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Post by sailinggypsy »

Planning to be in the Midwest this summer in August for a month to kite the Great Lakes. Hoping local riders will offer some feedback. Our travel destination can be 100% flexible. We've been looking at Milwaukee, Chicago, Grand Haven, Traverse City, but we're flexible. And, totally keen to try new places. Here are the questions:

1. Are there locations where we stand the best chance to find consistently windy conditions? If so, where?
2. And,what should we expect in terms of accommodation and services in those locales? Rent a house? Camp? Stores? Wi-Fi?
3. Is there a place to find information on average wind speeds throughout the year in the Great Lakes region -- other than ikitesurf?
4. Does it pay to pack our 7 m kites, or are we looking at 9 m - 12 m conditions, or bigger?

Thanks heaps, in advance. Super helpful -- and much appreciated!


p.s. Also -- if any kiters are interested in a house-swap in st. augustine, florida this summer -- we should talk! :D

Zen Levitator
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Location: sheboygan WI


Post by Northerner »

Others will chime in, but basically you will need to follow the forecasts and be ready to drive. That time of year can produce great wind and then stale weeks without. It all comes down to the fronts that come through.

1. Best spots to ride that time of year

-Traverse city, northern MI coast, Little Sable Point

-Bottom of the lake if it goes north, Zion gets bump on a sunny north

-Sheboygan WI and Door county for the Wisconsin side

-Lake Superior

2. For lodging camping is nice this time of year. I would avoid a house as you might get stuck in place where the forecast says you should be somewhere else. Lots of local places to stay in all areas when not camping.

3. As for wind stats I wouldn't worry about it as its all fronts. Though there are spots on the lake that bump and optimize the fronts

4. Bring all your kites and get ready for waves

Locals are great and will do their best to make sure your trip is a success.

I love the summer along the lakes
I'd rather be Rollerblading

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Location: Chicago


Post by V »

Yes these are frontal winds primarily SW and NE. So this, combined with challenging pressure systems due to the large lakemand thermal mass of the land, winds get challenging to predict along the shore for someone that is notnused to it.

In the summer, the general rule is when it is a N wind, the southern spots will be better, and when it is Southerly wind, the northern spots are better. Places like sheboygan and Little Point Sable are going to thermal or get more wind due to the lwinds getting compressed along the lake.

Giving anyone a forecast more than 24 hrs in advance is pretty tough around here.

Bring all the kites, and be flexible in location.

Resident Windfreak
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Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:04 pm


Post by schuss8899 »

You can leave your small kites at home; it just won't happen, but even a skilled climber can get blown from the tree on any given day.

Eric A.
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Location: Southern Lake Michigan


Post by Eric A. »

I had over a dozen sessions on my 6m last summer.

It is a good idea to bring your small kites....especially if plan on riding anywhere north of Muskegon.

I search for strong thermal conditions....not frontal.....although cold fronts do come in an bring my good ol friend El Norte towards the end of summer season.....usually shows up around August.

Just bring it will use it. Don't forget your wetsuit . You will need it.

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