I am interested in trying some expedition-style kiteskiing. To get my feet wet i'd like to do some longer day-rides on local lakes where I can have access to roads while pulling a sled loaded with gear. I have a five foot long ice-fishing sled that might be suitable for this first attempt. The question I have is how do I attach the sled to myself?
Obviously a rope of some sort would work but is there any means to prevent the sled from swaying too wildly from side to side? Is a quick release needed? If so then how do I set one up? Is there a need for shock absorption material like bungee in the pulling line? How long should the pulling line be?
there have been several crossing of greenland using just the sort of sled you described. as far as I know all these expeditions did is clip onto the harness using a medium sized rope, nothing else. I never remember reading in their expedition blogs them having any difficulty using this extremely simple method. quick release is pretty easy you might as well do it but I don't think they used them on most expeditions.
For flat lakes a rope attached to your kite harness would be fine. But, if you're doing anything that involves going down even a mild hill (sans kite) you need a set of rigid rods between you and the sled to keep it from running into the back of your legs, think ski patrol sled evac here.
I have one of the pulks linked above and it has 2 piece fiberglass rods that go between sled and the harness. It also has deployable aluminum blades on the rear corners to keep it from laterally slipping on side hills. It's does a great job going up and down hills until you're fully loaded in off camber mountain terrain at which point it becomes unstable and tips a lot. I think at that point a cross braced aluminum ladder rig between the sled and harness like ski patrols use would be the only effective way to control this.
Al C wrote:if you're doing anything that involves going down even a mild hill (sans kite) you need a set of rigid rods between you and the sled to keep it from running into the back of your legs
i thought the technique for manhauling downhill was to let the sled run between your skis and then sit down on the sled and control it from there or just let the sled go first depending. you can't really sit on a ski patrol sled because the patient will get mad when you put your butt on his broken leg
There's another method for mixed terrain that is lighter and easy to deal with but doesn't always work on sideslopes or real steep stuff.
You can attach a knotted line just ahead of your towpoint on your towline. Maybe half inch line, a bunch of figure 8 or other high profile knots. Attach it so that when the towline is taut the line is suspended, but when the line is slack (sled is catching up to you) the line drops under the sled and the knots act as a brake. This might work even better with a bridled towline and a lateral line.
There's so much variation though in how any method works - snow conditions, weight distribution, subtleties of the slope. Rigid poles can be a real pain in the ass too.