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 snowkiting basic info? 
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:23 am
Posts: 2
Post snowkiting basic info?
hello, I am trying to get a little info before i start up some snowkiting... i already snowboard and i was wonderingg...

1. is it possible to snowkite up a 45 degree incline without smacking your kite on the side of the hill? If so, what factors make this more possible, any equipement that improves this, any areas?
2. How easy is it to turn your board, how much 'give' does your line give you, movement laterally, while you are being pulled by kite, how far can you arc back and forth across terrain while being pulled downhill say.
3. is it perhaps the case that amateur snowkiters go on level ground, while experienced snowkiters can learn to go over steep up and down terrain?
4. what areas in the U.S. would provide constant strong wind against the side of a mountain/some hills, where one could snowkite up hills consistently?
5. perhaps a ski area that has a lot of fairly steep * Tunnel * or ravine shaped runs that catch the wind and channel it up or down would give enough constant wind to allow people consistently kite uphill at an angle? I know snowkiting is fairly new so there is probably not a dedicated field like this but perhaps someone knows some area like this? < a trench about 15 foot deep and 30 or 45 feet wide that is positioned so as to channel wind caught travelling thru a mountain pass,trench cut shaped like a hemi-spere/half circle, would be ideal, because your kite would not usually catch the side of the trench or the mountain, it is too low, and you could cross back and forth inside of the trench from side to side, rough terrain can be placed in the trench. if the trench focuses wind then an uphill ride would be easier... sure no place exists like this but could anybody mention something similar they know of?>
6. how fast in general can you get going while snowkiting, does your speed match windspeed, is it say 1/2 of the wind speed on your kite?
7. suppose you smash into ground... what systems can keep you from being dragged over rough terrain? perhaps something that can fold the kite up causing it to land and or retract the kite reel it in?

my favorite part of snowboarding is going downhill over very rough terrain and moguls and navigating like this. I hear lots of snowkiting is done on level ground (providing strong, constant wind speeds to pull you) this just sounds boring.
even if you are being pulled, being pulled across flat ground sounds like taking a ride in my car. So I am trying to find out how hard it is to do it over the terrain i would normally select, and if possible to try some uphill.


Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:43 am
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Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:10 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Eastern Nebraska
Post Re: snowkiting basic info?
You are right that flat is boring. Jumping/jibing icefishing shacks, boosting off of kickers to get 20ft of air, and throwing rotations on little 5-10 ft jumps is not really my cup of tea unless I have to be doing it. For me, I would rather be on terrain!

You do have to start out on the flat to begin with. Even if you have sailed a windsurfer or a sailboat, you still need to learn kite control, the wind, and learn how to get upwind. After that, learning little 2-5ft jumps is essential to knowing how to "not jump" when you do not want to. So you will spend some time on the flat mastering these basics. Back when I was learning the flat, I always had this one thought in my head that kept kiting the flat from being boring. I never vocalized it until my more experienced friend finally said it. One day when we were first tackling terrain he said "Ya know, I am scared every time I first go to launch the kite". At this I grinned and said, "I have been thinking the same thing but have been too embarrassed to say it". So while the flat becomes boring, it will still provide you with a rush like hitting a new jump on a ski hill for the first time every time you set your kite up. If you make it past this fear as I almost did not, you will be hooked during your entire progression through snow kiting. There will never be a dull moment until you get your first taste of terrain and then have to go back to the flat. But freestyle can be fun too, as can learning to kite rough ice or smooth ice with a "SwitchBlade" ice runner on a snowboard. In these conditions, the wind speed can easily be exceeded by even a novice kiter. For more info on this, look up how an ice boat can go faster than the wind speed.

As far as your questions about terrain, going up hill is can be as much fun as going downhill. Kite angle is usually not too much of a problem when you use a kite loop. This is something that you learn in time but is difficult to explain. Basically, on any windward face of an angle you would snowboard down, you can easily loop a kite to get up in 15mph of wind. But I will have to say that mountain terrain is dangerous. You need to be an expert to kite there as updrafts can be deadly to even an experience kiter. The best place to learn terrain after you have mastered the flat is open fields with 20-60ft gulleys that the wind pipes straight up. Exposed treeless hills are also perfect places to learn terrain. I do not know one terrain snowkiter that would take a day on the mountain riding chairlifts over a day on the hills riding those hills with a kite. Kiting terrain is just like having turned the world on edge and having the whole slope to yourself.


Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:21 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:23 am
Posts: 2
Post Re: snowkiting basic info?
much thanks! very useful valuable info for a beginner!


Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:48 pm
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