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What is Snowkiting?
by: Jakob Jelling
As if snowboarding and kitesurfing actually meshed into one single sport it would be Snowkiting. Imagine taking a lift high atop a beautiful mountain, you set your kite in motion and get your feet firmly planted you start your run down a long white hill. As you snowboard down the mountain your kite helps you gain speed and with a good gust of wind you too can be 10 – 15 feet in the air. With this much gravity you too can be implementing the same moves as the kitesurfer does including jibing and crossing over.
Snowkiting is another example of the popular extreme sport series as there are many hazards that circle this sport as well as kitesurfing. Snowkiters take their board to the mountain and ride the winds down fast and furious. Moguls and ramps can help you gain more air than you bargained for if you are a beginner. Starting slow and learning how to keep your kite in the air is the basic fundamental. Once you have mastered the techniques you will be flying in no time at all.
It doesn't matter if its natural snow or powder, you too can get up to 50 – 70 mph with the aid of your kite. Although the premise is still the same between the two sports, it takes a lot less wind to move you across the snow then it does across the water. Jumps and flips are easier and depending on how you land softer. Once your kite is launched and you begin your descent it is far easier to keep yourself on the snowboard.
You can either snowkite with skis or a snowboard; whichever one makes you feel the most comfortable. Many extreme riders prefer to use the board as there is more flexibility and ease. There are many vacation spots around the world that are now picking up snowkiting as a popular sport. Should you visit a ski resort and decide to go this route, you will need to take a lesson or two just to get the hang of the equipment.
Frenzy, Samurai, and Razor are popular kites available for the snowkiter. Depending on your budget, you can expect to pay $500 - $1500 for an entire setup. You may also find used equipment at ski shops in your area as well.