prone to mishaps, the 50/50 rule seems more prudent... I know April is the cruelest month, cabin fever and all, but I still remember my dear friend Robert being fished out of the lake by the Coast Guard in the old windsurfing days. He wasn't there long, in a decent wetsuit, yet it took him more than half an hour to remember his name, and the day of the week.
Happy riding!
Tom
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Re: Beginner/Intermediate Kiteboarding Sunday 4/20

Postby mikeyj345 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:27 pm

West, Tom, thanks for the advice.

You make very good points and I know well that the 50/50 rule also applies to me being in the water/on top of the water (if I'm lucky.) I'm a hydrofoiling moth sailor (Mach 2) here in Chicago with an unfortunate broken foil and I'm just dying to get out on the water in some form of wind/water craft. That said I'll heed your advice and wait this one out until warmer waters prevail.

Mike
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Re: Beginner/Intermediate Kiteboarding Sunday 4/20

Postby JRRB » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:12 pm

Hi Mike,
I'm another beginner here in Chicago, dying to get out on the water. I got myself all the equipment for Christmas this year, and definitely not an intermediate yet, but looking to meet a few guys to learn with. Honestly, I'm still very green. Most of the lessons I've had were low wind conditions down in FL, and mostly just body dragging, so I'm pretty scared to go out on my own especially with warnings about the cold water. I'd like to find a good place to just practice flying my kite.
Did you get your IKO down in Corpus? I want to kite Montrose, so I'm looking for feedback on where to get certified.
I talked to Adrien at Fresh Coast Kitesurfing about doing a lesson when they get back from Hatteras. Not sure if he gives IKO certificates. Let me know if you're interested in doing a joint lesson. I'll probably also take a lesson up at Mac Kite in Michigan at some point this spring or summer.

Feel free to reach out,
Justin
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Re: Beginner/Intermediate Kiteboarding Sunday 4/20

Postby V » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:55 am

Montrose was probably pretty good this weekend for anyone going. With the Hook, it would have produced a shadow for the waves and flat water riding (East winds, which are rare btw).

Water temps are still pretty cold at 34.7 degrees today, 44 at the shoreline. So you need to cover up. Gloves, booties, good wetsuit 5mm or 6mm, integrated hood? Wear a vest if you have it. If you have a foil, that won't float long, stay close to shore never ride too far out. AND most importantly please try to ride with someone else. A newb should never be on the water when every one else leaves.
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