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The Snowkiting Forum - View topic - Questions about snow kiting
It is currently Mon Aug 08, 2022 11:46 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
 Questions about snow kiting 
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Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:12 pm
Posts: 5
Post Questions about snow kiting
I am interested in giving this a shot.

I live in central Montana and while I have been a long time windsport person I have only tried Kitesailing a few times. I was with my brother in Florida. He is an advanced intermediate kiter and when he came up here last year on vacation we tried some snow kiting in ID. We didn't have much luck on account of the weather but I definately developed some interest on account of the weather here and the opportunities. So....

1. What is the difference between kiting a foil kite and an inflatable? We used my brothers inflatables last year and they seemed to work fine but I am guessing the bladders are not going to take too many slams on a hard packed surface without bursting especially when it is cold out.

2. If you are going to ride a snow board do you go with an all mountain board that is a little more powder oriented or more of a park board? Do you ride your good board or do you buy a piece of crap that you can beat to death? How tough is snow kiting on your board?

3. Can you crossover your snow kiting equipment to kiteboarding? I still windsurf quite a bit but I have to drive long distances to get good conditions. I doubt I will stop windsurfing but I would like to be able to kite when the wind is less than 25kts. Plus it seems a lot more fuel efficient for me to load up the car with 2 or 3 kites, a bar or two and two kite boards than having to load up my trailer with all my windsurfing stuff. Right now each windsurfing trip costs me on the average of about $100.00 in gas on account of the trailer. Kiting would be a hell of a gas savings. Probably $25.00 a trip.

4. If I want crossover equipment what is my best bet on kite type? C kite, bow kite, ram air foil? etc....

5. I am going to be down in Puerto Rico working the end of September for a few weeks. I expect to be able to fit in some real lessons instead of the half assed stuff I have done in the past. So I am hoping to get back to Montana with some kite skills and safety knowledge. Does kitesurfing knowledge transfer pretty well to snowkiting or am I going to need some dedicated snow kiting lessons?

6. How much does altitude effect the kite size charts the manufacturers post? I know from windsurfing here in Montana that I easily sail a 6.2 metre sail when I would be sailing a 5.7 at sea level. I was curious if you up size your kite depending on the altitude you are flying at? I guess the higher you go it is likely the wind just gets stronger anyway so it is probably a mute point. I am guessing that for winds less than 20 kts or so you are looking at a 13.0 or a 11.0 kite? Does this sound correct based on a 200 lbs person?

Thanks
Tom


Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:38 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:19 am
Posts: 1
Post Re: Questions about snow kiting
I'm really interested in snowkiting but would love to have a kite that I can use for kitesurfing aswell. I'd really appreciate it if somebody could answer Tom's questions - I was about to ask them all myself but Tom saved me the trouble.

Thanks

Rich


Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:23 am
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Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:12 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: Questions about snow kiting
Hi Rich:

I cross posted my questions to the Power Kite forum. I imagine this one doesn't get too busy till the snow is flying in earnest. I have had some replies there that may help you.



Good luck.
Tom


Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:01 am
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Post Re: Questions about snow kiting
Tom & Rich,

Thanks for the great questions. I'll try my best to answer them concisely:

1. A depowerable foil kite has the advantage of being able to reverse flying direction (fly forward or "break" backwards) and pack up quickly/easily into a backpack. Also, as you surmised, it can take impacts on packed snow a little more gracefully than a rigid inflatable kites. They tend to be prefered for backcountry, expedition, and mountaineering snowkite activity. Inflatable kites have the advantage of rotating quicker on their wingtips (turning). They tend to be prefered for freestyle snowkiting.

2. I suggest a stiff, twin-tip snowboard with a slight (non-aggressive) sidecut. The trouble with traditional snowboards is that the twin-tip boards that are intended for the terrain parks are very flexible and have aggressive sidecuts. The stiff boards that are intended for powder are never symmetrical (twin-tip)... So this is why snowkite specific snowboards have been designed; ( & ). Next, I suggest starting with a beater snowboard for starters.

3/4. You can use the same harness and kites for both snowkiting and kitesurfing. I recommend either an inflatable bow/hybrid kite or a twin-skin foil ( check out Peter Lynn Kiteboarding ).

5. You can't drown while snowkiting, but you can smash into buildings and other obstacles. Lessons and direction from advanced kiters are always advisable. I suggest going with an experienced friend (or your brother).

6. Your estimations for kite size sound correct. I would guess that the ratio of windsurf sail sizes at altitude vs sea level would be approximately the same for kites. We could break out some density altitude equations, but theory can't replace experience. Start with the smallest kite possible, then work up as you gain confidence and additional skills.

I hope this answers you questions. Good luck & please return with your snowkite questions!

- Eric


Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:17 pm

Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:12 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: Questions about snow kiting
Eric:

Thanks! Great information. I appreciate your time.

Tom


Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:29 am
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Post Re: Questions about snow kiting
Tom - not sure where you are in Cent. MT but I live in Lewistown and have been looking for riding partners this upcoming season in the area. There's a few in Gt Falls & lots in Bozo but not many in the middle. I have permission to kite several places on private land and a few public access spots in the area when there's snow.

An event in Dec down near Anaconda would be a good place for you to start with lessons and an opportunity to see numerous kite styles & brands flying.

I use my longest snowboard to kite with - just like the stability & float in powder.

You might contact Cole @ about lessons.


Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:20 pm

Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:12 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: Questions about snow kiting
Thanks. I would love to get down to Anaconda. And Lewistown is a great spot. I am jealous.

I am dedicated to work out of State the first part of December so hopefully I will be back in time for the Anaconda event.

A couple of the Great Falls riders have reached out to me via the forums. I am waiting till I get back in town to contact them.

Regards
Tom


Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:47 am
Profile
Post Re: Questions about snow kiting
I am from PR and have snowkited a handful of times in Vermont.
I don't know if you guys have access to a kite quiver but allot depends on the speed of the wind and your weight obviously cause it always does in this sport.
all my kites are water kites so they all have inflatable bladders, not ideal for snow.
Foil is the smartest way to go when kitting on snow.
Contrary to what allot of people have said, I believe that snow is more dangerous than water, I don't know about you guys but I ride in fields (you know go to the farmers house, explain what you want to do and most of the time in VT they will come out and watch you).
I recommend a powder board which varies depending on your size of course.
I don't know if anything I wrote helped anyone, but always remember we practice a very dangerous sport, lofting still exists on land as it does on water and if you have ever been lofted you know how scary that is. Do your homework study the wind at least 2 days before you launch, have fun and don't go alone EVER on land or on water.
Start small it's better to be underpowered than out of control.
Kind regards,
Lance,
San Juan, PR


Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:05 am

Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:12 pm
Posts: 5
Post Re: Questions about snow kiting
Lance:

Thanks for the hints. Good advice.

I was just in Aguadilla working for a few weeks. You have a beautiful island and wonderful people in Puerto Rico. I met a lot of kiters on the West Coast and took some lessons down in La Paguera. What a good time!

I highly recommend PR to all of you who have not been. The water is beautiful, the wind is consistent, the cost of living is really affordable and the people are very nice. I did not have a bad meal my whole time on the island and there are so many things to do while there. Surfing, diving/snorkeling, Kiting, windsurfing, enjoying the beach. The West Coast is beautiful and laid back.

If you have gone to PR and only been to San Juan you need to go back and enjoy the rest of the island too.


Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:50 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:21 am
Posts: 241
Post Re: Questions about snow kiting


Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:58 pm
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