On the beach in the summer you might find many a kiteboarding enthusiast. However in more bleak-than-balmy months of winter, most kite boarders put their gear and storage and wait. But why wait when you can snow-kite, and after all that holiday eating you’ll be happy to hear, there’s no bikini required.
What is Snowkiting: It’s just like it sounds. It’s an outdoor winter sport—quite similar to kiteboarding—where adventurers use kite power to glide and do jumps on snow or ice, but with the footwear used in skiing or snowboarding.
How to Start: Pros can do tricks that look like they’re seamlessly soaring through the air, but if you want to hop on the kite train, you should take lessons from a qualified kiting instructor. They say skis are easier to learn on, even if you’re a snowboarder. Snowkites can accelerate up to 50 mph and the lifting power of the wind allows kiters to jump to distances of up to 100 feet.
What You’ll Need: A kite (including control bar and lines), a board or skis, a harness and safety gear including a helmet and normal snowboarding. Rates for rentals vary by location and instructor.
Where Can You Snowkite: Once you’re set to snowkite on your own, you can kite anywhere there is wind and snow! The best (and safest) bet is an open clearing. Somewhere there are no trees to get in your way or obstacles to disrupt the wind. You’ll never need a lift pass to get you up the mountain.
How Long It Will Take to Learn: Depends on your learning curve (some of you are natural athletes) but average, about three days. An instructor will teach you how to set up your gear, launch, land, re-launch, steer the kite, and maybe even a little about wind charts.
Now is the best time to try your hand at flying.