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Fall 2008


Ride Guide







FEATURES 62 2009 Gear Guide 46 Crossing Over

Getting into snowkiting is easy if already ski or snowboard. Find out what it takes to elevate your level of fun.

56 Snowkite Pass

Five tips for finding and keeping your precious riding spots open to snowkiting.

54 Project: Cloud

Nine Get a peek at what life

was like on the road while making the film. Follow Paul Macaj, Patrick Nedele and friends across the US in search of epic conditions and good times.

24 The Evolution

of a Revolution

Ski mountaineers add snowkites to their checklist of exploration tools.

58 Interview with Rob Whittall

Ozone Kites charismatic designer speaks out.


Snowkite Summit and To Cross The Moon

Directory 32

US Ride Guide snowkite locations

Media 10 50 96

Freeze Frame [Photo Gallery] Video Reviews The Brigade

Instruction 52

Railslide to Bllind


noun - An accumulation of snow created by wind. verb - Th  e act of following snow and wind conditions in search of an unforgettable snowkiting session. 6


Are you ready for an upgrade or just want to add to your arsenal? Find all the latest gear and accessories for your snowkite lifestyle.

COVER: Jeff Brown in a moment of nirvana at Portage Glacier, Alaska PHOTO: James Brown CONTENTS: Remi Meum floats over a drift in Norway. The perfect shot for our first contents page! PHOTO: Mathieu Turries


WELCOME TO OUR FIRST ISSUE! Drift is dedicated solely to the dynamic sport of snowkiting. The diverse aspects of the sport attract all sorts of interesting people. Freestyle, big air, backcountry exploration and the pure Zen of cruising over untracked powder inspired us and has changed our lives. Our mission at Drift is to spread the virus of snowkiting to the world. We want to infect everyone—from the interested observer to the seasoned snowkite professional. We will keep you informed and excited with each issue by staying current with the evolution of the sport while helping to grow and guide it toward the future. Thanks a million to everyone who rallied to get this magazine off the ground. Please let us know if you have any news, ideas, photos or suggestions.


-James Brown






Pascal Joubert making turns up a ridge at the Col du Lautaret. France. PHOTO: Bertand Boone


Wayne Philips at Island Park, Idaho. PHOTO: Andrew McGarry




Patrick Nedele on a solo mission down Bosco’s Hill at Skyline, Utah. PHOTO: Chris Nester



Night Rider, Bjoern Kaupang. PHOTO: Chris Hrkac



Claes Lundin spinning to win at Haugastol, Norway. PHOTO: Oystein Kristiansen


Editor James Brown Assistant Editor DAVE GROSSMAN Design James Brown

Ken Lucas at the Snowkite Masters PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege

Contributing Writers Noah Poritz, Chris Nester, Brian Schenck, Eli Potter, Joel Beatty, Matt Vincent, Forrest Jones, Eric Byers, Ken Lucas, Nathan Borer, Aaron Saude, Jeff Brown, Jan Brabant, David Polivy, Matt Thames, Monty Goldman, Eric Bader, Zebulon Jakub, Tighe Belden, Charlie Meding, Jan Brabant, Matt Thames, Bob Cook, Patrick Nedele, Rachel Miller, Sam Salwei, Cole Russell, Karl Bzdusek Contributing Photographers Kim Kern, GusTAV Schmiege, CHRIS NESTER, Joel Beatty, Andrew McGarry, Jeff Brown, Bertrand Boone, Pascal Boulgakow, Mathieu Turries, Charles Braden, Chris Hrkac, Tyler Weiss, Carel, Richard Saltonstall, Tena David, Ben Berndt, Charlie Meding, Jan Brabant, Matt Thames, Bob Cook, Eric Bader, Mike Mohaupt, Lance Koudele, Gavin Butler, Eddy B Publisher Dave Grossman Internet Subscriptions Sign up at

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The Evolution


pull in on the right side of my control bar and look up to see my 12-meter kite bank hard in an upward arc. As it crosses into the power zone, I anticipate its pull and lean onto my ski edges. Centering my weight at an incredibly low angle to the snow, I lay down a large powerful turn. I revel in the delicate tension between the kite and gravity. Each wants to win the tug of war, but I am in control. The truce I dictate equals forward motion; a lot of it, sometimes exceeding 30-miles-per-hour. As the kite reaches the right side of the power zone, I pull left and repeat the orchestration in a perfect mirror image. Miles disappear behind me as we begin our 20-day crossing of this expansive ice-field.


