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snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby matth » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:16 am

I snow kited Sunday for the first time. Loved it, lots of fun , super easy. Getting upwind was effortless, then doing downwinders and making turns in fresh pow , SWEET!

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby kob » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:01 am

Thanks for the great tips!!
im in Japan now with my wife and we want to go for snowboard in that end of the month
i also have my kite with me so maybe ill try

does i can do it in any resort? or i need to go side way to the open area?

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby toyletbowl » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:40 pm

Kob...snowkiting is awesome and usually easier than the water. USUALLY.

1) If you suck at skiing or snowboarding or both, snowkiting might actually be harder. I've skied all my life and skiers and snowboarders are horrendous for overstating their abilities. If you can CARVE turns really well on moderate to steep runs, then you are ahead of most. If you cannot carve (meaning, hold a hard edge), then the pull of the kite will be harder to resist.

2) If you are a better skier, use skis. If you are a better snowboarder, use a snowboard. Seem's a no brainer, but I get riders who are better skiers and try snowboards at first and get pummeled since they can't hold an edge. It's also easer over all to learn on skis at first due to the ability to move around easier while standing.

3) Conditions change by the hour, day and week, etc. We rode and trained new riders yesterday in fresh, soft and fast snow in the morning and by afternoon it was soft, slow slush. We'll get anywhere from soft snow, to rock hard drifted snow to ice. If you live in the mountains, then it's not as big of a deal, but understanding and knowing the conditions will help determine kite sizes, etc.

4) Only kite at a resort if there are wide open areas. The more open the better the wind. Just like water, larger bodies of water will have less gusty winds for the most part.

5) Wear a helmet and any other protection if the surface is hard or hard underneath.

I hope this helps and have fun.


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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby Starsky » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:04 pm

toyletbowl wrote: 5) Wear a helmet and any other protection if the surface is hard or hard underneath.
Thought I'd repeat that one since matth chimed in.

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:18 pm

Toyletbowl is right :thumb:

Would just add:

If you havent really skiied a lot before (or maybe not at all), then you can start on a snowboard right away !

Because it is really easy, so even if you have NEVER stood on a snowboard, you will most likely be able to ride immediately first try ever, because it is so much like a TT.

But in case you ski very often, or really good, use ski's as Toyletbowl recommends - what you feel most comfy with.

Otherwise, if only rarely out on skis, you can start on a snowboard right away IMO, even without ever having tried it :naughty:

Just start with a small kite, before you start jumping - as you can ride with a ridiculously small kite (and much easier to launch and handle) when you just want to ride and go upwind :rollgrin:
You can also jump with a small kite - as the apparent wind means you can jump quite high with a small kite - but beware - you fall REALLY hard and it is NOT water (you will know that after a day on the snow/ice) :roll:

8) Peter

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby waynepjh » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:59 pm

Snow kiting opens up another dimension of a wind powered sport. I here so many people talk about how that looks to dangerous or not that fun. Climbing mountains in minutes instead of hours is truly an amazing thing. You are denying yourself a great experience and a chance to learn things on the snow you wouldn't learn on the water.
Knowing how to leave your lines attached is key to getting more enjoyment out of the day. I cringe when I see people trying to walk there lines out in waist deep snow. Its not a difficult process and once you figure it out you will never take them off again.
If you live in an area with snow get on google earth and find a spot! We have found most of our spots here in wyoming by looking at wind gauges and google earth. Get out there and do it!
Here is a few videos from our crew. I hope you enjoy! wayne

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby edt » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:18 pm

toylet is right on, if you use skis stick with skis don't try to learn how to snowboard just because you think you are supposed to. use what you are used to.

As for lines on or off, it's all personal preference. I have 4 or 5 different bars, 10m, 20m, 25m, 40m and 60m depending and it is an absolute horror for me when I want to use my 40m bar with my 19 and realize it is packed up inside the 16 so I have to run back to the apartment go find the kite unroll it grab the bar etc, so for me it's always best to undo the bar, never sure which bar I want to use with which kite.

I don't mind having my hands out in -10F for a few minutes not a problem. But everyone is different some people lose the feeling in their fingers in seconds so they have to be more careful. Just remember when you take off your gloves in the minus temperatures put them in your pocket, not on the ground because it sucks when the gloves freeze so you can't put them back on again, so you need to stick them in your pants to thaw them enough to get them on again.

Explore find your own spot, frozen lakes can be amazing, so are soccer fields, go hit that park with all the picnic tables and do some slides on them and there is this landfill I have been looking at for a few years, this is the year it finally has enough snow to poach it. When there is this much snow the locations are wide open.

Go out explore the winter won't last much longer and once it melts we will have to go back to our usual warm weather launches.

There are very few ski resorts that allow snow kiting, and you have to pay for a lift ticket anyway if you do go there, I would recommend using your eyes and like wayne said google earth look around find places that look like they are full of powder and wind.

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby snowflick » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:17 am

It is very fun to go uphill and downhill while kiting. The relief of the terrain is something that can add to the experience !

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby Zimo » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:15 pm

Snowkiting options are powerful! Of course, it is an extreme and each has its own desirable and possible level. But as in all sports, to be able to do special things need to train a lot. If it`s yours, then go ahead and everything is possible :) - such as MEGA-Loops

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Re: snow kite- is it hard as its look like?

Postby fernmanus » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:19 am

I will add my 2 cents...

Snowkiting on a frozen lake or flat field is easier than learning how to kite on the water.

However, becoming proficient to ride in the mountains has a steeper learning curve for several reasons:
1. Elevation - unless you are in excellent shape or well acclimated, people that live at sea level that travel to mountain terrain upwards of 10,000 feet in elevation often get winded setting up their lines, let alone riding.
2. Wind shadows - due to the 3D terrain in the mountains riders need to become proficient at reading the topography to avoid wind shadows.
3. Riding slopes - it often takes riders several sessions to learn how to navigate up and down slopes. Due to the updraft effect of a slope, new riders often have difficulty riding down a hillside.
4. Deep snow - we often ride larger kites on the snow in order to move through deep snow and ride in lee areas.
5. Ignorance/arrogance - I am surprised at how many experienced water riders get their butts handed to them the first few times they ride in the mountains. I see them launch a kite, drop it in a wind shadow and post hole back to the launch site, completely spent. They don't bother to ask locals for advice.
6. Extreme locations - some of the best terrain requires backcountry skills. That means avalanche safety courses, the conditioning to skin up large slopes and/or use a snow machine. These skills are not acquired quickly or inexpensively. Just know that places like Skyline, Strawberry, Bondurant, and Camas Valley that are accessible by road are just the beginning. The best places are a bit further out of reach.

One more thing, when you travel to the mountains, be ready to self launch and land your kite. Due to deep snow conditions and the demands of being at elevation, you need to be self-reliant and not expect people to go running after your kite. All that being said, the challenges of mountain snowkiting make it the pinnacle of kiting IMHO. Hope to see all of you out there on snow.

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