Snowkiting explanation - A snowkite manual

Snowkiting explanation - A snowkite manual
Snow kiting explanation. Photo: Salt Photography

Snowkiting is a kite sport that really belongs to it. International, but certainly also in the Netherlands. Once the snow radar predicts snow, there is a group of kite surfers who immediately start to itch. Snowkiters… Often they are kite surfers who are also fond of winter sports. Every winter there are days when it snows. To really enjoy it you need about 10 cm of snow. If you make sure you have equipment ready, chances are that you can have fun in 'fresh Dutch powder' as soon as the wind blows a bit. On this page you can read the best snow kite tips.

Snow kiting explanation

Type of snowboard or skis

Snowkiting is one of the kite sports that we are passionate about. It is a form of kite surfing in the snow. It is possible with your kitesurf kite in combination with skis or a snowboard. In general, starting with snow kiting on skis is recommended. Because you would learn the technique of snowkiting faster with it. However, we have never done it on skis. There are special snow kite boards but that goes a bit too far for us. We choose a snowboard that is shorter than the snowboard we normally use for snowboarding. In addition, a flexible snowboard but also not too flexible. You have to be able to put pressure. With a board that is too flexible, you will quickly slip away when you put pressure on it. Almost all the tricks you do on the water while kitesurfing can also be done in the snow.

Foilkite or tube kite

Snowkiting is possible with a foil kite as with a tube kite. Where you previously mainly saw snowkiters with foil kites, nowadays you see many snowkiters with a tubekite snowkiting. So just with your kitesurf kite is no problem. Of course you do not have to water start with snowkiting, so a tube kite that floats is not necessary.

Surf / wave type tube kite

A surf/wave type kite is best suited for snowkiting. Precisely because a typical surf / wave kite can easily disempower you (depower). This way you can almost completely disempower a surf / wave kite if you get too much speed and prevent you from going faster and faster.

Size kite snowkiting

In addition, you need less wind. First of all, because you don't have to be pulled out of the water. Secondly, because you have less resistance with snowkiting than with kite surfing. You therefore have a smaller one size kite than you are used to. A rule of thumb for choosing the right size kite snowkiting in stronger winds? That is your normal size with which you would go kite surfing with the same wind divided by two.

Snow kite spots in the Netherlands

Safe out, safe at home. Do you remember. You don't do snow kiting every day, so you have to keep extra safety margins. Therefore, choose your snow kite spot very carefully. The more space, the better. Make sure there are no obstacles downwind that you could collide with. Every pole or trash can is already a risk. Snowkiting certainly does not necessarily have to be on the beach. It is also possible on a piece of land in the polder. As a civilized snowkiter does, you of course ask permission from the farmer or horticulturist.

More snow kiting tips

Provide personal protection as you are used to with snowboarding. In any case, wear a helmet. In addition, a seat harness ideal for snow kiting. One back harness over your layers of undergarments and jacket are guaranteed to slide up. For some fun, this is no problem. However, if you want to enjoy it longer or to prevent this, a seat harness is a godsend.

Snow forecast for the Netherlands

View wind and weather links to keep an eye on the current and forecast snow and wind forecast.

Professional snowkiting

There is a group of kite surfers who invariably go snowkiting every winter in the mountains or on snow plains. In the mountains you can make very long and far jumps because of the rising air. On wide snow plains is on speed popped and thoroughly freestyled. These snowkiters make handle passes, rip on sliders and do some tricks. We even saw one S-Loop pass by.

Snowkite vacation

For many kite surfers, snowkiting is something for you. However, there is also a group of kite surfers who have caught the snow kite virus well and who go on a snow kite holiday especially for it. Europe has beautiful destinations close by. For example, you can go snowkiting in Germany, France and Austria. Norway is also a favorite snow kite holiday destination. There are Dutch kitesurf shops en kitesurfing schools who organize snowkite trips.

On a snowkite holiday? This is snowkiting in Norway. Photos by Zout photography. View the entire series of photos and read the report

Think in advance for long distances

If you are planning to make a snowkite trip with long trips over plains, it is wise to take a number of things into account. First, make sure your gear is in order. Second, you have to take into account that the wind can drop. At that time, skis or a split snowboard are not a luxury. You will then have to be able to move without the help of the kite. In addition, good clothing, equipment such as snow goggles, etc., hot drinks and food are mandatory equipment when you go out. You also need to be sure that the area is safe. This can be done, for example, with the help of a guide. Finally, the wind and weather forecast is important to take into account. After all, you don't want to end up in a blizzard where you literally don't see a hand in front of your eyes. As a final tip again: wear a helmet. This provides insulation but above all protects your head.

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