Skiing has been a popular sport for over 150 years and snowboarding has also long been established as a winter sport. If you are looking for some fun in the snow and want to try something new, you should try snowkiting. Here, speed and snow combine to create a very special highlight.
What is snowkiting?
Snowkiting uses wind to literally glide over the snow with skis and sometimes even to fly briefly. The snowkiting equipment consists of:
- skis or snowboard
- the kite, a glider with brake lines, loops and handholds
- suitable clothing as for skiing
When learning to snowkite, skis have the advantage over the snowboard that they are easier to walk on the snow with and you can achieve the line tension of the kite by simply putting them back.
Which skis do you need for snowkiting?
Carving skis or freeride skis are best suited.
The start of snowkiting itself works by holding on to the handles and then pulling both handles towards you with a jerk.
The glider begins to rise in this way until it finally stands vertically directly above the kiter, at the highest point. The kiter positions himself in the wind window, the flight area where the wind is strongest, and triggers the start of kiting with the launch loop. And just like that, the wind pulls the rider over the snow and the fun begins.
Snowkiting, from how many knots of wind speed can you actually try it? Depending on the snow situation and condition, as little as 8 knots are enough to get going. Besides classic snow gliding, there are other variations. Professionals compete in freestyle, where points are awarded for tricks, jumps and manoeuvres, similar to trick skiing or snowboarding.
In the discipline Hangtime, the winner is the one who stays in the air the longest, which can be up to 10 seconds with flights of up to 200 metres, depending on the wind conditions. And in speed snowkiting, it’s all about who is the fastest glider.
Where is snowkiting allowed?
You’re probably asking yourself now: and where is snowkiting allowed? Is it possible everywhere?
If you want to learn snowkiting, you should definitely go to a snowkite school.
There you can start gently together with trainers who teach you the basics in theory and practice and show you how best to handle the kite.
And where can you snowkite? Even though all you really need to snowkite is an open plain without power lines, houses or roads, you should only do it on designated areas.
Snowkiting at the Achensee in Austria, snowkiting at the Reschensee in Italy or snowkiting in Germany at the Feldberg in the Black Forest are only three of various snowkiting spots where you can flit across the snow with your kite. Of course, there are also kite schools at all of these locations, so you can put your training into practice right there.
The prices for the courses are around 130 euros for a 4-hour day course.
If you want to try out snowkiting for the first time, you can try it out for one hour and pay around 50 euros. Private lessons are also possible, where a trainer can teach everything important intensively and individually in 1:1 lessons and give tips.