Sheboygan Wisconsin Kite Trip -> Riding Lake Michigan
Dates: October 2-4, 2015
Riders: Brian Sieve, Kevin Nowak, Rob Rabbe, Jason Yetley, Patty and Jim Hoben
Location: Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Story and photos by Kevin Nowak.

The best trips are the ones that form organically. After encountering subpar wind at Mille Lacs last Sunday (9/27/2015), I was really looking forward to some high winds. Much to my dismay there wasn’t anything remotely happening in MN for the next foreseeable 10 days. Bummer I thought, how am I going to get out!? Where to go? I drug on for 2 days trying to make the best of the wind doldrums. Thankfully Bryan Sieve’s curiosity had him watching the hurricane which was battering the East Coast. This storm dumped tons of rain and started as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds over 140+ mph. Sad to hear the news of all the flooding but to our benefit it happened to stall out most of the weather patterns and set a wind flame to the great lakes!

The plan early on was to head up to Duluth to ride Park Point and boy was I looking forward to it! Plan was to leave Thursday morning but by the time it came to Wednesday night the forecast had dropped only into the upper teens…..hmm no fun riding that. This is when Bryan’s focus turned towards the other great lake! Lake Michigan. All the lower great lakes forecast had them lighting up bright red! After some consideration we decided let’s make the journey to Sheboygan, and why not it’s only 5 hours away! Here’s a trip that manifested with 2 people, but not for long. Bryan mentioned the trip to Rob Rabbe who was debating going up to Duluth and not 1 hour later he had booked a VRBO (ON THE LAKE) for us! What a guy!

All the lower great lakes forecast had them lighting up bright red! After some consideration we decided let’s make the journey to Sheboygan

Later that Thursday after my Vacation time was put in for Friday I ran into Jim Hoben, not 10 minutes later, Boom! Jim and Patty were booked.

We arrived at the VRBO on the lake at 3am Friday morning and hit the sack. Friday we headed off for breakfast at Whispering Orchards and Café. Rob remarked that it looked like it was giving us the finger! But after a 40 minute speed breakfast we definitely got our money’s worth!

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First stop in Sheboygan was Deland Beach. Nice large sandy beach, plenty of rigging area perfect side shore conditions. But the waves weren’t perfect, then all of a sudden Rob saw a kite! So we chased it down south of the Jetty and found ourselves a pile of windsurfers and kiters alike. Funny how when you don’t know where the right kite spot is all you have to do is search for them big beautiful kites and you’ll find it!

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Funny how when you don’t know where the right kite spot is all you have to do is search for them big beautiful kites and you’ll find it!

Upon arrival we were happy to see everyone was ridding 9’s. Overconfident and fully caffeinated Bryan rigged his brand new 10m. What a miscalculation that was. After inverting the lines shortly after launching, he tried to unhook and pass the bar through his lines while still flying the kite overhead. I was lucky enough to get to his kite after the 7th deathloop had drug him down the lake shore. Hair full of sand and a pulled index finger Bryan was A-OK. Good thing the water was cold, he didn’t feel that pulled finger all day.

Holy Crap….. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

A few more body drags and lost boards and we had a blast. I was lucky enough to join an unknown kiter inside the jetty! Nothing like flat water riding while 8 foot waves are busting over the jetty wall behind you. I gave some friendly waves and me and the other Jetty rider shared some healthy jumps, then all of a sudden he was done with riding the jetty. One massive boost and he flew himself right over the 6ft jetty wall and back downwind into the swell! Holy Crap….. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Well didn’t matter because he came back and jumped it another time, wow that guy has balls.

Friday Session ended with some an awesome sunset:

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After packing it in we met up with Jim and Patty for a good old fashion deck BBQ, beers were drank late into the night.

Later that night Rob wasn’t appreciating Jim’s story about his nose polyps and had to take action, check this out:

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Day 2

Day 2 started with trying to decide to head up to Manitowoc or back to Sheboygan, we decided to go with what worked and went down to as Bryan calls it: “She-be-gone!” I told him if we keep chasing the wind like this then that is what will happen ;).

Fortunately we met up with Jason Yetley:

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We rode hard starting off with 9s in the air and eventually pumped 12 to finish our day off. Funny thing about the kitelaunch is that all day Friday the beach was clear. Come Saturday this massive 50 gallon drum had surfaced. I think it was an old fire ring but regardless, I am glad not to have landed on it the day before.

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Together we were able to figure out where Bryan’s board went:

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Then he went to body drag for it!

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Again with the dam fire pit:

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Jim and Rob Kiting:

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Jason Yetley Going For it:

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Now this is a guy who has fun!

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Teaching Patty how a Go-Pro Works:

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After riding a cup of Coffee with Bailey’s warmed Jim and Kevin up….let’s just say they had a few. Everyone also got to try a Scottish Egg, if you into that sort of thing, you need to try it out. Go to the Duke of Devon for as much English Heritage as you can handle. This place is great for an after kite drink!

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Its conveniently located close to the launch.

Here’s a picture inside the Duke:

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After drinks we made it back to the VRBO for another BBQ. With the influence of some drinks and Patty Hoben… we played card games until 3 AM! We even got “Bat-man” to come out and play! For a group of 5 we sure had a blast together!

Last day walk on the beach:

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Not the kind of kites we are into in the background but still cool to see stunt kites flying around.

Last Day Manitowoc potential Kite Spot

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2 Rivers Kite Area (Point Beach State Forest would also be a great spot to go)

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Our route there:

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Through Green Bay is the most efficient way. Highways are super nice and extremely fast. Watch out for Packer Games though on a Sunday, we heard it can get real backed up!

What a great trip though, we will have to keep in mind that there is a ferry that leaves Manitowoc Daily, so if the winds blowing from the West just cross the lake to find it!

Story and photos by Kevin Nowak.

About the author

Tighe

Tighe Belden has been riding the wind for over 30 years. He has been active in the Minnesota windsport community for over 2 decades, as an instructor, event coordinator, creator of Lakawa and now End of Session, and Midwest Demo Manager for Slingshot Sports.

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