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> El Lobo- Wolf Lake
post Apr 2 2004, 12:16 PM
Post #1

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Wolf Lake is located in Hammond. It has traditionally been a windsurfing spot, and should remain so. Everything about this place is unfriendly to kiteboarding. Beginners should avoid this place. Intermediate/Advanced kiteboarders should know that several kites have been trashed, boards broken, and feet cut by kiteboarders who thought they could tame El Lobo.

The launch area is grass, with no sand to weight your kite. IN the water you will find slag, sharp steel rocks, which can cut through thin shoes. Also there are areas of WEEDS so thick you will not be able to swim through them. This is especially true in the summer months.

This place works best on South winds wich tend to be very gusty. There is a GIANT wind shadow and turbulent effect created by an island just upwind of the rigging area. Expect 5-10 knots more out in the center of the lake. If you get lofted in the rigging area you will land on the cement wall or in the parking lot.....walk way out into the water to launch, and again be careful of the slag, glass, and metal on the bottom.

Windsurfers: They were here first it's their spot. Be respectful of these long time users of this South Chicago Paradise.

Safety- Firehouse across the street. Lifeguards in swimming area are local kids from the highschool.

Hazzards- Rocks, GLass, Houses and powerlines downwind. Cement Wall in rigging area, high tension power lines on South and West Shores located IN THE LAKE. Gusty LOFTING winds. Shifting winds due to local terrain. Metal in water. Weeds.

Common Error- People drift downwind and get too close to the houses and trees along the North SHore. They can't land the kite, the water is deep, and the kite ends up in a tree, in the power lines, or in the metal fence with is sticking up 1 foot out of the water. Also getting into the wind shadow of the island where the wind is ZERO and the kite Marlo's into the water and stays there for 45 min while you drift in....bad day huh?

If you must kite here, bust out of the downwind area into the center of the lake and stay out there. If you crash and drift in, expect to walk in through mushy muck and areas of what feels like Quicksand. There is a bike trail along the NE and East shore that you can walk with your gear rolled up, back to the parking rigging area.

If you haven't figgured it out by now. This place SUCKS for kiteboarding. Go somewhere else!

Naish Midwest Team
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post Apr 15 2004, 11:38 PM
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I found out today that the plan to poison the weeds in Wolf Lake was scrapped due to environmental concerns. There may be an alternate plan to dredge the weed beds.

If neither is done, I'd guess that the lake will be offlimits to windsurfing and kiteboarding by mid-May.

Last year I was lucky to be dragged across a weedbed that was far too thick to swim in, if not for the kite pulling me and my lifevest, I may have drowned. BEWARE OF THE WEEDS.

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post Apr 15 2004, 11:41 PM
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Today April 15th, 2004

The water at Wolf Lake is warming up. I used a dry suit, however the windsurfers had steamers and were fine. I didn't need a hood and also went without gloves. Booties were nice for warmth, and mandatory for all the crap that resides on the bottom of the lake.

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post Aug 7 2005, 09:44 AM
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On a recent trip to Chicago I saw Wolf Lake. It is immediately north of 94 on the way into the south side of town. Couldnt believe the power line towers running right through the lake! And to re-read the description of the place, ooh, the Chicago crew is core.
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