Snow & Power Kiting
With the winter weather abound, it is quite easy to get downcast when thinking about when your next water kiteboarding session will be. Fortunately, snow kiting opens a whole new realm of opportunities! One of the greatest aspects of snowkiting is its accessibility, providing an abundant environment for learning the basics. With water starts and the increased resistance removed, it is quite easy to get moving on a pair of skis or snowboard – whatever your preference is they both work exceedingly well! For people already versed in kiteboarding, snow kiting is a great way to sharpen your flying skills in the normally more dominant months while still getting that rush. For those who want take snowkiting even a step further, the sport can get quite extreme, involving massive tricks, blistering speeds, and jumps hundreds of feet through the air.
Foil or inflatable kite?
Both foil kites and leading-edge inflatable can be used on the snow. Foil kites are often popular because of their high efficiency, durability, and quick setup. Many foils kites come ready-to-fly, meaning the bar and lines are already attached to the kite (due partially to the complex bridle system). Because of this, you’ll want to be very deliberate when putting away your snow kite so the lines don’t get tangled. Inflatable kites work well also, but depending on the temperatures, tinkering with small parts can be insufferable. Also, collisions into ice and hard snow formations are much more likely to cause damage/puncture the bladder.
What size do I need?
For most conditions you’ll want to use a kite a few sizes smaller than you would on the water due to less friction. For small riders, a trainer kite will even work well, and on many trainer kites the bar can be modified with a strap to work with a harness (link to harness line fix). Foils will also be more efficient than their LEI counterparts, another important consideration when deciding what kite is right for you. The Apex and Matrixx foil kites are both shop favorites, offering lots of performance while providing ample amounts of depower. The Tensor series works well, but doesn’t offer sheetable depower, which can make longer sessions exhausting on the arms.
New to snow kiting? Visit our knowledge center here for even more information. Or give us a call at 800-622-4655 and talk to the experts. Since we live in Michigan we ride what we sell for snow kiting.