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Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

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rofer
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Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby rofer » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:31 pm

Just yesterday I confirmed that it's possible to kite at the Barber's Point, the windsurfing area on Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park. This is incredibly exciting to me because this lake is only an hour away whereas my only other spots on the water are 2.5+. Suddenly I have the ability to leave work early and get a short session in during the work week.

However, while convenient there are a couple of things that make this spot challenging.

First, the launch area is tiny and since AFAIK I'm the only person to ever kite here I'm always launching, kiting, and landing solo. There's just enough room to inflate my kite and attach lay out the lines. When I went yesterday I did this and drift launched. To land I just brought the kite down and pulled the safety. This isn't too bad and I doubt there's much I could do about it.

Second, the wind is inland and thus very gusty. The nearest weather station recorded base wind below 10 knots and gusts up to 20. I was struggling with my big board and my 12m Cronix, but I had some success. The forecast was calling for slightly more base wind and 30kt gusts which is why I didn't put up my 17m Flite. While my kite stayed mostly in the air I was definitely feeling underpowered. The most obvious solutions I see would be to pump up my 17m Flite, attach extensions to my 12m Cronix, or just continue struggling with hopes that better technique is all I need. Being alone I'm particularly cautious about putting up the Flite and being overpowered in a gust, but I imagine it would have no problem with the lulls.

The third issue is the launch location. If you look at it it's a point which means that if I end up too far downwind on either side I'll have a long bodydrag back to my car. I found myself attempting to waterstart, being underpowered and just ending up downwind, then having to walk/bodydrag away from the launch only to repeat the process. I think the problem here is that I just wasn't giving myself enough room to waterstart and pick up speed. This would be made even worse if I put up longer lines as I'd need to get further from the launch to get started.

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how I can make the most of these conditions. One thought I had was to size up the 17m Flite, but put it on 10-15m lines to make the gusts more manageable and make my launch easier. Anyone have any ideas?

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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby matth » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:40 pm

Sounds like a tough spot for kiting. Have you ever considered windsurfing in that spot instead? Its the original cool sport and a lot more fun than most kiters believe.

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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby Rufusz » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:43 pm

Always choose your kite for the gusts. I usually ride on inland lakes and a bigger board can help to ride through the lulls. On many occasions the forecast is a lot more than the actual wind so I always carry a skimboard, it saved many sessions.

Self landing can be tricky if things get ugly so be familiar with your QR ;-)

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edt
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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby edt » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:51 pm

i kite a tiny lake with no downwind exit, kite often falls in the water and I have a swim. here's my advice: It's great exercise kiting a gusty lake! Yeah that's about it. What else can I say, welcome to the club, there's no miracle solution be careful launching and landing that's the most dangerous time.

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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby rofer » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:17 pm

matth: I might consider it at some point, but currently a) I'm not sure if it would satisfy my kite fever and b) I've spent way too much on kites lately to start looking at equipment for a whole new sport.

I'm currently rigging for the forecast gusts, but I suspect the nearby wind meter is getting better wind than I'm getting at my launch. I'm thinking maybe after some more sessions there I can figure out if I can take a few knots off the forecast and rig something larger. For now though I'm trying to rig conservatively since I'd much rather be stuck in the water than than lofted into the air.

I'm currently on my biggest board which is an Ocean Rodeo Origin. I think short of a hydrofoil no change in board is going to improve my low end much, but I've definitely got room to improve my technique. Hoping these winds are a good opportunity to improve. The location definitely means I'll get more time on the water.

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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby Starsky » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:43 pm

Probably not what you wanna hear, but if its deep enough the only kiting that makes smaller inland lakes look attractive to me is foiling. If you can learn to foil somewhere else and get good enough at it, your going to have less trouble with gusty conditions, light winds or needing to stay upwind.

Launch and land is always a hassle with a foil so you might as well add drifting! No matter the rig a ma roll once your up and riding... its worth it.

I plan on doing a lot of drift launching and water recovery spots this summer with the foil. Stuff I have not bothered with for the last decade that is now looking super tempting.
Last edited by Starsky on Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

rofer
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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby rofer » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:54 pm

There is a depth map available online, but I suspect that a lot of the lake is going to be too shallow and I certainly wouldn't want to find that out the hard and expensive way with a foil.

Even if it were deep enough though foiling is well outside of my affordability and ability atm. I'm relatively new to this. Even in good conditions I'm not staying upwind 100% of the time and I've only just started making my first sliding transitions on the water. A surfboard and eventually a hydrofoil are on the my radar, but both are still a ways out.

I imagine that if there was enough space a hydrofoil would deal with the lulls and staying upwind remarkably well. I wonder if there'll be more people checking out inland lakes now that hydrofoils seem to be getting pretty popular.

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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby edt » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:59 pm

stars do you foil in a gusty inland lake? How you avoid getting knocked down. dont have a foil yet it's going to be my next board, looks like so much fun but I dont see how it would work when it's that gusty.

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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby Starsky » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:48 am

Free ride foiling you are generally on really small kites compared to TT riders. When they are happy on twelves you are better off on a 7. Check those vids of the board riding maui crew foiling around on 3.5m kites! I bet they don't have much trouble with the gusts. Your usually feathering the power unless underpowered or trying to go fast. Add the crazy angles you can ride and it makes dealing with gusts and lulls a lot easier. Crappy lake chop is also generally a non issue.

To the OP. Careful not to let your stoke get you into trouble. Advanced launches are generally for advance riders. Not saying you can't or worst get to the point that launch is totally viable, but if your still working on staying upwind, its probably currently out of reach.

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Re: Tips for my gusty inland lake conditions?

Postby plummet » Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:55 am

Wow some people have it tough. 2.5 hours away for a decent kiting location and 1 hour for a shitty gusty inland lake.
I would give up kitingsurfing. Thats way too hard for me. My Beach is 5min from home and 2 min from work.

Side note. Think of landboarding, kitebuggying and or using a longboard skateboard with a kite. There is more to kiting than just the water. You may be able to landboard in a park close to home.


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