And you’re in luck because Kite Club New York is the local provider that will help you get into this extreme sport (where you can even get your International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) certification upon completion of the course).
We catch up with one of its owners and head coach Christo Vetar who gives us essential tips and helps us identify 4 reasons why we should consider taking up snowkiting:
Take Your Snow Shredding Skills Up A Notch
Snowkiting is pretty much skiing or snowboarding.. but with a kite. You will need all your gear–apparel, equipment and all–that you use to go skiing or snowboarding. “Your lesson with KCNY comes with everything else,” Christo said, “The kite, control bar, harness–we provide all that.”
The big difference is the terrain where you play. You don’t need a slope to enjoy this sport. It can be downhill, uphill, or on a flat surface. With the power of the wind, you can go any direction, “as long as it’s in an open area with no objects on the way”.And if isn’t already obvious, yes, already knowing how to ski or snowboard is prerequisite. Snowkiting is just another option for you to take your powder skills to the next level. But you won’t be handling the kite without the proper knowledge first.
“You have to learn the theory of how the kite works with the wind, and safety–that is very important,” Christo explains, “Then we start you off on a trainer kite that you hold with two hands to learn the basis of kite control. Once you are comfortable with controlling the kite, you move to a 4-line kite that is more powerful but gives you more control.”
Get A Full-Body Workout
You already know the benefits of skiing or snowboarding: burns calories, strengthens lower body muscles, improves flexibility, engages your core, and makes you feel good about being outside, especially in the cold.
Now add the benefits of flying a kite: strengthens upper body muscles, engages your core, improves coordination. With snowkiting, you get a full-body workout that you don’t even realize is happening because you are too busy enjoying your time outdoors.
But you don’t need to have superwoman-like upper body strength to take up snowkiting. “That’s a big misconception about this sport,” Christo continues, “The harness is what really controls [the power] of the kite.”
It Won’t Break The Bank
Because you have endless free slopes to play on since you can snowkite pretty much anywhere where there is wind and an open field. This means no more having to pay for lift or parking tickets whenever you need your adrenaline fix.
Okay–so you have to invest in additional gear, but there is many snowkiting equipment that is great quality and will last you years if you take good care of it.
And yes, lessons cost money too–but we don’t recommend you do away without it. “Don’t expect to be a pro at first,” Christo advises, “Don’t expect to learn it all in one day. You have to take it step by step, and come [to your first lesson] knowing that each step is fun.”
Reclaim Your Freedom & Your Inner Calm
If you were to ask any snowkiters what they love most about this sport, they’d all probably give the same answer as Christo, “The thrill to be able to go anywhere you want. There is a lot of independence that comes with snowkiting.”
It’s also good for finding inner peace. He adds, “It’s a peaceful experience, gliding through the snow. You can be completely peaceful out there, depending on you and nature.”
Ready to give it a shot? To book your first lesson, reach out to our friends over at Kite Club New York by visiting www.KiteClubNY.com. They also have an event coming up in February–the Annual Lake Sacandaga Snowkite Rally on February 16th through 18th–so take a gander if you want to see what it’s all about before taking lessons.