Winter snowkiting topics and locations.
Hi all you winter rats. Gearing up to do some snow kiting this winter. Have some basic questions.
What wind speeds are needed? More or less than on the water?
Kite sizes? I hear that one size smaller works?
Anyone been out anywhere yet this winter?
I've found that wind speed needs to be about the same as on water to snowkite, however, the snow conditions & terrain are what dictates the kite size... at least it is for me. The deeper the snow the bigger the kite. I've sized up to a 11m in conditions I would only kite water with a 7m or smaller. The snow was knee+ deep and on the heavy (wetter) side will some hills, so the only way to get moving in that deep of snow and with the slope angle was to size up. On the other end of the spectrum, I've sized down to a 7m in wind conditions that I would need to fly a 10m or larger if I was on water because the snow was so firm.
Snowkiting on terrain and hills is much like riding in the surf, so having a slightly bigger kite will help you get over tough sections or up a hill a lot easier.
I understand the principals of altitude and it's effect on the air density causing some to size up in kite size in order to get enough power, but I find this concept only holds true on water because snow conditions and the given terrain will always be the determining factor of what kite size to fly no matter how high up you're kiting. Example: I've kited almost identical conditions, terrain and winds at two difference spots with nearly a 4K foot variance and a 20+ degree temp variance and I still used the same size kite. The conditions dictated the size I was on, not the altitude.
As for me... I'm still waiting for the coverage to get a little better in the Sierras. Stay tuned!
Anyone been up to the snow yet? I'm itching to get out. Figure a day or two in the park at sugar bowl will be a good start before hitting the backcountry.
I want to do an overnight up there soon. Could make room for another body from Santa Cruz area in the Westy.
Drive up early, ride, hang out and drink beer, sleep, ride and head home.
Anyone else interested?
Sierra snowkite was amazing. Tyler gives u a rundown of the place making it an easy transition. I will say u should strip down before pumping your kite - it takes forever at 7000ft and i got hot hot hot all geared up. I put up a 13m in 10-18mph winds. Some people had 17m! The altitude cuts the ability of the wind to pull u. They have 3ft of powder so it is great for learning and wiping out. I was tired after a 3hr session. It is much easier to body drag back to ur board on water than to crawl through powder.
Since there are not reliable wind sensors there. Just call Tyler the day before to see if there will be wind. His phone number is on the website.
Overall a very fun day and a great change of pace from my week of snowboarding at tahoe donner.
Sounds like an awesome and successful mission. Thanks for the report!
Can you elaborate on any major differences you noticed in technique between water and snow kiting? (Other than the obvious temperature differences - grin)...
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