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Winter Sailing & Kiting on Lake Winnebago: Freeskate, Snowfer, Snowboard and more

Wintertime at Wind Power Windsurfing & Kiting Center is a busy time once Lake Winnebago freezes and the Ice is safe.  Windsurfing & Kiteboarding in the winter can be better than the summer for a lot of sailors & kiters. 

The Winter ice has many advantages:

  • you can get more sailing/kiting days as winds tend to be stronger in the winter and the wind requirements on the ice are much less.
  • you can use your smaller kits (sails or kites) since less wind is required. This is a great time to get more use of your smaller sizes that don’t get used much in the water season.
  • Wind Direction is not as critical with sailing/launch spot. You can sail in front of Wind Power all winter long on all wind directions.
  • Learning to sail or kite in the winter is easier and the preferred method. See this post by Kevin – Learn to Kitesurf in the Winter at Wind Power (this is especially true for kiting, but applies to windsurfing too!)
  • No dealing with cold water. Yes, the temperature is lower, but dressed appropiately (Ski or Snowboard clothing) with proper protective gear (helment and pads) you stay toasty warm.
  • You probably have most of the gear if you windsurf or kitesurf. You may get a different board or use your snowboard for snow kiting.
  • See the 09/10 Winter Flyer for pictures of the freeskate, snowfer, winterboard and iceboard.

Here is a Video of Kevin on the Freeskate with a windsurfing rig. The freeskate is similar to a large skateboard with blades instead of wheels. It has larger trucks, and the board is very manuverable. You need pretty clean ice for the freeskate. The snowfer offers a more ‘all-terrain’ board and it works good on ice and snow. And the kiters use mostly skis or a snowboard.

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Snow Kiting Jumping sequence on Lake Winnebago

2 comments to Winter Sailing & Kiting on Lake Winnebago: Freeskate, Snowfer, Snowboard and more

  • John Oppenheimer

    I took my first kiting lesson with Kevin last weekend, and it was fantastic. While my original goal was to learn kiting skills before the soft water season starts, I totally had a great time surfing the snow. Kevin is a very patient instructor who emphasizes safety first. I didn’t completely get that at first, but while surfing the internet afterwards I came across some pretty hairy “kite-mare” stories. Then it clicked. The lesson progressed very methodically starting with a trainer kite and working up from there when ready. Kevin was exceedingly generous with his time, and the equipment was top notch. By the end of the lesson I was snow kiting on Lake Winnebago – a real thrill.

    I highly recommend Kevin as an instructor – you won’t be disappointed. And remember, safely first!


  • Kevin Gratton

    Hi John,

    Thank you for the kind words. You are the one that did a great job flying the kite! You made it look easy and I was impressed with how fast you went after a few runs.

    Now you just need some more time with the kite and skis learning to handle more power and you will be on a great start for the soft water this spring!

    Kevin Gratton