June 11, 2005, McKinley Beach
I have been kiteboarding for about a year now, and it has quickly taken over my life to the point of obsession. Each day is spent checking the weather, waiting for wind, driving to the beach, driving home, and, hopefully, getting quality time on the water! But conditions in Milwaukee are not so great for kiteboarding, for every day of good kiting on the water I probably waste another 3 days driving to the beach and coming up bust. Too little wind, too gusty, wrong wind direction, etc. Conditions have to be just right for kiting--onshore, 10-25 knots, and steady enough to get on the water safely. From March to November there are probably 5-10 daylight hours per week that meet this criteria in Milwaukee. Actually knowing when these hours will come is anybody's guess!
Anyway, I have gotten to the point where I can reliably zoom around and get back to shore safely, plus pull a trick or two. Mostly I can just jump now--screaming, terrifying, totally out of control jumping!
These b&w pics were taken on a Saturday afternoon by my Dad. Many Thanks, Dad! Gene, Joe, and Ryan were also kiting that day. The wind was peaking in the low 20's, out of the Southeast. We launched off the gravel beach at McKinley and most of these pics were taken right off the beach.
The color pics are from a session late last year ('04). The sideways kiteboarder is Gene.
Going into orbit. It's every bit as fun as it looks, believe me!
Having fun requires equipment, just the right kind. Wetsuit, harness, board, control bar, 4-line kite, and enough attitude to blow off the inevitable setbacks.
|Here is our friend Joe, who popped a few nice jumps that day. Unfortunately, Dad did not get any of them on film. If you want to learn more about the sport of kiteboarding, Chicago Kiteboarding is a good place to start.|
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