Snowkiting for kitesurfer and what you need to know

‘In the mountains it’s different’ is something that Christoph mentioned a few times throughout our talk. Christoph is the owner of one of the biggest and oldest snowkite schools in Europe.  He started, his school Skywalker back in winter 2005 and managed to build a team of well-trained and experienced snow kiters that teach in both Germany and Austria. Today, he gave us an insight into the sport he lives for and shared some great tips for total beginners as well as for kitesurfers who want to give it a go on the white powder.

Continue reading and find out what the most significant differences from water kitesurfing to snow kiting are.

Don’t be a fool and take a lesson

As a kitesurfer one picks up snowkiting quite quickly. But in general, it is a sport at which normally the students will be able to do some basic riding at the end of their first day, says Christoph. However, in the mountains the conditions are different than in the water. Therefore, he advises also experienced kite surfers to take a lesson.

Skywalker Kiteboarding Kiteschule

Don’t underestimate the wind

In snowkiting less is more. 5-6 knots on land are same as 22-23 knots on water. Don’t be that douchebag going up the mountain and wanting to start at the same wind as you do on water, ending up smashing yourself in the snow. Which will most definitely hurt since it is different than on water 😉

Skywalker Kiteboarding Kiteschule

Attention! Wet floor

Remember snow is slippery which means you will not have the same resistance as on water. Meaning: you might do a rocket similar start, if you don't pay attention.

Skywalker Kiteboarding Kiteschule

Big objects ahead

Winds are different in the mountains. There is no such linear wind or breeze from the sea. Instead the mountains itself channel the wind into different directions. And so do other obstacles such as trees or simply an edge, which might have turbulent wind behind it. So know the territory if you decide to kite somewhere else than on a big and wide open space.

Skywalker Kiteboarding Kiteschule

Next to the points above the movement and riding is pretty much the same. Skywalker for instance offers special lessons for people with kitesurf experience in order to ensure them the best start on the snow. The 2.5 hour lesson, Water 2 Snow, you will get a practical introduction to soft and tubekites, the right start and landing as well as all other important skills you need for the most riding fun in this new element.

Jessica Eibert

Mountain-lover, paraglider and climber, optimist and globetrotter. Co-founder of The Active Place.