Mediating this battle of kite against wind can be a challenge. Sometimes I lose. If you’ve ever had whiplash, you know the feeling. It’s the harsh reality that snowkiting is a sport that has risk. My partners are here to lessen this risk. But in this terrain, safety in numbers seems ancient in its defense. Sometimes my partners are in earshot, and other times they are small dots against the surreal glacial landscape. As we kite into the alpenglow of one of the world’s largest mountain ranges the Bagley Ice-field in the Wrangell-Saint Elias range, I am reminded to be humble. After all, this is Alaska.

of a Revolution

Ski Mountaineers take a new tack with snowkites By Eli Potter and Karen Hilton | Photos by Andrew McGarry

Karen Hilton, Scott Morley and Eli Potter kite skiing the Bagley Ice Field in southeast Alaska.

Snowkiting the ice-fields is a sport full of objective hazard. Crevasse falls would almost certainly be fatal. All of my glacier travel experience tells me to wear a goddamn rope. When used as a safety line to catch a team member in the event of a crevasse fall, I love the rope. But try skiing with one on, then connect to your partners who are all connected to kites. Love will definitely not be the first fourletter word that comes out of your mouth if you try this. But, the beauty of kiting the ice-fields is that, for most of the time, a rope is not needed. Because ice-fields are relatively flat, their stillness and utter vastness of uninterrupted ice minimizes any frictional stresses that create highly crevassed terrain. Add in the fact that a kite under power can lift you off the ground, allowing you to clear crevasses at a whim.

Dragging a sled behind you is another story. Having a quick release on your sled could save you. Ice-fields are by no means safe, just safer for us to roam free than other terrain and immensely enjoyable traveling with a kite. On an ice-field like the Bagley, that lies over 90 miles long and 6 miles wide, it’s common for whiteout conditions to couple with strong winds. Inevitably, we’ve found ourselves making quick decisions and averting cracked areas just in the nick of time. I’d be a fool not to admit that experience mixed with a little bit of luck is needed to cross this ice-field successfully. — Continued


evolut R Karen and Eli map their route.

Home Sweet Home

Scott makes adjustments to “The Puck”.

The weather in this part of the world is infamous. The Pacific Ocean runs all the way from Japan in an uninterrupted arc to the Gulf of Alaska, which is flanked by the St. Elias Mountain Range to the north and the east. This range juts up at an astounding 18,000 feet in just 12 miles from the ocean, making it the largest vertical relief of any mountains on earth. Moist ocean air is forced to rise and dry out quickly, resulting in a lot of precipitation and wind. Even in the absence of big frontal systems, the glacier’s cooling and warming cycles result in localized wind events called Katabatics. Universal to glaciated terrain, these winds are fairly predictable and pleasantly manageable. Averaging 10-15 miles an hour, much of our trip is flown on the Katabatic flow. As we stir in our sleeping bags each morning, we gauge the wind speed just by listening to the flapping of our tent. If the tent is silent, you can roll back over. If it’s shaking apart, we know the day will be good. There was only one day when the winds were too strong to ride. The Bagley has ill-defined borders and the limits of where you can travel are equally as gray. Every unnamed valley beckons with undulating hills and gentle sastrugi that promises wind. The snowkiting, skiing, and climbing possibilities are seemingly endless. After 70 miles or so each of us developed our own styles. All four of us came from different backgrounds. Karen and I are the Alaskans. We have a well-honed, pig headed thoroughness to our camping and traveling systems that comes from a great deal of time spent in the mountains. We see kiting as a way to access impossible distances in our frozen northern home. Style is just a footnote. For us, snowkiting equals quick access in the bigger picture of ski mountaineering. Scott and Andrew are a pair of diehard Jackson Hole skiers. They use the frozen lakes and the meadows of northern Wyoming as their kiting playground. They seek out radical terrain and focus on catching air. Relatively new to kiting as a pure expedition tool, their perspective is fresh. As the days unfolded, our use of the kites started to merge and we joined Scott and Andrew in playing around on some exciting terrain.

