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TOPIC: New French Windsurfer in Chicago

New French Windsurfer in Chicago 1 year 11 months ago #1

Hello to you all,

I'm a new french in Chicago. I arrived like a month and a half ago in this wonderful city and so far it's amazing but... No windsurf because I don't have my gear neither a car. So my questions are the following :

Where can I rent a gear around chicago?

If I want to buy my own gear, what should I buy regarding the wind and the lake.... (I use to sail in the mediterranean sea with a Bic Astro 90 L w/ 5.5 when the wind is around 25 to 30 knots, under 25 knots I had a 6.5 and I'm 6.4 for 162 lbs)

Where is the best to go in term of launch (I've heard about Montrose Beach and the dog beach for the car)

Thank you very much for your advices and see you the lake!

New French Windsurfer in Chicago 1 year 11 months ago #2

  • Chris
  • Chris's Avatar
  • Gale Force
  • Posts: 80
Welcome to Chicago! Glad to hear you've had a good experience so far. We're now getting into one of the better parts of the year for windsurfing. There are lots of launching options, from Lake Michigan to various lakes all around. I've found this forum to be great place to learn about Launches and Gear for Sale. There will also be an annual Swap Meet at Greenwood Beach in Evanston on May 15 (Sunday) at 11 a.m.

I'll let some of the other guys (and gals) on this forum jump in to recommend board and sail sizes. But just as a point of reference, I'm an intermediate sailor at 5'8', 175 lbs, and I sail a 145L board (for 15-20 mph) with 8.5 and 7.0 sails and a 110L board (for 20-30 mph) with 6.0 and 5.2 sails. If you're looking to buy just one board, I'm guessing that something around 110-120L may be a good all-rounder for you? Let's see what other folks suggest....

In the meantime, if you're interested in renting gear, the Northwestern Sailing Center would be the place to contact. They have some newish boards and sails rigged and ready to go.

Hope that helps!

New French Windsurfer in Chicago 1 year 11 months ago #3

  • Ady
  • Ady's Avatar
  • Hurricane Force
  • Posts: 1012
Wellcome to Chicago and bonne chance!
Never even been anywhere along the Mediteranian coast, but from what Im reading it seems like our situation here may be a bit more complicated. There are no winsurfing equipment rentals in the area as much as I know and winds here are far less consistent and predictable. The most windy season in the Not So Windy City is winter and the least is summer-exactly the opposite of what we would have liked unfortunately. Spring and fall are OK with a day or two of decent wind every week usually. If you decide to buy equipment I wiuld suggest looking at 5 to 10 more liters of volume then what youve been used to in order to compensate for the slightly less buoyant fresh water, the heavy wetsuits we wear most of the time and the gusty winds. Montrose is a good launching spot and you can learn about many others fom the LAUNCHES page on our forum site.

New French Windsurfer in Chicago 1 year 10 months ago #4

Thank you very much for your advices!!
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