Discover your snowkiting course and book it right here. Like kitesurfing, snowkiting is powered by the wind, while you glide almost silently and often in icy cold over the snowy landscape. Many people drive up to a mountain pass to find optimal wind conditions. Enjoy the fresh wind while you let yourself be pulled by the power of nature.
How did snowkiting originate, where does it come from?
Snowkiting, like kitesurfing, originated from kitesailing. Kitesailing means flying with a stunt kite. The kite is called a kite. The first developments were made as early as 1826, but it was not until 1990 that a kite buggy was first developed
The buggy, officially called a parakart, can be used with floats, runners or skis instead of wheels. Dieter Stragilla, who advanced paragliding with the development of the first paraglider, also experimented early on with parachutes on skis. After the invention of kitesailing, more and more variations were developed. These include kitebuggy riding, kitelandboarding, kitesurfing and snowkiting.
How is snowkiting done?
Snowkiting is practiced in winter on snowy, open areas. For this you need a towing kite and skis or a snowboard. When there is enough wind, you fly the kite, which pulls you on your skis or snowboard over the snow surface.
For whom is snowkiting suitable, what condition and experience do I need for it?
Snowkiting requires an average level of fitness. You do not have to be a top athlete to practice this sport. Previous kitesurfing experience is an advantage, but not mandatory. It is more important that you have already skied or snowboarded and are reasonably confident on them.
What equipment do I need for snowkiting?
For snowkiting you need
Skis or snowboard
Kite (tube kite or mat kite)
Hip harness or seat harness with leg loops
Kiteleash (safety line to the kite, preferably with neoprene cover)
Clothing, helmet, ski goggles and boots, windproof and waterproof gloves
Protectors on the knees, buttocks, elbows, head can be useful especially for planned jumps and little snow
For clothing, one-piece suits are popular, as they can not slip and keep warm well
Protectors can be improvised with isomats pads in the pocket of pants, but there are also protector pants to buy. In addition, a back protector is an absolute must to prevent serious injuries
The harness is used to relieve pressure on the arms. For beginners, a seat harness may be a better choice because it has leg straps. This prevents slipping up, which happens all the time with a hip harness
The kite leash connects your kite to your kite bar and to your harness by attaching to the locking ring. It has a quick release for emergencies, which is triggered at the kite bar and takes the pressure away from the kite. The kite is then still secured to the harness via the kiteleash and is thus prevented from flying away.
How long do I need for the snowkiting training?
There are professional snowkite schools for snowkiting training. For safety reasons, you should not try to teach yourself. In a professional school you will learn not only the correct use of the kite and important maneuvers in the snow, but also how to judge wind and weather correctly. In a snowkite school there are courses for beginners and for advanced
If you are already an experienced kitesurfer, you will get a transition course for the use of foil kites on the snow. Even as a beginner you will have your first sense of achievement after just a few hours. Important is the professional guidance. Even if you can already pull the kite quite well after a one-day course, a second and maybe a third day of training is advisable to deepen the procedures. For jumps and extreme freestyle tricks, however, you need a lot of time and practice.
Which kites should I use for snowkiting?
Soft kites (also called foil kites or ram-air kites) are the most suitable kites for snowkiting. Softkites are built like paragliders. They have upper and lower sails that are connected to each other by profile ribs. Softkites fill themselves with air when launched, building up a stable wing surface with an aerodynamic profile - just like a paraglider. Their advantage is also a very small pack size.
What are the costs of equipment for snowkiting?
In the beginning it is better to work with the material you already own. For the kite you have to calculate about 1,000 CHF including accessories. You can always buy more suitable clothing, other skis or another board later, when you are sure you want to continue this sport. Then you will also need two kites: one smaller and one bigger, depending on the wind conditions. Many snowkiting schools rent kites with proven training.
Is snowkiting dangerous?
As long as you only let the kite pull you, snowkiting is not very dangerous. In case of falls, however, there is a higher risk of injury than in kitesurfing, because ice is very hard. This is especially important to consider if you dare to jump. Then protectors on your clothing are also important, especially in the back area. Helmets are compulsory for the head. In your training at one of the professional snowkite schools, you will learn how best to behave in emergency situations, when to take the pressure out of your kite via the kite leash, or when to totally disconnect your kite for safety reasons.
What do I need to consider when choosing skis for snowkiting?
The skis should preferably be freeride or race carvers. It is important that they are curved upwards at the end of the ski. If you have to back up with the skis after landing in the backcountry or on the slope to restart the kite, they will dig into the snow easily in the other case and you would tip backwards. The skis would also get caught in the front between the kite bar and the lines. Especially in the beginning you will surely use the skis or snowboard you already own and know how to use. You should keep in mind: + The longer and straighter the skis or board are, the faster you can kite. + The shorter and more waisted the skis or board, the more maneuverable you will be when kiting.
Where is the best place to snowkite?
For snowkiting you need a lot of space and some wind. You should avoid ski slopes at all costs. Snow-covered meadows, flat valley floors or a frozen lake covered with snow are suitable. Snowkite spots can be found far away from the crowds. You can also use a slope to get pulled up. Down you go with or without a kite, which you can easily stow in your backpack. In snowkiting the term "backcountry" is often used. It stands for backcountry and remoteness. Very important for the right choice of the area is that there are no obstacles or power lines. On the site of Spotguide snowkite spots are displayed in winter, kitesurf spots in summer with their current weather forecast.
What is the difference between snowkiting and kitesurfing?
In kitesurfing, a board is used with the kite on the water. The board used today is mostly twin tips, where the feet are in loops. Directional boards (also called surfboard or waveboard) are used without loops
The size of the board gets smaller as you become more professional. On the water you can use both the waves and the pull of the kite as support for jumps
In snowkiting, the temperature is usually below freezing. Water has turned to ice and snow. This creates a higher risk of injury during jumps. On the other hand, you are safer on snow in your skis or on your snowboard than on water, because the ground does not move. You can snowkite in lower wind speeds than on the water. Wind speeds as low as 12 km/h are sufficient. The common feature of both sports is the kite.
What wind force is best for snowkiting?
Snowkiting requires a little less wind than kitesurfing. As a beginner, you should start with lower wind speeds. The right wind force also depends a little on the size of the tube kite you use and your weight. You can snowkite with wind forces as low as 3
The ideal wind force is 6-7 knots. Very good and experienced snowkiters can reach speeds of up to 80 km/h.