Snow kiting is the latest winter sport. Large highly controllable foil kites are used to blast kite pilots along with just the power of the wind! The ‘big air’ jumps that boarders and skiers are pulling under the power and security of power kites are simply breath taking.
Snow kiting is a lot easier to learn than kiteboarding on the water! It is easy to stand on snow, which makes the whole process easier! It also takes a lot less wind to drive a board across snow than it does across water. The whole learning experience is lot less daunting as you need much less power and wind to get you moving.
Finally, holding an edge in snow is much easier than in water making up wind progress much easier to master.
All you need is snow and a power kite and you can turn a cold winter’s day into a blistering, adrenaline soaked experience!
To snow kite you will want a foil type kite since it is completely soft in structure and cannot be damaged easily when the kite is slammed into the ground. Foils are also capable of reverse launching which is very important for re-launching these kites from the snow.
Choosing Your Kite
Unlike water, snow conditions, change daily. When you consider a kite size, you must also take into consideration the main style of terrain. It will take more kite power to pull you in fresh powder than it will on packed snow or icy conditions. The most popular size for most winds and and terrain is the 5.0 square meter size. The 5.0 is ideal for the medium winds of 12-18mph. A 3.0 will work in super high winds, over 15mph and a larger 7.0-9.0 foil will be the preferred size for lighter 10-15mph winds.
Selecting a Place to Ride
Make sure it is a large area free of all obstacles. Consider what might be under the snow. You don’t want to land on a sharp pole, etc. Pay attention to the area directly downwind of the riding area. You don’t want to get pulled into a roadway, etc.
Flat land or rolling hills is much preferred over mountains.
You must find a place with consistent winds.
Choose a snowboard with a long effective edge to resist against the kite, but is still short enough to keep the swing weight down.