Winter snowkiting topics and locations.
Don't know what the wind will be like Friday, but i'll be up at my ski lease in North Lake Th night and hoping for some kiting on Friday.
I'll be calling Tyler the day before on his wind projections. I have 8 and 11m Inflateable and a 12 meter foil, might be good enough if the wind gets to 15 or so...
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I took my 9m up for New Years. It was windy as all get out in the ridges riding the lifts, but the meadow below Sugarbowl looked still and calm. I thought I could see a red kite sitting on the ground on Sunday.
For the original question about kite sizing. I find you can go really small if you want to. Remember that you don't need to get planning, you're standing on the snow already. It it's hardpack snow you're edges are pretty efficient compared to a kiteboard and so you can go upwind pretty easily too. If you want to boost like on the water you do need more power though. The nice thing about rigging small is that it's a lot more accessible for beginners. They can stand there without the kite dragging them around, and get good at working the kite to build up speed. Very useful if they're looking to get on the water later. If you have a hill it's also nice to be able to loop the kite to drag you downwind uphill, then park it and do turns back down.
Good point on the issue of planing on the snow. Even if u have powder conditions, u need very little pull to get u going. That being said, if u are slightly buried in powder i found it nice to have the power to pull out of it. I will have to try a smaller kite my next time out and see if i notice a difference. Tyler is possibly having the launch area groomed by the royal gorge staff, which would make launching even easier in months to come.
What indicators do you look for as far as wind? I want to snowkite sometime this winter but don't really know when the bet time is as far as wind...... I was thinking of the meadow near 89/88.
Snowkiting is in full session up here in Alaska. Typically I fly smaller kites in the same winds as I would while kiteboarding. About the only time we go the same size is if the snow is deep / wet or were going backcountry / multi-day and wanting the extra pull up out of valleys, ravines and of course to get pulled uphill.
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if you can kite competently on the water (and i mean, go upwind 100% of the time, do transitions, jump a little) you don't need a lesson to snowkite (assuming you can already snowboard / ski)
technique is similar. going upwind is trivially easy.
the hardest part is dealing with terrain. kiting uphill / downwind is confusing. if you drop your kite behind a hill then you are pretty much screwed and have to crawl thru powder to drag it into the wind again.
90% of the time I've gone snowkiting, I'm out on the biggest kite I own. those are the best days. if it's really windy, then the snow either gets blown off and it becomes ice, or it's a blizzard and you can't see anything. you want those clear days with 12 mph winds...
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