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 itching. Snowkiters ... Often they are kite surfers who also love 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 that your equipment is ready, chances are that as soon as the wind blows a bit, you can have fun in 'fresh Dutch powder'.

Snow kiting explanation

Type of snowboard or skis

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

Foilkite or tube kite

Snowkiting is possible with a foilkite as with a tubekite. 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.

Choose your snowkite spot carefully

Safe out, safe at home. Do you remember. You don't snowkiting every day, which is why you keep extra safety margins. Therefore, choose your 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 is certainly not necessary on the beach. It is also possible on a piece of land in the polder. As a civilized snowkiter does, you of course ask the farmer or horticulturist for permission.

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 Demolition 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 saltfotografie.nl

Think in advance for long distances

If you are planning a snowkite trip with long trips over plains, it is wise to consider a number of things. First, make sure your equipment 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 superfluous luxury. You will have to be able to move around 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 make 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 snowstorm in which you literally can't see a thing. As a final tip: wear a helmet. This provides insulation but above all protection for your head.

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