Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

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Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby adseguy » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:20 pm

KITE AT YOUR OWN RISK

Although we will try to keep this updated, conditions, terrain, weather, and unknown factors can easily come into play. We are not responsible for you. You are responsible for yourself, use this as a tool.

This is a constantly updated list of Where to Ride around Lake Michigan and beyond.

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit? ... _StJIWwAWM

Green: Suitable for beginners.
Yellow: For kiters who can ride upwind with moderate board skills.
Orange: Avoid these locations if possible. Kiters must be advanced. IKO3/PASA2 level skills recommended.
Red: Limited access sites. Potential for danger. Not recommended or require IKO3/PASA2 certification.
Brown: Open grassy areas suitable for landkiting and snowkiting in the winter.
Blue: Open area frozen lakes suitable for snowkiting.

I want to crowd source this, so if you can help on pinpointing more spots, add additional info, or anything that could be helpful I would appreciate it. Send me a PM if you have a gmail account and can help. Thanks!
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby kitekid21 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:11 pm

I've been continuing to update the map, and so far have been able to add a great deal of new locations. PM me new locations and I'll get them onto the map.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby adseguy » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:23 pm

Great work so far. How did you add those Topics (ie: direction, launch, parking, etc) Very nice touch!
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby kitekid21 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:17 pm

I've tried to make interpreting the map as easy as possible, but just to make everything black and white (it's a joke because it's all color-coded):

Green: Suitable for beginners.
Yellow: For kiters who can ride upwind with moderate board skills.
Orange: Avoid these locations if possible. Kiters must be advanced. IKO3/PASA2 level skills recommended.
Red: Limited access sites. Potential for danger. Not recommended or require IKO3/PASA2 certification.
Last edited by kitekid21 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby Bob » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:05 pm

Adrien...well done.

Can you add McDaniels Park on Lake Waubesa?

Thanks,

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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby kitekid21 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:53 pm

Added, Bob.

Updated MAP KEY:

Green: Suitable for beginners.
Yellow: For kiters who can ride upwind with moderate board skills.
Orange: Avoid these locations if possible. Kiters must be advanced. IKO3/PASA2 level skills recommended.
Red: Limited access sites. Potential for danger. Not recommended or require IKO3/PASA2 certification.
Brown: Open grassy areas suitable for landkiting and snowkiting in the winter.
Blue: Open area frozen lakes suitable for snowkiting.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby Bob » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:16 pm

Thanks.

If it helps, I can give some added info.

Best wind directions: S, SSW and SW
Rigging: Grass
Riding intel: The entire shoreline is shallow (waist to chest deep) for a long ways out and all along the shore to the North, so it's great for beginners and experts throwing down since we can stand and regroup after crashes etc. It also works great for photos and vids.
Launch area: For more experienced riders, they can launch on small pebble rocks on shore near some trees or just in the water. For beginners, they should have an assistant take them in the water to launch. Sandy bottom once in the water with some weeds depending on year and season.
Parking: Small lot. 20-25 cars but there's also street parking.
Conveniences: Shelter, grill, bathrooms. Green Lantern Bar and Grill next door.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby Bryce FLK » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:25 am

Could we add wind meters in here and link there data?
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby Kevin » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:07 pm

Could you add the Lake Koshkonong sites? Bob you'll have to facilitate this
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby kitekid21 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:18 pm

Bryce, I'll see how much space that'll take up. The problem is that if I add that, it'll be an open data field for each entry... I can't figure out how to customize each one. Notice for instance that all the swim areas that I have listed still have wind directions and launch information listed even though there's no information. As silly as it may sound, I want it to look good. I'll look into making some of the data fields disappear.

Kevin, I have 3 Lake Koshkonong launches listed. I could certainly use more details on the launch sites though and more sites if there are any. I did what I could with the information that I had, which was sparse. Any locations that say (Update?) could use information that isn't sparse and/or more up to date than 2008.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby grimace » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:03 pm

It's looking good, great work.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby West » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:38 am

If the goal of this guide is to inform kiters, especially beginners, on where to kite in this area, then it should be accurate and informative....not necessarily all encompassing....

