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Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

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Thor SFBay
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Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby Thor SFBay » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:21 am

There are a lot of videos of snowkiters at Jackson Hole, Wyoming getting some serious hang time and basically using their kites a lot like paragliders. (Like this one: http://vimeo.com/83399030) But I just can't help but wonder if that's such a good idea - if anything breaks they are in serious trouble. Trees, rocks, and ice are a lot harder than water.

I know the chance of a line, chicken loop, harness failure or canopy rip are small. But is that chance small enough to risk such a deadly fall? I can't imagine trusting my life to the tiny little metal loop that attaches my chicken loop to the QR mechanism. And then there was that time my canopy unexpectedly ripped apart...

What do you guys think? Is the high (literal and figurative) worth the risk? Or is it just a matter of time before one of these guys gets killed? This looks a lot like BASE jumping or wingsuit flying to me - super rad, but way too risky. Sure looks like fun though...


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edt
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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby edt » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:04 am

I haven't heard of any serious injuries so maybe it is safer than it looks. I would rig paraglide if I wanted to go gliding, not a kite.

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downunder
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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby downunder » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:40 am

No jumping with a paraglider:) Unless you jump off a cliff:)

They might have a reserve chute somehow attached to the harness?! Didn't look a vid..

But this days do you guys have a lot of fresh powder anyway? Awesome!

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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby Toby » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:57 am

I always wonder why so little happens. I had so many things breaking on me, plus I read all those accidents and failures on here...I will not go snowkiting! Respect to those guys who go flying big...you got balls! And lots of luck!

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downunder
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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby downunder » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:13 am

True.

If is a fresh powder it might be softer than water tho:) Some extreme snow boarders would be in a deep s..t otherwise crashing big times:)
Having a kite might save you of one thing tho: avalanche

I've seen some snow kiters on 3000m Les Duex Alpes and Rizol in France. Was 25-30kn, freezing cold.

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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby waynepjh » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:47 am

I believe it can be done relatively safely. In the beginning of my gliding career I flew pretty high off the ground but have learned a different style that keeps me close to the ground. Do you think the forward glide in this video is dangerous?


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Djoubs
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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby Djoubs » Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:03 am

I think it can be done safely, it's what i've been doing for 14 y now, but i learned slowly step after step.
I fly with brand new kite, bar and lines every seasons.
I check my gear (preflight check) line, connexion, attachment points etc ... every session.
I Role my line every time i stop on the spot to avoid any possibility of somebody skiing on them.
I take a really good care of my equipment.
I'm attached directly to a climbing harness.
I don't fly in any wind i test it first by riding where i'm going to fly to see if i like it or not, i also pick my spot.
It still something dangerous to do for sure, but less than some riders doing some megaloops at 100 feet over flat water or piles of rocks.
Flying with a kite is not a fashion if you think it's too dangerous then don't do it .
Just my point of view. :jump:

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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby knot_moving » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:39 am

I've wondered if anyone doubles there lines?

Tiago1973
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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby Tiago1973 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:12 pm

no fresh powder here

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Re: Snow Kite Flying - Too Dangerous or Safe Enough?

Postby madman » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:01 pm

Pal, the guy in the above video, is pretty much the best in the world when it comes to dynamic paragliding maneuvers. Comparatively he is looking a little dicey with his kite skills. After 15 years of paragliding I'm naturally trying to draw comparisons to kite flying/gliding. For me I think paragliding experience has NOT help me to progress with kite gliding at all. Anyone else have similar or different experience with paragliding vs kite gliding?

Matt


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