Setting out on a day of old-fashioned trudging.


tion Eli Potter sets up his kite at the base of Mount Logan for an epic powder day.

Scott came up with a few innovations that were sometimes revolutionary, sometimes comical. One thing Scott is especially good at doing, besides inventing, is coming up with names for his devices. On this trip he lashed two plastic kiddy sleds side-by-side, tied a roped onto it and promptly dubbed it “the Puck.” On days when he had to haul it any further than 10 feet, his mantra quickly became “f*** the puck!” But on the days when the wind was up, Scott and Andrew attach their pucks to their kites, and the 150lb sleds became an afterthought. Karen and I stuck to the time honored method of hauling just one sled. Our system was prone to flipping upside down under speed but was much easier to pull when slogging on foot. The evening before our biggest day, the barometer plummeted and the easterly winds ravaged our nylon homes, keeping us awake all night. By breakfast time, the anemometer read 30-mph and continued to climb. Unlike conditions on previous days, the lower glacier had been ripped of all powder. Ice and firm snow make for a hell-uv-a crash. Psyched up for an adventurous flight, we decide to make a go of it, hoping to cover significant ground. It would be our final downwind venture. The following day, the glacier would rise in elevation and the Katabatic winds would blow directly into our faces, making travel more tedious. A mere twenty minutes into flight, and we are completely scattered. Scott was thrown down while filming and run over by his puck. Karen lost

— Continued


evolution R her load and in the process got her kite impossibly tangled. Andrew and I were barely able to control our kites in the stall position. A good hour passed until we reunited, just in time for a snowstorm to hammer us. We slowly began losing all visibility. We made an attempt to navigate the unknown terrain without sight, but the end result was half-hearted with smaller 6m kites. Finally, we were forced to resort to the prudent vote of waiting it out.

By the end of our 20-day trip, we realized just how lucky we were to have walked only a total of 9 miles out of 150 across the third largest ice-field in the world. Sleds are a must

Karen Hilton gets a little help from above.


for an expedition of this commitment level. Since we were self-supported, they were our means to transport food, fuel, tents, cook gear, safety equipment, and our quiver of kites. The path we traveled is not a new one. It has been crossed by other hearty individuals. each with their own methods and style. There is a tendency in Alaskan mountaineering to keep your mouth shut and let your accomplishments speak for themselves. I have tried this crossing before without success. There is so much to be said for the proper partners and right circumstances. Looking around at our team, I finally realized what we had accomplished.

We each brought together the accumulated knowledge of four active lives in the mountains and applied a perfect solution to the Bagley Ice traverse. In researching the pioneers who have traveled out there, the prevailing theme seems to be hardship. Ours was an arduous trip but I would never call it hard. If the wind wasn’t up, we simply made some shade and waited­—playing cards, napping, and planning future trips. All of these options seem like much better ideas than the old solution of suffering. Some traditionalists would call us lazy. I simply see it as using the best technology available as it evolves. What is a man but a monkey that has evolved?




2008Ride Guide Where to Snowkite in the United States

Tools like Google Earth and simply keeping our eyes open for good spots have helped us discover amazing snowkite locations on a seemingly daily basis around the world. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top known spots in the US and provided some detailed information on each so you can go check them out. We have also listed by name some other locations to research on your own. If you know of a spot that isn’t listed, send us an email so we can add it to the growing list. For the most up-to-date location information visit


