2nd Annual Chicken Loop in Review

First off, thanks to the folks that showed up. There is something really cool about seeing a bunch of kites dancing effortlessly through the air. It really is beautiful. I am not just biased – it really is one of the best looking sports I have tried and I have tried about everything.

Now down to business. As I pulled up to where the kites where flying from I immediately noticed a face I didn’t know getting ready to launch a kite. This got me giddy. Yes, When I see a new kiters in ND I get excited – which is why you should start if you haven’t. Seriously though as a side note, the folks in our group are committed to helping newbs so don’t be afraid to get in touch with us. Back to the story, so I did in fact meet a new face and his kiteboarding kids too. Beyond that nice family getting ready to go out was a couple of Chicken Loop season 1 attendees, Justin and Dave, and they were lit up. So I said my greetings and proceeded to rig up.

chicken loop 2

I got a good run in but I didn’t kite up enough so I couldn’t stay up wind and ended up near the public beach. Remember how I said folks in this group are helpful, well, Justin came and picked me up. I hope the folks camping all around this lake think it is as funny as we do when we kiteboarders wash up on their camp site. To help put some context to that statement, there are camp sites all around New John’s Lake, which is why we like to kite there.
Unfortunately, after I was picked up it was clear a storm was moving in. This is apparently going to be a day one mainstay for the Chicken Loop event. So the storm shut down the kiting and it wouldn’t be possible to get back out on Friday.

Saturday however, left us with a different problem. Mother Nature would not produce enough wind to launch even a 17m kite all day. I know because we tried. We did get some trainer kites in the air and got a camper to try it out. Who knows, maybe he will be the next big thing in kiting. With no wind we spent our time playing with gear and doing other things like kayaking, fishing and drinking. The sunsets were beautiful and the camping was comfortable.

Day three brought a decent wind and gave us the chance to really do what we came for. I could have been rigged and in the water by 8 but I waited for kids and others to wake up so I took the kayak out about 9. The wind seemed a lot stronger out on the lake than they were on land so I headed back and started rigging. I started with a 9m and Mat rigged his 12. I headed out and played for quite a while. I wasn’t able to stay up wind but my wife was nice enough to come pick me up. She picked Mat up as well as we ended up in the same place. The beauty was, this is where we planned to end up. We both went back to camp and re-rigged. This time I rigged up a 14 and was almost able to stay up-wind. But just not quite so my wife had to pick us both up again. The good thing is this time the pick up was much closer to our camp than the last time. I actually was close enough to do a walk of shame back to camp once before that.

I think We learned some new techniques and got some more experience which is what this is all about. I can only speak for myself but I really enjoyed spending time hanging out with other kiters too – and that is what this event is really all about.

Hope to see you next year. I can’t guarantee wind but I can guarantee a good time.

See you soon.


Last Minute Chicken Loop Update

The second annual “Chicken Loop” gathering of ND kiteboarding enthusiasts is this coming weekend (July 14-16). Dust off your kite bags, dig out your pump and patch that old tent. Join us for North Dakota’s only power kiting event. Come to watch, learn or participate. Everyone is welcome – whether you want to learn more about the sport, take pictures or just hang out with some cool folks.

See the ND Kiteboarders Facebook page for the latest updates.


We will need some help from mother nature with the winds but the temps are definitely warm enough. No wetsuit necessary this year.

Image from Windy.com

How to find us

Look for the really big, colorful kites. We will probably be on the North side of the lake but it will depend on the weather.

What to bring

  • water, water, water
  • sunscreen
  • camping gear – camping is free and lots of it but sites are on a first-come basis
  • kite gear
  • food – no restaurants nearby
  • low wind activities



2nd annual Chicken Loop event – a gathering of ND kiteboarders

Get your friends together for a gathering of western ND kiteboarding enthusiasts. If you or someone you know is interested in kiteboarding, this is the place to be. Whether you just want to watch, learn, or show-off your latest tricks. All levels of riders are welcome. This is a great opportunity for those who haven’t kited but are interested in learning about the sport as well. We would love to have you join us.

