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cross country bindings for snow kite skiing?

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Ittiandro
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cross country bindings for snow kite skiing?

Postby Ittiandro » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:48 am

Hi

I am a windsurfer and I am considering snow kiting. For the moment, I want to make do with the least possible investment by using what I have : cross country skis with cross-country bindings ( Salomon Atomic skis , with metal edges ), cross country boots , my windsurfing seat harness, a biking helmet and good winter wear ( I am in Canada!). I only have to buy the wing.( which is not the least expensive part!) ..

Here are my questions:
1. Can I use cross country boots and bindings, or do I have to use the ones for downhill, which block the entire foot?

I hear that downhill bindings and boots are more efficient when moving on the snow and also that they may prevent twisting or breaking the ankle in case you fall forwards and the cross country binding doesn’t t release the front of the foot ( This is what happened to me when I was younger, while skiing on a glacier in Italy, but I had adjusted the release mechanism incorrectly..)
I am sure that it is easier to control the skis with downhill boots/bindings, but I am not too sure that they are safer, because if the fall forward is hard enough, then the ankle or foot may well be protected, but then the leg or the knee ligament may go, whichever is the weaker point, which is not better and probably worse .....

In fact, rarely, if at all, before the appearance on the market of state-of-the –art downhill bindings and boots in the 40’s and 50’s , replacing the traditional “Flintstones” equipment used until then by generations of skiers, would people break anything on this old stuff, even when shooting down on Mount Blanc…from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France , like my mother did more than once, which is some descent!.
So, using downhill binding when blown ( or pulled) by the wind may have a downside, too…… I am in a catch 22 situation. Can I keep the cross country bindings?

2. Size of the kite: as a beginner, I’ll certainly heed the advice of not using too big a kite.It depends on what small and big mean, though..

I weigh 180 lbs, I’ll be skiing on flat land or a frozen lake. Usually on this lake winds are weak to moderate in summer. They should pick up in winter. How much, I don’t know, but I won’t certainly ski if they are more than 15 knts, below 20 knts anyway, at least for now.
What size do you suggest? I have seen a good deal for a 3.5 m2 foil,( open cell,) kite but I wonder if it is not too small. I have seen somebody on a video who couldn’t do more than being dragged on his rear across the field even though others around him were flying.. It might have been because the kite was too small..

I’d appreciate your comments

Thanks

Ittiandro

Kevin Brooker
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Re: cross country bindings for snow kite skiing?

Postby Kevin Brooker » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:24 pm

Ski gear matters for your fun and safety. I use tele gear which makes it easier to move around in the finicky winds of New England. There are not many fields near where I live so lakes are the prime riding area. When kite skiing you are essentially turning (skis on edge)the entire time. Too light of gear will make your feet and ankles tired. If the skis are fishscale they will be different aggressive and the double camber isn't designed to handle very well. The skis are designed to be mostly ridden flat. There is also limited torsional ridgidity so holding an edge will be challenging. In variable conditions the skis may become frustrating.

As for the kite 3 meters will be too small you might move but plan on using the x/c skis to move back up wind. On hardpack styrosnow 5 to 7 is really fun. Fast but very controllable. I like foils but LEIs work fine. Deeper snow you will need more kite and wider skis to stay on top of the powder. In variable lake conditions ( windswept ice, drifts, slab, sastrugi, snowmachine chop, etc.) good depowering is key to staying upright crashing sucks but in chop the lines get snagged and relaunching is a nightmare. The variable conditions will highlight the limits of your ski setup.

I tried going cheap and it ultimately cost me more. Find a consignment shop or ski swap and the are always inexpensive older setups for gear. Older non shape skis are best and can usually be hadfor under $50. No shop will touch the bindings so you are on your own there but new bindings can be had for around $100 or buy some old rental gear. Not to be alarmist or buzzkillbut a trinto the ED and time lost at work is much more expensive then $250 for decent ski gear.

Ittiandro
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Re: cross country bindings for snow kite skiing?

Postby Ittiandro » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:00 pm

Kevin Brooker wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:24 pm
Ski gear matters for your fun and safety. I use tele gear which makes it easier to move around in the finicky winds of New England. There are not many fields near where I live so lakes are the prime riding area. When kite skiing you are essentially turning (skis on edge)the entire time. Too light of gear will make your feet and ankles tired. If the skis are fishscale they will be different aggressive and the double camber isn't designed to handle very well. The skis are designed to be mostly ridden flat. There is also limited torsional ridgidity so holding an edge will be challenging. In variable conditions the skis may become frustrating.

