Kite Harnesses – Skis Plus A Kite Harness And Foil Kite!

Kite Harnesses is a new and exciting winter sport that’s been popular for some years in Europe. It’s also getting a lot more popular in the U.S. In fact, any country these days with a decent amount of snow has a few kite skiers skimming around somewhere!

The Americans thought of it first, with a few pioneers in the 80’s experimenting on the frozen lakes of the U.S. East Coast and Midwest. Parafoil kites were used then, and they remain the ideal type of kite for this sport. However, Europe was where kite skiing really took hold and first became a recognized sport. Many of the people who tried it were surfers who already had the needed kite skills. These days there are well-established competition circuits. At the highest level of competition, riders from Europe and the US come together to compete.

What Exactly Is Kite Skiing?

You could call it a combination of sailing, skiing and kite flying. That makes it sound much more complicated than it really is. In fact, if you’ve got the basics of skiing down, learning to kite ski is relatively easy. Taking kite lessons is a good way to enter the sport safely.

It’s nothing like alpine or downhill skiing. Funnily enough, ordinary downhill skis are the usual equipment though. The skier wears a kite harness to take much of the effort away. Handling the kite is a lot like using the mainsail in a sailing boat. In common with sailing boats, kite skiers can make progress upwind by tacking into the breeze.

However, snowkiting is not all sedate sailing along chewing up long distances. All sorts of tricks and stunts can done while the snow kite is flow high, supporting the weight of the skier during a jump. It’s not unknown for some skiers to find a snow-covered golf course and launch themselves off the bunkers!

What’s a perfect day for skiing with kites? Try somewhere not far from the arctic circle, mid-year, where the sun shines for 16 hours each day, with an average temperature of -10°C (14°F) and consistent winds of around 30 kph (20 mph) or so. Perfect! If the breeze gets up a bit more, speeds of 100 kph (60 mph) are not unheard of.

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