Hi - I've been kiting on the Atlantic coast for the last year but just moved to Omaha, Nebraska for work. I'm missing the easy access to water but winter is creeping in, and there should be lots of snowy, windswept fields soon - so I'd like to give snowkiting a try.
On the water I ride a 11m North Evo, and 15kts (17mph) is perfect for the kite (I'm 160lbs). If I take my kite out in the snow, what wind range should I look for, assuming no obstructions and 6 inches to a foot of snow? I'm concerned about getting overpowered and want to choose safe conditions - it sounds like it takes a lot less wind on land, but there aren't a lot of charts out there to reference.
If anyone here is familiar with mid-west snowkiting, what would be the ideal size for a foil for this area?
I can't wait for winter 67 degrees out last evening and now there's 2" of white stuff in the yard wahoo! There are many threads about this topic. In short, you'll be fine with an 11m tube but more importantly, think about the surface you're on and what hard things you will end up on. You'll probably trash your tube kite launching landing and crashing on less than ideal coverage. Add an 8m foil to your quiver and Omaha should be bearable this winter. Be safe!
Most people use tube kites on snow here. Be careful like you would with it anywhere on land. Most of our riding is lake or field. Nothing alpine or back country. Your hazards may vary. Snow and ice can range from super kite friendly to sharp and super abrasive.
Not as easy to give you a wind range for winter. So much depends on the snow. On the low friction of hardpack, a good kiter can make a go of an 11m as soon as it will fly. In a foot of powder you might need 15 knots or more depending on temp. There are lots of unique variables. I have started a session on a given kite perfectly powered until the sun got a little higher, the temp went up by 2 degrees and the snow got damp and sticky.... game over on that size. Anyway, its not really complicated, just not easy to say what your mileage will be. An 11m is a great mid size so you will get good use out of it. My main winter kite is an 11m LEI.
For me 11m LEI works between around 4-15 mph on snow, depending on the surface. If over 15 mph then 7m LEI, usually. Foil kite - yes but only if your winds are clean. If very gusty then better stick to LEI.
Sizing charts and permutations: you'll just have to try and see what works for you. Be ready to QR at the first hint of something going wrong. Putting your kite/bar back together after QR is way easier on snow, so no need to QR sparingly.
All depends on board skills and conditions. I can hold down more power on snow than I can on water, but if you're in two feet of powder it's much different than riding on ice. The thing to watch for on land though vs the ocean is it tends to be way more inconsistent and gusty on land, so always size for the max wind gust you expect to encounter that day.
Also it typically doesn't really take much to ride on hardpack snow. If it's an 8mph wind I can ride on my 6m or my 21m foils just fine, the 21m would have me boosting while the 6m would just be towing me around while working the kite.