Directions: Located 265 miles from Anchorage, head north on the Glenn Highway, go through Palmer to Glennallen, then head south on the Richardson Highway towards Valdez. Small parking area at Description: Portage Lake runs NW to SE towards Portage Glacier. the Worthington Glacier State Recreation pullout. Rideable hills and banks along the shoreline. Beware of avalanche Local Info: www.kitealaska. prone mountains and run-out com or zones that reach the lake! Facilities: No facilities at Conditions: Winds can either be Thompson Pass is World-Class. Valdez, Alaska the pass. An R/V is highly NW from the Turnagain Arm, or PHOTO: Jeff Brown recommended! Lodging SE coming from Whittier. As air and restaurants are 30 miles pressure equalizes between Prince away in the town of Valdez. William Sound and Cook Inlet, high Shops/Schools: Northwind winds pour through Portage Pass. Kites (in downtown Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Anchorage) www.alaskites. Directions: Located at the end com of Turnagain Arm, 50 miles SE of Restrictions: None Anchorage. Take the Seward Other: Beware of avalanche Highway south, then follow danger and trees. Portage Glacier Road 5 miles to the Begich-Boggs visitor center. Local Info: Turnagain Pass or Facilities: Description: The NW side The Visitor Center is closed from of the highway is a valley October through May. Bathrooms floor with a natural terrain and a restaurant are available at park at the NE end that Portage Glacier Lodge, with winter hours Friday through Monday, quickly transitions into steep avalanche-prone slopes. This side of the 10am to 5pm. In an emergency, there is always someone at the highway is designated for snowmobiles and is often very busy on lodge available for assistance. Owner’s Marilyn and Geri Williams. the weekends. Conditions: Best winds are north that funnel into the valley from Shops/Schools: Northwind Kites, stronger winds in the Turnagain Arm. Restrictions: None Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Other: Beware of avalanches and calving glacial ice! Also, be Directions: Located about 45 miles south of Anchorage on the aware of thin ice near the Bear Valley inlet and the outlet near the Seward Highway. Begich-Boggs visitor center. Local Info: or Facilities: There are a couple parking areas with public restrooms. Thompson Pass (Valdez) Lodging and restaurants are 20 miles toward Anchorage in the ski resort town of Girdwood. Description: Very large area with a variety of terrain. Lower valley Shops/Schools: Northwind Kites (in downtown Anchorage) www. floor has rolling hills, quarter-pipes and cornices. Surrounded by steep mountain chutes and heli-ski slopes. Restrictions: None Conditions: Winds primarily from the north that funnel down the Other: Beware of avalanche danger. There have been many fatal valley towards Valdez. Be prepared to kite winds from 10 to 30+ incidents with backcountry skiers as well as snowmobiles “highmph. Winds at higher elevations can reach well over 60 mph, and marking” in this area. Keep your head up for snowmobiles and be can hover above 30 mph for a few days at a time. courteous. Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert

Portage Lake


Haines Summit/Skagway Summit Description: Mountainous terrain above treeline with lots of cliff drops and wide open spaces. Great kite up—ski down location. Terrain features windlips and long gradual wide open slopes for short flights. Conditions: Deep snow, north/south winds 25km/hr 8000ft, coastal snowpack -10/-20, long northern days, endless possibilities. Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert

Facilities: Bathrooms and parking facilities at the summit. Shops/Schools: Tahoe Mountain Sports (Kings Beach, CA) Restrictions: None Other: Snowmobilers are permitted on the west side of the highway, and there is no motorized access on the east side of the highway.

Grass Lake Description: Frozen alpine lake/wetland Conditions: Southwest winds funnel through the valley Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: Take Highway 88 from South Lake Tahoe towards Kirkwood. Grass Lake is just before Luther Pass on Highway 88 Local Info: Tahoe Mountain Sports Backcountry Bulletin Board: Facilities: None Shops/Schools: Tahoe Mountain Sports (Kings Beach, CA) Restrictions: None Other: Be careful in the spring and warmer weather as this melts out quickly.

