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 Looking to get into Snowkiting/Kiteboarding 
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 2
Post Looking to get into Snowkiting/Kiteboarding
Hey I'm a snowboarder that lives an hour away from even a smaller ski hill, but there are a ton of wide open spaces and not to mention I live right on Little Bay De Noc of Lake Michigan which freezes in the winter and is watersports heaven in the summer time.

Im looking to get into the sport, but I don't know what the best way to go about it is. I wish I could try before I buy, but I've never seen anyone around here do any kind of kite sports. I'm sure I would love it, just not sure how hard it would be to learn without any instruction other than videos.

Guess I'm just looking for some insight on where I should start and what would be some good starter gear. I dont want super cheap gear, but I dont want to pay an arm and a leg either. Also are there kites that are good trainers, but are also big enough to keep me satisfied for a while. I dont know how long it takes to learn how to snowkite, but I like to think I'm a pretty quick learner with most things, and I feel I'm already a pretty good snowboarder. I just dont want to buy a small trainer kite and then have to buy a new bigger kite a few weeks/months later if i dont have to.

Lastly, I was wondering if there was a difference between kites used for snowkiting and kiteboarding? Are there kites that can be used for both? If I did get into snowkiting I know I'd want to try kite boarding in the summer.

Thanks in advance for any feedback, recomended setups, advise, anything you can tell me would be greatly appriciated.


Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:50 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:02 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Post Re: Looking to get into Snowkiting/Kiteboarding
Hey Hoff, welcome to snowkiting!!

I'm a partial moderator here on the forum, and the president of the UND Snowkite Club. I'll do my best to help ya out.

Alot of questions, and I have some answers for ya. The path your trying to take is common. Rest assured it can be done. Let me know if I forget anything or if stuff is unclear.

There are a few kite schools around lake michigan. You can take formal lessons, demo kites, and pick up gear from these locations. I am based in Grand Forks, ND which is a drive for you, there is a big kite school in duluth affiliated with the university there. Closer to you, MAC kiteboarding (http://www.mackiteboarding.com/) runs out of a place near grand rapids.

For more schools around the lake, check out this link, there are alot listed http://michigan.kiteus.com/schools.htm

Regarding getting started, skim through this article I wrote for the site here

http://www.snowkiting.com/component/con ... udget.html

Keep in mind this is the bare minimum, and also snowkiting only based. We can speak about various kite sizes and brands after you scroll through.

Water sports do require a different style of kite. Its like a one-way valve though, you can use water kites on land, but you shouldnt use land kites on water. So yes, you could definitely start with one kite that could be your crossover for both seasons :)

Water kites use "LEI" or leading edge inflatable kites. Sole land users usually ride "foil" kites. Type in foil and lei kite in a google image and you will see the difference in how they are shaped/designed.

It is possible to learn on something a little larger than a "trainer" kite which are only around 1-4m. m meaning square meters in size. I learned on a 5m HQ apex, and things went suprisingly well. The only time I got banged up was if I was doing something stupid haha.

If it is possible to find a lesson center, I do strongly recommend you try out a lesson. If you can't make it out to one, I can do my best to walk you through setups and stuff. If at anytime you feel unsure about what you're doing STOP. guessing is not a good technique in this sport when you're starting. I have to say that you are dealing with an extreme sport, so safety is the absolute number one priority.

If you can find someone with a trainer that would be great. visit the forums and see if anyone is in your area. Like you said trainers don't last long. Your first kite, considering you will be on the water too, will be in the 7m range in my opinion. Start looking into LEI kites in that range and let me know what you find.

Good luck with your hunting and training. Let me know if you have any questions at all. I highly recommend the how to snowkite DVD volume 1 from this site. Its the most comprehensive how to film I've seen for the snow so far.

Matt

_________________
UND Snowkite Club, University of North Dakota
http://snowkiting.com/undsnowkiteclub/

12m Slingshot Snow Ranger, Snowboard, Landboard

Cold's got nothin on this guy


Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:36 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Looking to get into Snowkiting/Kiteboarding
Thanks for the info, after looking around I'm thinking I might just start with a foil for the winter and then look at getting a LEI later.

Unfortunatly, I know no anyone around here nor have I ever even seen anyone around here with a kite and Im still 4-8 hours away from any schools. I live in the upper peninsula of michigan so it's a long drive for me to go anywhere so I'm thinking this is going to be a self taught gig. I can handle some bumps and bruises as long as it's manageable to try to self teach.

In looking at kites, I was wondering what you'd think of a ozone flow 5m. Looked like a decent kite for the price range. Do you think it would this be a good kite to learn with and will it be enough to keep me busy for a while?

thanks again


Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:12 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:02 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Post Re: Looking to get into Snowkiting/Kiteboarding
No prob. I thought I'd see if there were any around you just because alot of people get into kiting not realizing there is a shop or school down the road.

No worries though, a ton of people self teach as well. Its totally doable. The foil lei combo is a good route and works for people on a budget.

how it usually goes is you buy a smaller foil to learn and start with (foils are more forgiving, less complicated, easy to set up) then you buy a bigger lei once you get better (riding in water requires alot more pull than riding snow). Then you can also use the lei in the winter as your lower wind, high lift kite.

The flow is a nice kite. Its a "fixed bridle" kite which means its set at one power setting all the time. The counter to this is a "depower" kite. Essentially all kites are steerable left and right. The depower kites however have an extra control dimension of power output. depower is what you will be looking for when you get into larger kites, but for learning i think the flow's fixed bridle simplicity would do well. i would go with the 5m. This will give you a small enough size to learn on lower wind days, and be strong enough to pull on higher wind days. I learned on a 5m and rode a full winter season with it and it did a good job,

_________________
UND Snowkite Club, University of North Dakota
http://snowkiting.com/undsnowkiteclub/

12m Slingshot Snow Ranger, Snowboard, Landboard

Cold's got nothin on this guy


Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:29 pm
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