Snowkiting is a sport that is easier to learn than kitesurfing in the summer.
The reason is that during the summer we have to consider a number of risks in relation to the spot: as soon as the kite falls on the water or we can no longer control it, we are dependent on the water current and on the wind. The evaluation of the spot, wind direction, wind speed, etc. are important aspects of kitesurfing safety
In winter, all these difficulties are reduced because we stand on our feet and in any case if we drop off the kite and are not able to ride back, we can pack the kite and walk back. Therefore snowkiting is suitable for children.
However, you must be aware that even the snowkite like the tubekites in summer can be very dangerous due to the lines, so you have to learn all the safety information in a course in order to snowkite safely.
If we choose a shallow area, such as a frozen, snow-covered lake (Silvaplana Lake or Bianco lake at Bernina in Switzerland, Reschen Lake in Italy or flat areas without ski lifts nearby), we can learn how to handle the kite and soon start riding with skis or snowboards.
If we have any problem, you can always park the kite and walk back.
Snowkiting becomes extreme sports like ski touring or freeriding when you reach the top of a mountain with the kite and do a free ride downhill with or without kite. In this case, the risks are typical of Free Riding, and therefore you have to follow the off-pist rules accordingly
Do you have to be an experienced skier or snowboarder for snowkiting?
To learn snowkiting, you need to have a basic knowledge of skiing or snowboarding: it is important to be able to brake and have good control of the skis, but you do not have to be a very good skier. The kite pulls you and you have to use the ski just to press on the edge in order to develop a tension in the lines that enables to ride upwind (90 ° to the wind direction).
The same is true for the snowboard: our position on the board is not very similar as when you ride on a slope, with the kite we have to shift our weight slightly on the back leg so that the tip does not sink in the powder snow; in addition, you have to develop tension in the lines pressing on the back edge of the snowboard.
For powder snow you can use free ride skis otherwise all ski models are suitable for snowkiting. The snowboards must be twintips and the ties should be symmetric. As with water kitesurfing and wakeboarding, we change the riding direction just changing the position of our body and putting more weight on the back leg.
For beginners the best and easiest way to learn snowkiting is using skis rather than snowboard.
As soon as we learn how to control the kite, we can start riding with the skis, and thanks to the agility of the skis, we can avoid many mistakes; if the kite crashes we just have to make a few steps to position ourselves and start the kite again.
With the snowboard we are fixed by the binding to the board, and we are in an unstable position. If the kite pulls us too hard and we fall forward, it’s harder to find the correct position to start again.
With the snowboard we are in an unstable position, so it is necessary that the wind condition is more stable than if we use skis.
These are the reasons why we recommend to attend the beginner course with the skis and once you have a good kite control, you can continue practicing with the snowboard.