Portage Lake on an unforgettable day. Alaska. PHOTO: James Brown

Directions: From Whitehorse Yukon Canada, Haines Summit Drive west on the Alaska highway to Haines Junction, head south on Haines Road 230km, park when you get above the treeline, bring drool rag. Skagway summit. Head east from Whitehorse to the South Klondike Highway, head south for 110km, drive 5km past Canadian Border, set up long downwinders on lake system. Bring helmet, drool rag and passport. Local Info: Facilities: Haines - Stellar Alpine Hut $25/night, Shops/Schools: Whitehorse Yukon Canada Restrictions: Skagway Summit you have to cross the US/Canada Border  Other: There is no avalanche forecasting in this area, so make sure that you have training. Due to the proximity to the border make sure that you have good health care coverage as the closest nursing station is in the US. The air is thin at this elevation so make sure that you bring your big kite quiver. Most people fly a 10m or bigger!

Red Lake Peak/Carson Pass Description: Open bowl on backside of Red Lake Peak. Lots of terrain and lots of vertical Conditions: Southwest predominately with occasional east winds Skill Level: Expert Directions: Follow Highway 88 out of South Lake Tahoe towards Kirkwood. At the top of Carson Pass, park on the right side of the road in the designated Sno-Park Parking lot. Hike around ridge behind parking lot and traverse the open slopes until you reach an open alpine bowl. Local Info: Tahoe Mountain Sports Backcountry Bulletin Board: Facilities: Bathrooms and parking facilities at the summit. Shops/Schools: Tahoe Mountain Sports (Kings Beach, CA) www. Restrictions: Parking Lot on the west side of the highway is a designated Sno-Park. Permits are required in this area.

The Sierras delivering the goods for Mike Bond. California. PHOTO: Eddy B

Also check out: 20-Mile River and Placer River flats, Anchorage Coastal Flats, Beluga Lake, Caribou Hills by Homer, Eklutna Lake, Gunsight Mountain and Eureka, Hatcher Pass, Kenai Lake, Lake Lucille, Summit Lake, Westchester Lagoon.

California Mt. Rose Meadows

Description: High Alpine Meadow with a variety of rocks and trees scattered throughout Conditions: Southwest predominately with occasional east winds Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: South side of Mt. Rose summit. Highway 431 between Reno and Incline Village, NV. 30 mins from Reno, NV. Park on the side of the highway where the lanes widen. Local Info: Tahoe Mountain Sports Backcountry Bulletin Board: Check the Drift website for more snowkite locations around the world.

Other: Also check out Hope Valley on your way to Red Lake Peak. This is the big, open valley on your left as you approach the pass.


2008 Ride Guide Martis Meadows Description: Wide open meadow with undulating hills and occasional barbed wire. Conditions: Southwest predominately with occasional east winds Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: Take Highway 267 South, out of Truckee and towards Lake Tahoe. Martis Meadows is the open meadow past the airport and before Northstar Ski Resort. Local Info: Tahoe Mountain Sports Backcountry Bulletin Board: php?f=1 Facilities: None Shops/Schools: Tahoe Mountain Sports (Kings Beach, CA) www. Restrictions: None Other: Only good in high snow years. Be careful of hidden obstacles, creek crossings, and barbed wire fences. Also check out: Mammoth Lakes, SierraKiter. com,

clear days south 5-20mph. North storm fronts are gusty but can be ridden best from the Marina. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: 15-20 miles northeast of Durango. Follow the signs from 15th St (aka Florida Road) and Main/550. Launch in the flats at the north end of the lake, or launch at the marina when the lake is totally frozen. Parking at north Marina. Local Info: Contact Inferno Snowboards. Facilities: there are some business in the winter, but most of the area is shut down for the winter. Shops/Schools: Inferno Snowboards, 2876 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301, 1-888-396-8669 Other: Famed snowkiter-owned micro brew - Ska Pinstripe available at all reputable establishments.

Lizard Head Pass Description: Open field with some small hills. Conditions: Variable - good only if wind is south or north. SE to SW 5-35mph. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: Between Telluride and Dolores on Hwy 145, head north to the top of Lizard Head Pass and look for the open field on the SE side of the highway just south of the summit. Local Info: Contact Inferno Snowboards Facilities: Parking on the side of the road. No bathrooms. Shops/Schools: Inferno Snowboards, 2876 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301, 1-888-396-8669 Restrictions: None Other: Famed snowkiter-owned micro brew - Ska Pinstripe available at all reputable establishments.

