Duck Lake Disaster and Redemption

 

Duck Lake State Park, Lake Michigan Side
Duck Lake State Park, Lake Michigan Side

 

A few weekends ago Jetty and I left for Duck Lake State park to go snowkiting.  We thought that since duck creek is so close to Lake Michigan we would have a good shot at a steady breeze.

X marks the spot where we setup.
X marks the spot where we setup.

The wind was out of the southwest at 20 knots.  The lake was solid ice and the tree tops were blowing steady so we both setup our gear.  After inflating our kites we realized the wind was not going to cooperate.  The large sand dune to the south was creating a huge wind shadow, swirling around, and moving our kites in every direction.  MAYBE the wind is just sloppy on the ground we thought and continued setting up our gear.  I launched first and soon realized the wind up high was worse.  Neither one of us wanted to quit but after watching our kites Hindenburg a few times we knew Duck Lake was a bust.

Steady wind made it easier to boost.
Steady wind made it easier to boost.

We packed up our gear and decided to take a look at the Lake Michigan shoreline.  A few inches of snow was covering the “ice waves” on Lake Michigan and extended over the majority of the beach.  The wind was very steady by the Big Lake and it looked like just enough room to ride so we setup and launched.

There was a few inches of snow on the ground and small patches of sandy areas.
There was a few inches of snow on the ground and small patches of sandy areas.

The ride was excellent!  The ice waves created small kickers just like  you’d find  water kiting on Lake Michigan and we had a good time boosting off of them.  I almost forgot I was snowkiting until I fell and hit the ice hard!  Another thing that made the ride better was a tip that Jetty got from the CKS forum.  He read that if you remove the rear ankle support on your bindings that your legs, especially your quads, don’t get as tired.  We both tried it and it worked great.  We could ride a lot longer without taking a break.

We’ve been blessed with lots of ice and snow this winter which has made for some pretty good snow kiting conditions in Michigan.  I’ve had a great time learning to snowkite this year however it’s now almost April and I’m hoping the next time I ride it’s on the water.

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