I agree that there isn't currently a good way to snowkite strapless, especially on the hardpack. But the payout, funwise, if you could make it happen would be huge. It really seems to me that a snowboard or even a kitespecific snowboard is still not the perfect ride because a)it's tiring to be on edge for a long distance b)50/50 is a poor stance for having fun through the turns but it's brutal to ride switch tack when you're off center c)being locked in all day hurts! Where would kiting be if we were all riding unmodified wakeboards just because we already owned them?
The snowskates aren't going to handle speed well, and the aesthetics of handling powered carves won't be there either. But the principle isn't too far off - you need to separate the edge you use for standing on from the edge on the snow, and cantilever it out so that you can use the whole foot to edge the board instead of the point of the heel or toe.
Thought experiment - what if you took a snowboard and mounted a narrowish (13 in?) twintip about 3 inches over it. Depending on where the mounts were and their flexibility you could lever the front or back of the board up a bit while riding, maybe even ollie a little. It might turn out that the snowboard shape is too long or narrow or even too wide, or that the perfect surface for contacting the snow is concave or rockered or rounded. But getting unstrapped would be the start, then you could figure out what is the right shape/height for the platform and the right shape for the board.
I don't really have a perfect picture of it but I know that in the snowkite session of my dreams I can carve with my weight over the tail and gybe. It may seem kooky now but I know there is a lot of room for improvement on what we're riding.
[quote]Seriously, the best stuff on snow is done propper balls out in full snowboard set ups. Those guys kill it and I don't think they complain about their boards.[quote]
I personally don't think much about the board while am enjoying deep powder runs. In fact, the only time I think about the board is on hardpack. I find that is the time to switch to skis. If I was riding hard pack all the time, I would be more concerned about the board/binding setup, but since I live in Utah and ride powder or soft pack 90% of the time. I do not give it much thought.
May I point out that the best part of snow kiting is doing some things that you could only dream about doing while snowboarding. 1. Carving turns uphill 2. Powered powder turns on a flat area or uphill. 3. Riding a half-pipe uphill and the ability to jump the entire half-pipe. 4. Hucking cliffs and gliding 100 yards plus for a soft landing. 5. Jumping uphill. 6. No lift lines, copter trips, or sled to access all day powder. 7. Endless exploration because you rely on wind power instead of gravity.
I guess most of us are having too much fun to mess around with riding strapless. You have to remember that snowkiting in the mountains is far more 3D than riding waves.