Molas Pass A 200-foot-long quarter-pipe is just the ticket for fun at Dillon Reservoir in Summit County, Colorado. PHOTO: Tyler Weiss

Colorado Dillon Reservoir

aka The Sanitarium

Description: Frozen lake with terrain park. Conditions: North/northwest 10-20mph. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert. Directions: Summit County, Colorado, south end of Dillon Reservoir, 4 miles south of Frisco, Colorado on Highway 9. Turn left at Swan Mt. Road and then an immediate left before the Sanitation building. Local Info: or http://sports. Facilities: Multi-use parking lot and permanent outhouse. Shops/Schools: Colorado Kiteforce, 12 Fawn Ct. Silverthorne, CO 80498, 970-262-5734, Restrictions: The Sanitarium has limited space until there is ice on the reservoir, which is usually late December. Other: There are many ski resorts and other activities in the Summit County area.

Vallecito Reservoir Description: Frozen lake with small terrain features in the north flats. Conditions: Adiabatic winds turn on midday, during high pressure


Description: Open fields with scattered trees. Alpine terrain. Conditions: Deep snow. SE to SW 5-35mph. Skill Level: Advanced. Directions: Hwy 550 north of Durango Mountain Resort, South of Silverton. La Plata County CO. Follow 550 N out of Durango to the top of Molas Pass. Follow the snowroad to the highest point. Local association/forum/contact info: Contact Inferno Snowboards. Facilities: Parking and toilets at top of Molas Pass. Shops/Schools: Inferno Snowboards, 2876 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301, 1-888-396-8669 Restrictions: Snowmobile Access only. Not easy to find without guidance. Other: Check out snowkiter-owned Ska Pinstripe brew.

Wide open spaces like this are what snowkite dreams are made of. Southern Colorado. PHOTO: Matt Vincent

Where to Snowkite in the United States Also check out: Green Mountain Reservoir, Williams Fork Reservoir, Gore Pass, Loveland Pass, Hoosier Pass, Lake Granby, Lemon Reservoir, Lizard Head Pass, Molas Pass, Red Mountain Pass (Snowmobile Access), Chalk Mountain (Snowmobile Access), Independence Pass (Snowmobile Access till spring), Rollins Pass (Snowmobile Access), Grand Mesa (Snowmobile Access), The Flat Tops (Snowmobile Access), Walden (Sand Dunes) and Vail Pass (Snowmobile Access).

Monty Goldman sends it off a cliff at the Snow Park in Idaho. PHOTO: Carel

Idaho Malcomson’s “Snow Park”—Camas Valley Description: Rolling hills, flats, mountain peaks, cliffs. Conditions: West 15-25 and east 10-20 Skill Level: Beginner to expert Directions: Hill City, ID. Take I-84 from Boise towards Salt Lake City and turn onto Highway 20. You will come to a summit, marked by the Sawtooth National Forest sign. Coming from Salt Lake City take I-84 west and exit highway 75 north towards Sun Valley. Make a left onto highway 20 west, toward Fairfield, ID. This spot is located 16 miles west of Fairfield and 5 miles west of Hill City. Once your eyes start popping out of your head... you are close. A snowmobile sign is on the north side of highway 20. It has a bathroom and a warming hut. This is one of two buildings for miles so it should be easy to spot. Plenty of parking. Local Info:, www.snowkiteidaho. com Facilities: Designated parking lot and permanent outhouse and warming hut. Shops/Schools: Snowkite Soldier, Fairfield (16 miles), www., Idaho Kite Sports, Boise (90 miles), www. Restrictions: The Snow Park is public access.  The riding potential is unlimited but there are properties lines. Be aware if you cross a fence, you enter at your own risk.   Other: Park at Historic turnouts and parking lots on the west and east side of the Snow Park. Park on the side of the road and you will get a ticket.

Check the Drift website for more snowkite locations around the world.

