Kite Snowboarding (Snowkiting)

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Kite Snowboarding
I spent last weekend at a friend’s cabin in Whistler, and from the back porch we spotted a guy kite snowboarding on the frozen lake. I had never seen this done before, but it looks like a lot of fun. Apparently, the proper term is snowkiting, and applies to using skis as well.

Snowkiting is an outdoor winter boardsport, combining similar kites and techniques used in kitesurfing, with the footwear used in snowboarding or skiing. In the early days of snowkiting, foil kites were the most common type; nowadays some kitesurfers use their water gear such as inflatable kites. Snowkiting differs from other alpine sports in that it is possible for the snowkiter to travel uphill when the wind is blowing uphill. Like kitesurfing, snowkiting can be very hazardous and should be learned and practiced with care. Snowkiting is becoming increasingly popular in places often associated with skiing and snowboarding, such as Canada, Iceland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden and the Northern United States. The sport is becoming more diverse as adventurers use kites to travel great distances and sports enthusiasts push the boundaries of freestyle, big air and back country exploration.

Some cool videos I found – The first is good compilation showing some awesome snowkiting on both skis and snowboards. The second video is a good example of how not to approach the sport, by getting 200m of air and hanging on the rope for dear life before crashing to the ground and narrowly missing rocks.


Comments (5)

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  2. Karl Woll says:

    Vankiter – Thanks for the info!

    May have to give it a go sometime :P

  3. VanKiter says:

    Kiteboarding in Vancouver is getting very popular! There are numerous schools that can teach you now, most only open during the summer months in Squamish. You can kite on the water year round in Vancouver but a significant portion of local kiters only kite the summer months.

    Snow kiting in and around Vancouver is unfortunately not that great. Green lake is pretty much the only accessible spot for the average day tripper and it doesn’t stay frozen for more than a month or two each year, with the exception of years that get really cold. If you are interested in kiteboarding in Vancouver, the water is your best choice. Look up one of the local schools in from May to September in Squamish and you will discover a incredible, eco friendly sport that’s exciting and challenging.

    Good wind to you!

  4. Karl Woll says:

    He intentionally went out during a hurricane? Crazy people.

    Kitesurfing seems to be getting more popular too, seeing more people in Kits in the summer doing it also

  5. Tyler says:

    Wow that’s insane. 200m up into the air? Good thing he didnt let go!

    I just saw something about kitesurfing and how some nut was doing it during Hurricane Fay and was thrown across the water, over land, over cars, and slammed into a building at over 100mph winds.

    Though driving to Whistler it is cool seeing KiteSurfers at the Spit. Cool idea to try snowkiting though. I wouldn’t try it.