“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Lil’ Pinot & P-Air gettin’ some at Skyline Ridge, Utah

Posted by direwolff on February 8, 2007

Lots of doubts going into this adventure, but Lil’ Pinot was a true diehard, and was actually up on the kite before me. She totally jumped into it with both feet and little fear, and managed to have some fun along the way. Here’s a picture taken by our good friend Gabe, from our first day there, where we were surrounded by approximately 6 inches of fresh snow from the previous night, and Lil’ Pinot just motored around kite skiing…

What beautiful terrain. Skyline Ridge is really beautiful and no one really comes up here unless it’s for some backcountry something…skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowkiting, snowshoeing. The perfect snow playland.

On my first day out snowkiting I was very tentative trying to figure out how it related to kitesurfing, trying to figure out where my points of balance were, how hard the kite needed to pull me, how to get enough momentum to rise above the powder, etc. Suffice it to say, too much thinking and lots of considerations which lead to a fairly demoralizing start and a couple of awkward falls. Wasn’t even sure I was going to go for it the next day.

Well, surprise, surprise, surprise. The next day felt like I had been doing this sport for years. Everything came together right away and I was dialed and upwinding without trying…and it felt good. Gabe managed to snap out some more action shots of us riding…

There were some great hills to explore all around us and with a nice bright sun, temperatures slowly warming into the upper 20s, it was a shear joy to cruise up and down the mountains all around us…

One thing I will mention about this sport is that it’s definitely exhilirating and easier to get going with than kitesurfing, but it does tire the legs substantially more, and it’s worth learning how to ride in a place like Utah where the snow is much more forgiving, because in a hard pack snow day in Tahoe, I could imagine some serious pain for the uninitiated. As well, getting started the right way is critical to having an enjoyable time. A few other friends who came up and didn’t sign up for Jeff Kafka’s Wind-Over-Water snowkiting program thought they could figure it out on their own but didn’t quite pull through. Jeff and his co-instructor Loic, spent tireless hours following us with their snowmobile and snowshoes, to make sure we got dialed in just right. Once comfortable, they knew we’d be good to go. Even better, is that they have all the gear you need which kept me from having to lug my kites and accoutrements in addition to my snowboarding gear.

As for sending it, I was doing that by day 3 and copped a couple of nice 5 to 7 foot airs (only because the hill drops away from you when sending it downhill, not because I was doing anything to send it big…quite the contrary actually) into some soft patches of untouched powder snow. Nothing like what Jake was doing, but it’s a start.

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One Response to “Lil’ Pinot & P-Air gettin’ some at Skyline Ridge, Utah”

  1. Kite Surfers Snow Kiting

    I was wondering what the transition between kite surfing and snow kiting would be like when I found a great post by p-air

    On my first day out snow kiting I was very tentative trying to figure out how it related to kite surfing, trying to figure out wh…

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