Winter snowkiting topics and locations.
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Ok i am pondering getting some snow kites before the next snow season starts and well i should start looking for a deal now, right?
OK i am 160#, what kite(s) should i buy to pretty much cover me on the snow. I'd like to only have to buy 2. I really think foil is the only way to go so i am not that interested in a reverse launching tube kite. (although i have not tried them i will keep a little bit of an open mind here.)
what are the average real world wind ranges for
hope valley and
red lakes ridge?
Thanks for all your help,
I just started snow kiting this past year and man was it fun... Water still rains supreme but snow kiting rocks too.... its fast.... and not as cold as you'd think cuz your working it all time. I've tried my LEI's but ended up buying a couple used foils. While the LEI's are nice cuz they have the same flight characteristics that your used to on the water, I found that the foils are just so much easier and more user friendly on the snow. You can stop and just park them on the ground with absolutely no pull at anytime you want to take a break, and you don't have to mess around with air pumps etc. in the cold. I found all those stories about birds nests with the bridles a bunch of BS. The key is to never take off your flying lines and your bridles will never get messed up. Just wrap your lines around the bar, throw it on top of the kite and roll up the whole thing and shove it in the bag.... never hand a problem so far. I flew slingshot B series kites with the brake lines added on. While they are good solidly made kites the only problem is you can't depower them. (Brake lines do not equal depower they are for totally shutting off the power and reverse launching) I found that cold air gusts are a lot harder to deal with because the air is thicker it packs a lot more punch. If I had to do it again, I'd buy a depowerable foil. I saw a couple guys out on the Ozone frenzies and they could ride slightly overpowered to get some huge boosts but could still handle the gusts... while me on my B10 would accerate to mach 12 and be sliding across the snow on my gut.
Oh ya one thing to keep in mind with skiis versus snow board.... Snowboard will perform closer to your kiteboard and will let you handle more power by slide slipping on the single edge. But skiis can be hella fun cuz you go about twice as fast and can edge upwind like crazy, but they are harder to use in deep snow.
Depending on the wind ranges in your area I would suggest a 3-4M and a 6M if your on ice and hard pack snow. But if your more likely gonna be out on fields or lakes with heavy snowfall you might want a 4-5M and a 8M.
Have fun and don't forget to wear a good ski/snowboard helmet, and maybe some knee pads if your on ice.
The line tangle is indeed BS. It never happened to me out of the bag. Once in a while it will happen after a hard crush, but not common. The advantage of foils is usability, they launch almost immediately from any position.
You can get water relaunchable foils which you will be able to use on water as well. They are much more expensive, cost like an inflateable. The open cell foils cost about half, most of them are not depowerable. My buddy was flying a 12 Frenzy and did OK until the wind hit 20. From my short experience in Tahoe, gusts can be much stronger than on the water, so the big size becomes a liability. It can be OK until that nasty gust hits you. I was overpowered with a 5 that day in the gust. Skies could not hold the edge going upwind.
The speed on the snow is truly addictive and it is pretty physical sport.
I'm 160 lbs. also and uses a 6.8 Ozone Razor and a 9.0 Boom Vector both traction foil, high aspect ratio kites and designed for land traction (the Vector is water relaunchable also). Both generate more lift and power than low aspect ratio kite and have a wider wind window and greater upwind performance and they're all i need. However, they're less stable than low aspect ratio kites, if you depowered them too much too soon they will fall out of the sky. Invest on a depowerable kite and consider in your lists the MAC Bego, the medium-aspect Ozone Frenzy and Advance Offroad (both depowerable), a must for the extreme and erratic wind condition in the high alpine country. I agree with Elli & Windseeker, you can easily get over-powered even on a small 5 M so a depowerable setup is very important.
I have used the Boom Vector only once since acquiring it last year. I went on a trip to the Owens Valley and buggied on it using my Ozone Razor's lines and handles and my first impression of it so far is that it's very fast and responsive with very short and quick turning radius and the inlet valves on it does work pretty well. It's kinda hard to lauch it at first at low wind but once in the air it seemed to keep its shape the whole time, really a smooth and predictable kite. On the other hand I used its depower bar on my Razor in the snow and man what an awesome combo it was but i dont seem to get a lot of vertical lift out of the kite for some reason although the speed it generates can sometimes be very scary. I have no experience with the Advance Offroad but from my own research on it, i would almost think its in the same category as the Frenzy. How big is your FlySurfer, i heard nothing but rave reviews about it?
The Flysurfers are 5 and 10. The Maniac 5 was a nice friendly kite until I put WAC on it. Now it is fast and furious and in its wind range (15-20 and up) an adrenalin machine. I skied with it and the smile was so big you would think I sing in Vegas. The other is an Extacy 10. As funny as it sound, I prefer the Extacy 10 in strong wind than the 5 (after the WAC), because it does not fly as fast. The bigger size is also more inviting floaty jumps.
In terms of flight, the Extacy is the best foil I laid my hands on. When it is in the air it keeps its shape so well you would think its solid. The 5 is a close second. It also turns fast, the depower is very effective and the bar forces are great. You need force but not too much, just enough to let you know what the kite is doing and not spend extra energy.
Jumps are great with this kite, I always get the impression that it generates more pull on top than on the edge. Since it has depower, the jumps are easy and controllable. It jumps not as high as the Frenzy, but still much better control, and no tendency to collapse on the landing which happened to me a few times with the Frenezy. You can avoid it with better technique (pull the bar in before the landing) but with the Extacy you just don't care. Right, left pull bar and you are in an elevator, not getting much ground speed.
If you are into open cell the Extacy's cousin, the Rookie, is something I would love to have but don't enough cache (I need to offload some kites now).
Quality of these kites is unreal. The material is something I have never seen in any other kite. It is super thin and strong, and last pretty much forever. Those kites can be ancient and still look great. Same goes for the bar and the rest, these kites are bomb proof (#1100 center line ). I think it is something that was developed for aviation. The quality of these kites is so high that you would wonder if it matters. If they were little cheaper I would probably have another one.
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