Snowkiting: An Extreme Winter Sport Worth Considering

Are you a bona fide adrenaline junkie in search for a new winter fix? You may want to check out the sport of snowkiting.

Here’s a bit more information to help you decide:

About Snowkiting

Snowkiting is an extreme sport that is an amalgamation of skiing or snowboarding and kite flying. It has reputedly been around since the 1980s but didn’t start gaining in popularity until the 2000s. There are other versions of it involving buggies and skates. Basically, in all versions you are pulled along and lifted over the terrain of your choice by the wind and a kite. You may reach speeds of 10 to 60 miles per hour depending on the wind.

Equipment Needed

If you decide to take up the sport you will need to invest in a pair of skis or a snowboard, a kite, seat or waist harness, safety gear (helmet, pads) and ice claws. There are several different types of snow kites to choose from. The types of snow kites include framed stunt kites, leading edge inflatables, water relaunch-able foils and open cell foils. The type of kite you will need will be determinate on where you are, what the weather is like and your body weight. The initial equipment will typically set you back $1,000 or more.

Where to Learn Snowkiting

There are several states that host snowkiting schools. Among them are Colorado, Idaho and Utah. Some of the schools you may want to consider are Telluride Snowkite in Colorado, as well as Snowkite Soldier in Idaho and Fun Seekers in Utah. There is also a snowkiting school based between Italy and France that international travelers may want to try. Prices for snowkiting lessons tend to start at $145 per person.

Snowkiting Competitions

If you would rather watch snowkiting first before giving it a whirl, there are snowkiting events that may satisfy your curiosity. There is a North American Snowkite Tour that takes place each year with stops in such locales as Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Montana and Idaho.

The first stop in the 2012 snowkiting tour is scheduled to take place in Jackson Hole, Wyo., from Jan. 23-29. The second will take place in Skyline, Utah, from Jan. 30 through Feb. 5. In addition to snowkiting competitions, these events typically include instructional clinics, live entertainment, refreshments and scavenger hunts with prizes. You may expect to pay $50 or more in registration fees should you decide to compete.

My family enjoys winter sports and has traveled extensively.

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