I checked the info on Waukegan and Zion, just to see why in the world anyone would go to Waukegan on a North instead of Zion, since it is very well known that Keegs is shifty and gusty on a North and offshore, whereas Zion is steady with more wind!!!

It would seem that this is the info that would be pertinent to someone seeking such info....instead, there is no mention of this fact, and Zion is listed as a beginner spot, which it may be in 10 to 20 during the summer, but if you have ever seen the shore break at Zion on a windy day.....Zion also has very narrow beaches with rocks surrounding them at places which can be dangerous...there are also several launches at the park and there should be a recommended launch area for safety (away from beach goers, and not next to the hotel rocks).....

Just by looking at these very "close" launches to Chicago leaves me wondering what the rider map is trying to accomplish....in short, in order to help new kiters make choices, it should be more thorough or what's the use anyway? It's nice that the map will cover the entire Midwest, but if it doesn't help one decide whether to go to Zion or Waukegan on a North.....my suggestion would be to focus on the most used beaches and the launches at those beaches, if you are going to provide an information source, it should have complete accurate information on the beaches that kiters "frequent"...
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby kitekid21 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:33 pm

West, it's not just for beginners... but what (I think) you're addressing currently are and have been my fears with this undertaking. I worried that the info won't be as thorough as necessary (because I am trying to be concise), because I can't have been to all the beaches. Many spots say (Update?) which means that I could use some help making the spot more accurate... but my biggest fear is that people with no kite skills to speak of will show up at a "kite beach" alone with a 2002 Naish and get themselves hurt and then get kiters banned.

The risk with providing this information is that people won't be smart about going out. They need to bring buddies, know their own limits, know what conditions are best for each spot and what kind of gear is effective... but there's no way I can include that on each spot. BUT, how else would we as kiters have gotten to know spots if we didn't go out and explore?

I suppose it's a matter of opinion, but Waukegan is better for learning than Zion IMHO... with at least a mile of pretty open beach, and no trees or rocks.

I'm open to tips and comments though. If you have a solution, I'd love to hear it. I'm going for concise entries if possible though.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby blaise » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:14 pm

The risk with providing this information is that people won't be smart about going out

That isn't a risk, that's pretty much guaranteed to happen. :evil:

They need to bring buddies, know their own limits, know what conditions are best for each spot and what kind of gear is effective... but there's no way I can include that on each spot

http://locations.splocs.com/kitesurf/loc/lake_michigan___waukegan_beach.html
http://masskiting.com/kiteboarding-beaches/find-where-to-kite-local-kitesurfing-spot-launch
http://www.nwkite.com/guides/

One thing i found is that if you actually talk to locals about their spots, they'll have a 10 minute conversation with you about everything from what to look for forecast wise, what conditions work and don't, where to rig up, where currents/obstacles are hiding, what bars/restaurants are decent in the area, etc...

Also,

Beverly Shores (Broadway)
Great flat water for beginners on W and NE. (2013)


That made me spit my coffee out. Thanks!
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby kitekid21 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:37 pm

Blaise, If people are coming here (to the forum) for advice and looking for spots to go to, I think they're going to get the basics of safety at the very least... and being friendly on the beach wouldn't hurt either. Being social on the beach is the best way to ensure that everything happens safely. Talking to people and finding out their skill levels is important for a sport like this, especially if they're new to the area and too shy to communicate with anyone. I've had numerous people tell me that they show up at the beach and kiters won't talk to them or aren't friendly... but even if they just bring a trainer kite to the beach, as long as they have people to talk to and learn from, we're working as a community to help them, which is better for everyone!

Only the first link that you listed is close to what I'm striving to do with this. Even then, it's not terribly concise and the interface is super busy. That's also the problem with direct crowdsourcing; there's no consistency. I have said numerous times that I would love anyone to send me any and all spots and information pertaining to them. The response has frankly been less than enthusiastic... but I'm making do with what I have.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby WaWaZat » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:36 pm

blaise wrote:That made me spit my coffee out. Thanks!

