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Kitesurfer today, snowkiter tomorrow ?

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whenwherekite - The blog

Kitesurfer today, snowkiter tomorrow ?

by Victor on 09.25.2020 - temps de lecture estimé: 2mn

whenwherekite

For twenty some years, snowkite has made its way to the European mountains. If you head to the ski resort of Serre Chevalier in the French Hautes-Alpes, you will discover the famous Lautaret mountain pass, THE world renown spot, where numbers of pro-snowkiters from all corners of the world head to train and test their sponsors equipment.
Kite manufacturers such as Ozone, Gin or Flysurfer battle each other for market share in this evolving niche. In this hot spot you will barely hear French spoken. Spaniards, Italians, Russians, Australians or even Americans all share their passion there. With such a cosmopolitan atmosphere and change of scenery you are likely to make some interesting encounters. Nevertheless, the French are well represented by their national stars: Alex Robin, Guillaume Chastagnol, Johann Civel and Wareck Arnaud are among the best in the world. Their videos, each more incredible than the next, actively contribute to the development of this sport.

For most people, kitesurfing is only a luxury conceivable during the high season as many live nowhere near the seafront. Snowkiting offers you the opportunity to extend this short season and feed your kiting addiction a little bit more every year.

whenwherekite

From November to April, depending on the destination, the European snowkiting season is within your grasp. The beauty of the wild mountainous landscapes can’t be described. If in luck, you will even get the chance to kite alongside elks and reindeers… A snowkite trip will allow you to enjoy an immersive cultural journey, considering the spots are usually located in the hinterland. In Finland for example, to get access to the spots, you will need to take a domestic flight from Helsinki to Kittilä up North. You then rent a car and drive to your final destination through the frozen lakes and forests of the Finnish Lapland… a truly magical drive. You are caught up in the bewitching feeling of always moving further away from civilization. Furthermore, you will learn to discover the culture and habits of local Fins. Just beware the gut-wrenching booze that your local snowkite instructors will not hesitate to offer you. Refusing is not an option...

Every day you will discover new spots. Everyday, landscapes around you will be different, a truly bliss adventure in waiting.

There are many available destinations in Europe. If you venture yourself to the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, you will notice that the snowkite spot on Mount Vitosha, unlike in the previous example, is a mere 30 minutes’ drive from the airport. An ideal destination for a weekend of snowkiting. Once at the summit, a stunning view of the entire city and all the neighbouring countries awaits. On top of being a famous kite spot, Sofia is one of the last European cities that has yet to modernise to the 21rst century. An eerie atmosphere of soviet communism still looms over the city. You are guaranteed a journey through time...

Snowkiting sounds good but is it more dangerous than kitesurfing ?

whenwherekite(c) Pascal - Swiss Snowkiting School

Snowkiting is easy to get around. If you already master your kite and have good skiing/snowboarding skills, you will easily adjust to the snow even if not an expert. Quickly enough, you will learn to appreciate the many sensations of speed and jumps the sport has to offer. One single session is usually enough to get the feel of the equipment. Contrary to popular beliefs, snowkiting is not more dangerous than kitesurfing. Snowkiting is practiced in large mountainous plateaus, most of the time you will have no one around you which diminishes the likelihood of collision amongst other kiters. There may be some obstacles (same as in the water) such as rocks or trees. However, if you master your kite, there is no reason why you couldn’t steer away from them. Bear in mind, the playground is huge and you are in control of it.

Snowkiting might look physical at first, in reality it is not as extreme as kitesurfing. It takes less wind to move you across the snow and is enjoyable on any type of snow: powder, sludge snow and ice (frozen lakes). It makes it a very flexible sport that can be practiced in many different types of terrain.

At Snowkite Sensation we have been snowkiting and kitesurfing for more than 15 years. We are the only travel agency to specialise exclusively on snowkite holidays. We work hand in hand with kite schools all over Europe (Norway, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Greenland...) in order to offer exclusive and unforgettable adventures. If you are already a kitesurfer, why not give snowkite a try during the winter time ?

If you wish to stay informed on the latest development of snowkiting follow the Ride Up Mountain and Kite Unit. Facebook page.

 

Author

 

Victor de Clermont-Tonnerre, 24 years old, is the founder of Snowkite Sensation. His taste for travel and snowkiting comes from his own experience of travelling with his family. The complexity of organising this kind of trips and the growing interest in this discipline led him to launch this specialised travel agency. The concept of Snowkite Sensation was born.

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