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?