How different is SNOW KITING to KITESURFING on water?December 18, 2008
They say that Snow Kiting is a lot easier to learn than kiteboarding on the water. This relatively new discipline is a combination between snowboarding and kiteboarding.
- It is easy to stand on snow, which makes the whole process easier.
- It also takes a lot less wind to drive a board across snow than it does across water.
- The whole learning experience is a lot less daunting as you need much less power and wind to get you moving.
- Finally, holding an edge in snow is much easier than in water making up-wind progress much easier to master.
Thanks to bada55ba55 for this video:
It strikes me that one of the best things about snowkiting is that you are not limited by access to mountains and lifts. Wherever there is snow covered terrain – you can kite. A major additional bonus is that, invariably, you will be kiting alone or with friends – but you are unlikely to be kiting with the masses. What better sport could there possibly be?
With the early snows across North America, Canada and Northern Europe, kiters have been out exploring. Check out the photo below – a group of friends from Colorado benefited from a couple of storms which hit the southwest corner of the state and gave them some great terrain on Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton:
You can snowkite anywhere where there’s a field, snow, wind, and space, and if you live in an area where the lakes freeze over and get powder – then that too makes for a good snowkite surface.
Caroline, a passionate snowkiter from Norway, has this to say of the sport:
“Snowkiting is the real deal. When you snowkite you use nature in a totally different way from snowboarding. When you snowkite you don’t use anything other than the wind and your kiting gear. The special thing about snowkiting is that you can ride into the mountains where nobody else has been before, and have fun messing about with your friends just doing what we love to do… When you snowkite, every day is unique, there is always something new, like the places you go, the weather conditions, new tricks, etc. The biggest difference from water-kiting (kitesurfing) must be that you can use your surroundings in a totally different way, like jumping down a cliff or riding in epic powder.”
Although a relatively new sport, snowkiting has already had 4 annual Snowkite Masters events and will be having its 5th in February/March 2009. Over 100 snowkiters from as far away as Tahiti took part in the 2008 event, held in Utah. The Kiter-Cross races gained the most popularity as participants and spectators were entertained by a fast and dynamic course. The terrain created unique challenges for competitors, with quick downwind-downhill runs and technical upwind-upslope reaches.
The 2009 event will be held on the weekend of 28th February, 2009, again at Skyline, Utah. The French Snowkite Masters will be held at Serre-Chevalier from the 10th – 17th Janaury. This event will match up the best French snowkite freestyle champions with the top British snowkite freestyle riders and a host of other snowkiters from around the globe.
Here’s another video, with thanks to mwiemarkus. Makes you want to leave all this rain behind, and rush up to northern Europe to find snow expanses like this. For you guys over there in America you must have vast areas where snowkiting can be done. Lucky things.