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Launches on Southern Lake Winnebago
This is a pretty small public launch. The satellite image is a big outdated as most of the trees along the shore here have been taken down. On shore there is only enough room for 2-3 people to set up on either side of the boat launch. While the onshore area is pretty small, this is a great area for launching in the water. The first 50-75 yards of water never gets more than waste deep because you are on a rocky ledge. This allows for plenty of room to launch in the water. Watch out if you ride too close to shore as the rocky bottom will definitely ding up your board and fins if you don’t carry your speed. This launch works from a NNE (side to side on) to E (on shore) to SSE (side to side on). It is a popular fishing location and the local fisherman also like to wade out into the shallow water to fish the edge of the drop off. Please be considerate of the fisherman.
Roosevelt Park / Wind Power
Public access. This launch is not very big and has a rocky shore line. Your best bet is to water launch from one of the several sandbars just out from shore. Generally you can walk out to the 3rd sandbar straight out from the steps. This launch will only work on a W (side shore) to N (on shore but great for waves) to NE (side on). With the several sand bars on this end of the lake, you can get some good waves especially from N or NW wind. In the summer there are lots of swimmers, so please be safe!! This is the most popular public launch site for the locals!!
This is the newest public launch site. It is a work in progress and still needs to be cleared a little more. It is a small area for set up, but a great spot for launching. Please be considerate of the adjoining neighbors property. They have a small wooden fence on the edge of their property, so please respect this boundary. It is very shallow in the water here, so water launching is easy. This direction can work from a SSE (side to side off) to W (on shore) to N (side shore).
This public launch has alot of open area to set up on. It has a rocky shoreline. This launch will work best on a NW (side on) to N (on shore) to E (side shore). You can ride a west wind (off shore), but watch out for the flukey and gusty winds inside until you get out from shore a bit. With the rocky shoreline, it is best to do a water launch or have someone launch you in the water. There are a couple of sandbars that will allow you to stand in the water and launch pretty easily.
This is a private launch!!! Please make sure to get Don’s permission before launching from his property. This is the best launch for the locals who know Don. Lot’s of room to set up. You can walk out to the second or third sand bar to self water launch or have someone launch you. This launch works best on a SW (side on) to W (on shore) to N (side shore). If you are lucky enough to ride here, you will know what a great kiteboarding community this area has. The local kiteboarding club WAK (http://www.wakkiteboarding.com) has an online weather station at this location along with a webcam to see all the action when you can’t make it out yourself. If Don gives you permission to ride at his place, please be respectfully and safe in consideration of his generosity!!
This is a small public launch area. Generally in the summer it is not used for kiting too much as there is lots of boat traffic and no real good area to set up. It does provide an emergency downwind landing location. This spot is very popular for kiting and fishing in the winter. The local fishing club usually maintains a plowed ice road across the lake during much of the winter season. This allows you to drive onto the ice and makes it possible to launch and ride further out from shore. This will help to get you away from the fisherman, snowmobile, and atv action that is pretty busy by shore. In the summer, this launch could work from a SW (side on) to W (on shore) to N (side to side on). In the winter, since you are able to drive out onto the ice, any direction will work. Use caution when deciding to drive onto the ice. This is also the access point for the famous Sturgeon Stampede Kiteboarding event hosted by the local kiteboarding club (http://www.wakkiteboarding.com). Hosted annually during the second weekend in February.
Launches on Northern Lake Winnebago
Sherwood Boat Launch
A small, no-ramp, boat launch that really doesn’t get used for much in the summer other than people bringing their dogs for a swim. It’s probably the best launch for kiteboarding on this end of the lake. Good spot for SSW thru NW. For snowkiting, it’s an easy drive-on with little traffic other than snowmobiles passing by. It’s easy for northsiders to be complacent and just go right to fire lane 8 in a NW. But trust me, it’s well worth the extra couple of miles. Don’t overlook this launch. (Thanks Keith)
Fire Lane 8
This is a public access launch that is used for boats and swimming. It is quite shallow and sandy, so it does not get used much as a boat launch, but people do swim and launch kayaks here. The launch faces almost due South, so it is good for East to West winds (going clockwise on compass). It is good on SW / West winds when wind does not blow through to High-Cliff. There is a small creek on West side of launch with a narrow grassy patch for rigging.
The Waverly Beach bar & grill is right on the water and has an area on west end that can be used for a launch. Please be respectful of the bar and patrons as this is private property. Kiter and Windsurfers provide a spectacle for the Waverly Beach goers, but it is a privilege to use. Also, be aware of some boat traffic and boat anchoring off-shore (in the sandy shallows) as many people visit the bar & area by water. We typically give them lots of room as most are not kiters or sailors and want to respect their use of Lake Winnebago. Good on East through SW / WSW (clockwise on compass) and is shallow and sandy similar to other spot on North shore.
If you have any launches to add or comments on these launches, please contact WAK.