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A bit off topic but interested in hearing the perspectives of anyone who has lived in these areas. I did my undergrad in Chicago but was not yet a kiter, and learned how to kite in OBX but haven't been back since.
And now I'm in the final weeks of deciding where to matriculate for my MBA. Opportunity to kite is a small factor, but nonetheless has entered my decision-making matrix.
Has anyone lived/kited in these areas? Is it a lost cause trying to kite based out of Chicago during the academic year? Is there much else in North Carolina aside from the 3+ hr drive out to OBX? (I hear Wilmington is ookkkaaaay).
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I can speak to the validity of Chi-Town windy City... just moved out to the bay area from living in Chicago all my life. Lets just say its not called the "Windy City" for nothing
Kite season in Chicagoland area starts Spring March - June. All of the strong S to SE winds come up with the warmer air in the change in season. Days also come with a strong NE blow. Usually pushing larger swell through the bottom half of the lake. (always fun). Typical Spring season you can usually get out 1-2 times per week. (But if you are a weekend warrior sometimes getting that wind on a Sat am when your off is a gamble). Keep in mind the lake is COLD... getting out now means 5/4 full suits, some sport dry suits.
Summer winds die down, mostly getting ocasional sessions with the days leading up to a storm front. Last year managed to get 1 session every 2 weeks.
Fall is wind City! NE to Strong NW blow from the cold North. Thermals kick in adding an extra 10knots to any North Forecast. Water is still warm from the summer temps. Some seasons extend well into Dec depending on snow fall. But again, lower temps.
Waukegan Beach is my launch of choice. Public park with plenty of room to stretch out.
Zion Beach gets big shore break. Any North blow make epic downwinders from Zion to Waukegan.
Montrose Beach (city) bring out local city kiters. Jetty hooks out giving butter water on SE.
South of the lake any of the Indiana Dunes.
...and you can always drive around the tip to Michigan for all the WEST!
Sites to check out:
http://www.chicagokitesurfing.com/kiteb ... sageboard/ (post up similar here)
http://www.windguru.cz/int/index.php?sc ... sty=m_menu (forecast I use)
Hope this helps!
I lived on the North side of Chicago, just South of Evanston, when I was still learning to kite. MotoFlyin gives a really good and accurate write up. Montrose beach with be the closest spot to Evanston (about 20 minutes drive, depending on traffic). All of the other beaches mentioned are a good drive outside of the city.
I would definitely check out the local forum for more details, especially about Montrose beach. Because it's a city beach the local riders have been active in meeting with the Park District to ensure access. There are a number of rules to be aware of before pumping up there, such as iko certification and purchasing a streamer to attach to your kite lines... http://www.chicagokitesurfing.com/kiteb ... sageboard/
Rock and roll!!!
I'm moving to Chapel Hill, NC in June and wondering the same thing. Wilmington is just okay?
I wonder about Jordan Lake. About.com says "Windsurfing and sailing are popular activities on Jordan Lake, especially at the Vista Point and Ebenezer Church areas." I've just emailed a Chapel Hill kiter to see what he says about it.
It looks like there are decent spots to kite in Atlantic Beach/Beaufort...or at least that's what the local kite schools would have you believe.
Regarding Jordan Lake (south of Raleigh/Durham):
I've never seen anyone Kite at Jordan, I go there to SUP and in the last couple of years to Windsurf. i guess you could kite if the wind is up. I use 'windfinder' on my ipone to gauge if it's worth loading up the gear (i hear xcweather is also good) I would guess the launch would be the problem as there is a beach but depending on from where the wind is blowing. the place is enclosed with pine trees. Vista Point and Ebenezer Church areas charge to get up in there so make sure there is wind. Wrightsville is NOT bad compared to OBX (and it's way closer) it's just that OBX is more consistent. there are some dead still days in the middle of summer but they pass quick.
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