Midwest Snowkiting

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

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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:21 pm

Re: Midwest Snowkiting

Post by mbieweng » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:58 pm

kitekid21 wrote:Have the rules for Busse changed? I think it might have been changed to allow for kiteboarders... But there are other places to kite too.
I talked to a cop there last winter about "cross country skiing" in that area. The big field ("Ned Brown Meadow") south of Golf rd is designated for snowmobilers only in the winter. Nobody else is really welcome there. I can't understand why a forest preserve has a "motorized use only" zone. It would be like saying "this trail is only for motorcycles" in the summer. Backwards and inconsistent, but that's what it is. I have no reason to think that anything has changed for this year.

I have flown a 7m foil there (static flying) in the summer and have been watched by the cops without any issues. Adding wheels to the mix is what gets you hassled.

The cop suggested that I could cross country ski in the areas south of Higgins rd. But, there are too many trees there for cross country skiing "with accessories", and lake access isn't allowed either.

Basically, Busse is a lost cause. I would try the spots in my post above if you want something similar, hopefully without being hassled.

Wind Whore
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:14 am

Re: Midwest Snowkiting

Post by West » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:40 am

I have searched the West and Northwest suburbs for snowkiting fields for over a decade, and basically there are very few options that are viable options....ANY forest preserve may lead to an encounter with the local authorities that may or may not end with you being told that Kiting is off limits there. It is up to the individual discretion of the officer, who sometimes likes to exert his authority....sometimes you may be given the ok by an officer only to return the next week and get told something different. Using private property without permission is a definite NO, and quite frankly unless you get out towards Rockford there are not many open, plowed fields anyway.

I met my first local kiting buddies at Busse 12 winters ago at Busse Woods; V, Sean and I ran into each other one day checking to see where we could snowkite...we went to Busse off and on for two years and tried to find any other fields big enough to snowkite, we evenkited the lake at Busse you mentioned. We were asked to leave at one time or another at each of them. I must say we rigged up in some "iffy" fields quite often, eventually we "wised-up" and started driving to Lake Koshkonong, which is GREAT snowkiting on the right direction at the right launch....

The ONLY two fields locally that I have found to kite are too small for more than two kites, are close to surrounding trees and have to be the "perfect" direction with super steady SW winds....even if these conditions are met, and though it is not illegal to kite them, I still may be asked to leave due to the mood of the local officers, be it police or ranger....

Both the fields that you are mentioning are very small and have shifty gusty winds on most every direction.. I used to kite that small pie shape field next to 90 all the time, it is 5 min from my house....that was years ago, since then they have let the grasses take over most of the field and it is way too small for multiple kites...I have been "tossed" out of there for reasons ranging from you are scaring the birds, to "because I said so"....for convenience it may have been an option for me at one time, now I realize just how bad the wind and how unsafe it is there and most other local fields....Drove by the other field off 31 many times contemplating kiting it, and decided against it...there is a field in St Charles we used to go to, but once again, every once in a while it would result in being asked to leave, and once again the wind is suspect....

I like to think of it this way now....If there was a lake here would I kite it in the summer....more often than not the answer will be "absolutely not"...why because the wind is "dirty"; it is shifty and gusty, and dangerous due to the terrain and all the obstacles surrounding it...yes the wind will blow better due to the lack of leaves on the trees surrounding these areas, but the wind is still "dirty", don't fool yourself...

IF you want to actually put in the time and effort to snowkite the Chicago area during the winter then get ready to drive....Grass Lake is the best option within an hour of Chicago...otherwise you need to drive to Indiana, Michigan or Wisconsin...and that's just the brutal truth....convenience and kiting DO NOT go hand in hand....if you don't have the time to drive to snowkite, go cross country skiing, hiking or bird watching. If you do decide to kite your local field, keep it safe, and bear in mind the safety of others when you are posting and advising others you don't know to check out a kiting spot...Safety First, Convenience Last when it comes to Kiting!! :wink:

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