Snowkiting attracts thrill seekers to the native frozen lakes
“While you begin to really feel the facility of the wind… it is virtually like flying. It is a massive thrill, ” stated a single winter sport snowkiter fanatic.
Have you ever observed the eye-catching sight on the area’s lakes this winter? On some days, particularly windy days, you possibly can see dozens of enormous, colourful kites flying over the frozen lakes.
It is known as snowkiting – a winter sport that makes use of a kite and wind energy to glide over snow. It is much like kitesurfing on water, besides as an alternative of a surfboard or kitesurfing, the boot is a pair of skis or a snowboard.
Snowkiter Dave “Kite Man” Younger runs a WhatsApp group to attach snowkiters and kitesurfers and Mark Chandler is an avid snowkite skier. Whereas Chandler is snowkiting on his skis, Younger makes use of a snowboard. Each say they’re hooked on sports activities.
So what is that this sport?
“When you begin, it is addicting,” Younger says. “While you begin to really feel the facility of the wind, there’s nothing prefer it. It is calm and also you’re simply driving; it is virtually like flying. It is an ideal thrill.
Chandler says the phrase “addicting” is an efficient description of the game, saying it is the sensation of freedom that one thing so simple as a kite can provide you. “There’s a little bit of a studying curve, however as soon as you work it out, you are hooked!”
How did you get entangled?
Younger and Chandler, each of their 50s, have been nonetheless energetic within the sport, however solely began kiting extra lately, and after they did, it was on the water. Then they found snowkiting as a technique to get out and be energetic through the winter months.
Younger defined that the majority snowkiters (in all probability round 90 p.c) are additionally summer season kitesurfers.
“I’ve at all times been an alpine skier,” Younger stated, however by no means snowboarded till I took to the board behind a kite this winter.
Chandler says the abilities he realized in different sports activities, corresponding to water snowboarding, crusing and flying, all got here collectively to assist him observe kitesurfing and browsing.
“I discover snowkiting one thing that I can get pleasure from for hours on finish. It’s not as bodily demanding and tiring as many different sports activities and, not like alpine snowboarding, there is no such thing as a ready in traces or sitting on chair lifts, ”he stated. Clarify.
The best way to begin as a newbie?
“Actually, what it’s a must to be taught to do is fly a kite,” Younger stated. “It is fairly fundamental, you will have an enormous kite with 4 traces which can be all hooked up to a management bar in your harness, which works round your waist. The 2 outer traces are used for steering. “
Chandler provides that the game is about 80% kite ability and 20% snowboarding or snowboarding. “Realizing how one can navigate and perceive the wind can also be helpful.”
Younger and Chandler each confused the significance of taking classes, particularly in studying extra about security.
“It will probably get very harmful,” Younger stated, “particularly when you have gusts of wind.” He stated licensed instructors could possibly be discovered by doing a easy web search or by phrase of mouth.
What sort of tools do you want?
“Properly, I’ve 16 kites – massive kites for mild winds, small kites for robust winds and all the things,” Younger defined.
Younger admits he has an entire assortment of drugs. It additionally has 12 or 13 completely different boards to go well with completely different circumstances. The excellent news is that you’re utilizing the identical kites on snow as you might be on water.
Along with kites, boards and skis, important tools additionally contains your harness and management bar. You might also want a pump. There are two kinds of kites: an air-filled kite with an inflated bladder; and a “leaf”, typically used for lighter winds.
Like several sport, the sky appears to be the restrict (no pun meant) in the case of kiting.
For Younger, who kite 160 occasions final 12 months (virtually each different day), having the ability to select the appropriate tools for the day is essential. However he insists that for the newbie snowkiter you simply want the fundamentals – kite, harness and management bar, plus your skis or snowboard.
The place are your favourite spots for snowkiting?
“Wherever there’s wind!” Younger and Chandler responded. “The course of the wind determines the most effective location.”
“The truth is, right here on Lake Couchiching is certainly one of our favourite locations for snowkiting,” stated Younger. “When the circumstances are good, with winds of eight to 10 knots, it is incredible.”
Do you take into account snowkiting to be an excessive sport?
Whereas the game has some excessive points, particularly when an completed kiter performs jumps and flips, Younger and Chandler say it’s a sport accessible to a variety of ages and health ranges.
“We now have an ideal kiter neighborhood,” Younger defined. “Most people I kite with are my age, however we now have lots of younger kiters in addition to some of their sixties. And there are simply as many ladies.
“Sport would not require lots of energy,” Chandler stated. “It is extra a query of steadiness, of having fun with the wind and the joys of the journey.”
“While you be taught to immerse the kite within the energy window; simply maintain it there and begin; it is actually enjoyable, ”Younger added.