As for the kite 3 meters will be too small you might move but plan on using the x/c skis to move back up wind. On hardpack styrosnow 5 to 7 is really fun. Fast but very controllable. I like foils but LEIs work fine. Deeper snow you will need more kite and wider skis to stay on top of the powder. In variable lake conditions ( windswept ice, drifts, slab, sastrugi, snowmachine chop, etc.) good depowering is key to staying upright crashing sucks but in chop the lines get snagged and relaunching is a nightmare. The variable conditions will highlight the limits of your ski setup.

I tried going cheap and it ultimately cost me more. Find a consignment shop or ski swap and the are always inexpensive older setups for gear. Older non shape skis are best and can usually be hadfor under $50. No shop will touch the bindings so you are on your own there but new bindings can be had for around $100 or buy some old rental gear. Not to be alarmist or buzzkillbut a trinto the ED and time lost at work is much more expensive then $250 for decent ski gear.

Thanks Kevin

In spite of my..respectable age, I am not familiar with Telemark gear. Does it entail a different type of ski and binding, I presume? It might be more expensive though, as all specialized gear is. Then maybe a 2nd hand snow board is cheaper. Are snowboards better than skis for snowkiting?
Can a snowboard be used with regular x/country boots? Can it be used for kiteboarding on the water?

On a different note, at the time of my previous post I was thinking only of snowkiting . Now, after searching the Internet I was thrilled by the possibility of kiteboarding on the water with a SUP (I have a Bic WindSup).
There might be drawbacks, as in anything, but it might have the advantage of doing away with the additional weight of the rig and the hassle of rigging ,tuning and uphauling, without counting the more power I'd get from the kite up in the air, especially in our summer low wind conditions.

Actually, after many years of sailing( or trying to..) regular shortboards, even the larger ones, I turned to a windsup out of despair because even the longer shortboards don't move in less than than 15 knts winds, let alone planing. I was wasting my time. Now I am perfectly happy with my Bic Windsup, I can sail it with the lightest breeze. Better moving slow than not moving at all! If a kite can help, so much the better!

Initially I was thinking of an open cell foil ( less expensive) to use both on the snow and on the water, with my SUP , but then I realized open cells fill up with water and are difficult, if not impossible to relaunch from the water. I would have to keep the wing in the air all the time, which I am afraid won't happen, at least at my stage.. In this case I'll have to go for an inflatable kite.

I'd like to know what is your take( or anybodyelse's) about all this, especially about kitesurfing on a SUP and/or using snowboards for snowkiting.

Thanks

Ittiandro

Anthonyshopguy
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Favorite Beaches: Lake Arena CR, Cocoa Beach FL, Ivanpah CA, Lake Meredith Tx, lake Huron Mi, Metro Park MI ** 6 Mile on lake Mohave NV.
Style: Snow kiting, buggy, water
Gear: 17m LEI Cabrinha Contra, 15m LEI Slingshot Turbine, 13m Waroo LEI, 11 m foil Frenzy Ozone, 11m Lei Escape PL, 9m Lei Nemesis Best, 7m Lei Waroo, 6m foil apex HQ, 174 SB for the Pow, 169 split SB for the outback, Cabrinha 154 twin tip for the lake, 600 switchback Polaris to get me there, and why not add in a nice new big foot buggy for that once a year buggy blast at Ivanpah.
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Re: cross country bindings for snow kite skiing?

Postby Anthonyshopguy » Mon Dec 25, 2017 8:18 am

Snow boards I feel are the most ergonomic way to snow kite. You are facing the pull of the kite and not having it pull across you like skies. On the down side try to cross 1/2 mile/Klick of deep snow on a snow board when the wind dies.( Sucks) So both have their place. But best to carry a set of snowshoes on a board. Foils are better for snow. But like the earlier poster LEI' s work fine. A 8 to 10m kite in moderate winds less than 16 MPH, should do you fine. And old snowboard boots work fine kiting because carving is an advanced skill not needed for a while. Now, I now fly a 15 m in under 15 conditions and am learning to fly. Having a blast. I weigh about a 100 kilos or 210 lbs


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