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Moving to Chicago

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:24 pm
by dfackler4
Hi all,

I just wanted to introduce myself - I am moving to Chicago in the next couple of weeks for a new job opportunity. I've been living in the Miami area for the past few years and after 15+ years of wakeboarding/snowboarding I decided to commit to learning to kiteboard last year and have been hooked ever since. I received my IKO level 3 certification earlier this year and have spent most of my time riding in the flat water of Biscayne Bay in Miami and also some sessions out in the ocean. Right now I only have one kite - a 14m Slingshot RPM which does the trick for me in the typical wind we get here in the 16-25mph range. Has anyone ridden in south Florida that could provide some insight on how riding up there compares? Also any good advice on a jack-of-all trades wetsuit or any other gear I should look into would be highly appreciated .

After doing some research it seems like Montrose, Waukegan and Zion are pretty close options. Definitely looking to comply with whatever requirements are necessary to safely kite at Montrose. How late into the winter months do you guys typically kite? Seems like Fall and Spring are the best time of year. Hope to get to meet some of you soon!

-David Fackler

Re: Moving to Chicago

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:15 am
by bbrandon750
Welcome aboard the Chicago scene!! 14m is a good size to have but entering our prime season (Fall) you would need to invest in some smaller kites. Importantly you will need a selection of wet suits. I wear a 3m early fall and a 6.5 hooded toward end of fall and early spring. Booties and gloves are important to have as well and there are a few dealers here that can get you set up with the RIGHT gear. Montrose I believe you need an IKO to acquire a streamer (chime in if I’m wrong).

Re: Moving to Chicago

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:23 pm
by tyedye
David, You're moving to the right place at the right time to kiteboard. You'll need a streamer to ride at Montrose, a wetsuit, boots, gloves, hood and definitely a 7/9/11m to go with your 14m. My kiteboarding school carries all of the above. My website is if you'd like to try something on or rent some gear after you arrive.

Fall winds around the Great Lakes really nuke compared to South Florida and the waves are also a bit bigger than Key Biscayne.

Don't forget about the Indiana and Michigan side of Lake Michigan. Lake St on a West wind, Michigan City on a WSW, St. Joseph on a NW or a SW and South Haven, MI on a SSW or North. Here's a link to check out all the good spots ... _StJIWwAWM

Hope you're ready to see what amazing conditions Lake Michigan has to offer!

Re: Moving to Chicago

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:04 pm
by dfackler4
Thanks guys! Appreciate the advice. Sounds like I definitely need to get another kite or two and some colder weather gear. Had my last session down here a couple days ago and am in the process of moving now. Also very interested in doing some downwinders and snowkiting. I’ll be in touch when I get settled in - just glad there seems to be a good scene up there!

Re: Moving to Chicago

Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:07 pm
by WaWaZat
Hey there David! Will be good to have you here in the WindyCity, where's there's no such thing as bad weather... only bad gear! We can typically kite until Thanksgiving.... give or take. Most locals in the scene follow the 80 or 90 degree rule... that is the air and water temps should equal one of those values when making the decision to go out. It really comes down to your skill level and how well you are suited up. But once the water season is over, we segue right to land & snowkiting in the open fields. You should definitely come join us for that!

There's really no "jack of all trade" wetsuit to use year-round here... most of us have at least 2/3 different things we wear, depending on conditions... but we do put our money in to our cold water suits. You will not only want thicker rubber, but a higher quality suit that has the bells & whistle to keep you warm and that is made out of materials that allow good body articulation. You will also want the proper boots, hood and gloves... not all are created equal. For instance, many warm gloves on the market will fatigue your hands after 10-20 minutes of riding. I have the Chicago area kiteboard shop and have a very large inventory of a variety of things you can choose from that work perfectly for the area. Of course, we also stock kites, boards, accessories repair items... anything you might need so you're armed and ready to shred when it blows! I'm glad to have you in and consult on all your needs if you'd like. I can also get you set up to ride Montrose.

As far as when and where to ride, join this group for the most up to date info. There's a pinned map at the top of the page with info on the best kite launches;

Say hi when you arrive. See ya on the beach!!

Re: Moving to Chicago

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:12 pm
by dfackler4
Great information, thanks Mike! The first 5 days of this month I'm actually without health insurance being between jobs so I doubt I'll be doing any kiting this weekend. I'm starting my new job Monday though so will be good to get settled in at work. Given the timing and moving parts of moving to a new city/starting a new job/having a 6 month old, not sure if I'll make it out on the water by Thanksgiving weekend, but I'm definitely interested in checking out some suits for the Spring and I just ordered a new snowboard yesterday so definitely interested in getting involved in snowkiting. Where is your store? Maybe I can get by over the next few weekends..

Re: Moving to Chicago

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:23 pm
by WaWaZat
Hey David.... looks like this forum got hacked and was down for a while!

We've actually still been in the water, with these nice days Mom Nature has been throwing at us! My shop in is the South suburbs. Hit me up through the contact in my sig and we'll talk further.

Re: Moving to Chicago

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:04 am
by dfackler4
Sorry for just now following up, yes it appears the site was offline for a while. Now that were in March I definitely am getting the itch and looking forward to getting involved in the scene this year. Mike I sent ya an email a while back but I just followed up again. Would love to meet up with some local folks as I'm in the market for a wetsuit and other gear I'll need for spring riding. When do folks normally start getting out there and how long does the spring season typically last?

Thanks in advance,


Re: Moving to Chicago

Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:32 pm
by WaWaZat
Hey David!

We were out on the water last week! Spring is definitely springing! I've just replied to your email. See ya soon!