This is an informal gathering with the purpose of getting kiters together to ride, share stories, gear gawk and whatever else. If that isn’t enough, we will hook you up with some stickers or something. Come camp for the whole weekend or just show up for a few hours. Feel free to bring the family for an outdoor weekend. Tell your friends and neighbors.

Location: New Johns Lake

Dates: Friday, July 14 – July 16, 2017

Friday: Informal meet-up, riding and camping

Saturday: Meet around 10 am by the north side boat launch at the shelter to get things kicked off.

There is no registration so don’t worry if you miss the meet up times. We will get together with those who are around, evaluate the wind and make a plan for the first ride. If the wind doesn’t provide for upwind travel or people can’t stay up wind we can arrange for a down-wind ride and transportation to get those folks back. Camp sites are available free of charge on a first come basis. Some sites have vault toilets. The boat launches provide areas for gear set up and staging.

Don’t kite but have a boat and want to be a part of the event. That would be great. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and folks end up in situations that would make it useful to have a boat – like no wind or getting blown off course. Having someone to pick you up is nice.

Come join the fun. Hope for wind.

More Info


First Annual Chicken Loop Event is a Success

North Dakota’s premiere kiteboarding extravaganza took place this past weekend on New Johns Lake, near Wilton, ND. Kite enthusiasts arrived from across the state to take part in the event which was in its inaugural year. The success of this year’s events has led the planning dept. to conclude there will definitely be a year two event.

Ok, that last paragraph may have stretched the truth a bit. While I think it is ND’s premiere event, as far as I know it is the only one. We did get a rider from Fargo and one from Beach. For those of you who don’t know, those two cities are on the bookends of the state. So technically, we did get riders from across the state. I feel better that now that you know the truth. It really was a better turn out than I thought it would be. At one point, there were six kites on the water and possibly a trainer up on land. I had expected to spend the weekend by myself so having other riders was a bonus.

The event lacked sponsored riders, big banners, live music and crowds. But Mac Kites and Kiteboarding.com provided some swag and riders appreciated their generosity. So to them I say, thanks for supporting our event. A couple guys noted the missing kite girls, open bar and band. To those folks I say, I will see what I can do for year two.

Chicken Loop – early risers on day 2

What about the weather, right? Day one started off with some folks arriving to New Johns about 3. It was rainy and cool but the wind wasn’t bad. A couple guys got out for a session. I arrived about an hour to late to take part. It rained most of the rest of the evening.

Day two started out sunny and nice. It really would have been a great day for anything but wind sports. A group of folks met up in the morning. They set up gear and waited for the wind. You all know the drill. Eventually, someone got overly  confident or bored and decided to go for it. Of course that is enough to get the rest of the folks going and then it was on. Six kites got into the water. The experienced rider with the sixteen got off pretty good. The less experienced riders and smaller kites ended up floating quite a bit. One poor soul ended up on an island. In his defense, he couldn’t have known it wasn’t the main land at the time.

Two light wind sessions were ultimately had that day. Boat support was provided for the first one but an incident with gas evaporation led to a lack of support for the second try. There was some trainer kite action and some new interest in the sport. Hopefully that leads to new members of the growing ND kite scene.

As a side note, if anyone who was camping on the lake that weekend is reading this. For those of us who missed our target quitting area and washed up on camp sites not our own, I thank you for allowing us to temporarily disturb your solitude while we waited to get picked up. Also, thanks to the local popo who helped us round up our lost sheep.

Day three started with promise. The two folks that camped on the lake took advantage of a short burst of 13mph winds. They got in a quick session and attempted another after a third kiter arrived. But that was cut short due to a lack of wind.

New friends and discoveries were made. Many were surprised how well the lake works for kiteboarding. The camping was great. Minus the short rain and lack of wind, the weather was good too. No one was hurt and a board that was lost was found by friendly campers who were happy to return it the owner. The trip might sell some light wind kites so if you are a dealer and want to provide a Chicken Loop discount… just saying.

For a final point of business, several wives asked what a chicken loop is and why on earth we would call the event that? I just said I didn’t think it was appropriate to use the name of the other piece of kite gear I wanted to use. That is an inside joke for the kiters out there.