Hmmmm, Matt, are you trying to start a riot here? 'Can't we all just get along?'
Reasons you gotta do both:
There's only 3 inches snow on Snow Mesa now (hiked up there on Wednesday), whereas the little bit of ice on the big lake is gone by noon each day.
Ski boots help my feet heal from the bruises I get on our rocky beaches when launching and landing in strong gusty conditions. Launching on snow feels safer. (I always self launch and land).
They both get you out playing in the water or snow when it's too cold and windy for 'normal' people.When the wind is up I get the lake (or the nordic ski meadows) all to myself.
Water freezes then it melts, rinse and repeat. Snowkiting got me totally re-enthused about winter, after a half century of skiing I was losing the stoke. Kiteboarding got me back on the water after windsurfing was hurting my knees.
Snow rules because:
Exploring our mountains and mesas via snowkite is incredible, places around here you can go on and on. On the water, turn back before you hit the beach. Unfold your google earth map, checkout the terrain in the Lake City, Creede, La Garita area of Colorado.
New neoprene ain't gonna last nearly as long as my old gore-tex.
I can pedal my bike to the edge of town and snowkite, must drive to the lake.
Not only can you go in light wind like OP mentioned, but go uphill in the lightest wind.
When the wind dies good swimming technique is hindered by a sea anchor and $400 flotsam (tt or surfboard). On snow it's just a ski tour with a full pack.
Easier to learn on snow.
Yes, the low gliding and soaring. Ah, but then there's this guy, (youtube Just a perfect day)
. I'll stick with my Atos hg for higher flights.
Keeps one strong and fit, I have added at least 20 pounds kite gear to my backcountry ski pack.
Almost never get cold snowkiting, you'll work up a sweat getting it together after a crash. In water body dragging to retrieve the board can make me shiver.
Water rules because:
Constant ski / snowboard maintenance required, whereas the rock bruises on my feet heal themselves.
A lost ski can sink in the powder, then again I've spent way more time trolling for lost tt or surfboard than looking for a lost ski.
Powder changes to wind slab then sastrugi. The water surface is still enjoyable despite previous weather.
When a gust front comes through I'd rather be in the middle of the lake than on snow.
Harder to learn on water (a good thing if you love to learn), I am finally getting the downloop jibe consistent on the surfboard, been doing it for years on skis. Keep the challenges coming please.
The hydrofoil forum is the best thing on kf. Going to build one this winter. Cannot wait to try HFing next summer!! I plan to develop a foil for snow, should be ready by March 31st or the day after.
So, do what u can with what you got. IT'S ALL GOOD