LOL!! Coffee at the crack of noon... you rock & roller! Hey, perhaps after you clean the coffee spray off your desk, you can give Keith a little write up on all the nuances of Beverly. That would be an awesome contribution for all! Keith, this is the man to talk to about Bev Shores.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby West » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:40 am

Keith,

I can see that your intentions are pure, and that it is quite a conundrum.....enough but not too much!!! In addition to that, there has not been a tremendous amount of input from others. Although, I think that as you compile your info, that more kiters will express their thoughts...

I think it is important for beginning kiters and kiters new to the area to have a goto guide on where to kite in the Midwest; however it seems that when looking at the map, there are a GREAT number of spots to kite....and quite frankly, there really aren't that many that are worthy as kiting destinations....( an example is Racine; Racine is good about one day a year, due to it's protected location along the shoreline....it cannot be kited on a N; it has to be a strong ENE to wrap around Wind Point, and that is an extremely rare wind direction...it cannot be kited on a S either; it has to be SE, and Sheboygan, Waukegan or Kenosha would be far better on that direction, so kiting in Racine at almost anytime would be an unwise choice, especially for a beginning kiter.)

Is the goal to provide a long list of potential sites, or a list of sites that are frequented by local kiters? If the local kiters aren't going to a particular launch regularly, then there is a reason... Why include it?

I lived in Hawaii, and hiked Maui extensively for 10 years....it used to be quite amusing to pick up A 101 Hikes on Maui, or most any all-inclusive hiking guide....more often than not, there would be some trails listed that no longer existed, were completely dangerous, absolutely forbidden, or wrongly listed. My point is that if it is going to be useful then it has to be accurate, even if that requires condensing the list a bit....just my two cents!!

Keep up the stoke Keith, your energy and effort are appreciated....nice to have some new ideas and someone willing to make 'em a reality.. :)
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby blaise » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:31 am

THIS.
Racine is good about one day a year, due to it's protected location along the shoreline....it cannot be kited on a N; it has to be a strong ENE to wrap around Wind Point, and that is an extremely rare wind direction...it cannot be kited on a S either; it has to be SE, and Sheboygan, Waukegan or Kenosha would be far better on that direction


When to ride where is a lot more useful than a general where to ride map since so many spots are seasonal, have forecasts that don't work and have their own set of quirks.
example:
Its april, 15-25kt westerly forecasted for the southern end of the lake
Its going to be sunny with a high of 58.
If you don't wake up before dawn to get the goods, then you're going to get skunked since all that wind will be gone by 10:30-11:00

July/August mc area
15-20kt nw forecast
if it's sunny and there was heavy precipitation recently, the wind is going to be horrible from midday onward.
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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby skysurfr » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:54 pm

Can we add....

In the middle of lake michigan.... BETA SITE...A WORK IN PROGRESS KITEBOARD AYOR. PLEASE CHECK WITH LOCAL RIDERS BEFORE KITEBOARDING.

Beverley Shores / Miller / Marquette.... Expert Only when the North winds bring waves. Beginner with sideshore wind and flat water.


A long time ago, when there were only a few of us kiteboarding here, we made a decision to be open, share locations, etc. Several of us had spent time in locations where localism ruled, where you got the stink-eye if you went out where you were not a local. We didn't want that to happen here.

I couldn't be more pleased, 10 years later, at how friendly our community is as compared to others.

This map is yet another step in extending midwest hospitality to new riders etc.

You may kite alone, but we ride together.

Keep up the great work!

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Re: Where to Ride in Lake Michigan

Postby WaWaZat » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:22 pm

skysurfr wrote:Can we add....

In the middle of lake michigan.... BETA SITE...A WORK IN PROGRESS KITEBOARD AYOR. PLEASE CHECK WITH LOCAL RIDERS BEFORE KITEBOARDING.

EXCELLENT idea!

skysurfr wrote:A long time ago, when there were only a few of us kiteboarding here, we made a decision to be open, share locations, etc. Several of us had spent time in locations where localism ruled, where you got the stink-eye if you went out where you were not a local. We didn't want that to happen here.

I couldn't be more pleased, 10 years later, at how friendly our community is as compared to others.

This map is yet another step in extending midwest hospitality to new riders etc.

You may kite alone, but we ride together.

Keep up the great work!

Mike

Sweet outlook... I couldn't agree more!
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