Featherville Flats Description: Large flat area next to a 100-foot hill that runs downwind for miles. Conditions: West 15-25mph and east 10-20mph Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate Directions: Hill City, ID. Take I-84 from Boise towards Salt Lake City and turn onto Highway 20. You will come to a summit, marked by the Sawtooth National Forest sign. Coming from Salt Lake City take I-84 west and exit Highway 75 north towards Sun Valley. En route to Sun Valley make a left onto highway 20 west, toward Fairfield, ID. This spot is located 22 miles west of Fairfield and 11 miles west of Hill City. Located on the corner of highway 20 and the turnoff towards Featherville, ID. Marked by wind sensors, cameras and a large gravel building. Parking lot is on the corner. Cross through the cattle gates and launch your kite. Local Info:, Facilities: Parking lot. Ride 6 miles downwind toward the Snow Park for bathroom facilities and warming hut. Shops/Schools: Snowkite Soldier, Fairfield (16 miles), www., Idaho Kite Sports, Boise (90 miles), www. Restrictions: This is public access and a great place for beginners and intermediate riders. Other: The hill features in this area are a dividing mark between the highway and the flats. 3 miles downwind toward the Snow Park, a barbwire fence runs across the kite area. Most of the barbwire has been removed but some still exists.  Approach with caution.  

Island Park

aka Henry’s Lake

Description: Open gentle terrain east of Highway 20 on over 10 square miles of State and private (Nature Conservancy) land. Power lines and some fences are present west of 20. Conditions: South and north 10 – 40 mph Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: Fremont County, Idaho, Highway 20, 4 miles south of junction with Idaho Highway 87. Park at Red Rock Road snowmobile parking area and ride on the east side of Highway 20. Alternative parking and kite areas are 8 miles south of Highway 87 at the Hungry Bear Market. Additional backcountry kite locations are nearby in the Centennial Mountains. Local Info: Facilities: Food, gas, bars and lodging are available in Island Park

Taking a break from endless riding terrain in Idaho. PHOTO: Carel


2008 Ride Guide as well as 20 miles north in West Yellowstone, Montana. Shops/Schools: Snowkite Soldier 208-484-1620 www. Restrictions: Wintertime parking only at designated parking areas, not along the highway. This is enforced. Frequent storms bring whiteout conditions and roads can drift shut in minutes of being plowed. Mid-winter nighttime low temperatures will regularly be 10 to 20 below zero. Other: Henry’s Lake wind meter - RWIDS_Public/secondary/pages/currentWeather/station_1142.asp and White Elephant snowtel station - http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda. gov/nwcc/sntl-datarpt.jsp?site=860&days=7&state=ID and Webcam

cruise from cove to cove with views of the Camden hills and cliffs which border the shoreline. Usually the ice is safe by January. Conditions: Frozen lake with snow Skill Level: Beginner to expert Directions: Camden Maine. The bog bridge off route 105 north from Camden is the best launch site. Local Info: or group/nasaskimbat/ Facilities: N/A Shops/Schools: Maine Sport is located close by off route 1 in Camden. Maine Sport is a good resource for gear and local conditions. Restrictions: N/A Other: N/A

Plymouth Pond

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! Sending it in Maine. PHOTO: Richard Saltonstall

Description: Plymouth is the first place locals usually sail. The surface can freeze as soon as Thanksgiving. Conditions: Frozen lake with snow Skill Level: Beginner to expert Directions: Newport Maine. Route 7 south from I 95 Local Info: Sometimes the Chickawaukie Iceboaters will post info on their hot line, check the NEIYA website for the latest link since it changes each year. The NEIYA website is always a good place to go for sailing sites throughout New England. Facilities: N/A Shops/Schools: N/A Restrictions: N/A Other: N/A

Massachusetts Maine

Sebago Lake Description: Sebago is one of Maine’s biggest lakes. Sometimes the main body of the lake never freezes but if it does there can be awesome big ice sailing with views of the White mountains to the west. Jordan Bay on the east side of the lake usually freezes by mid January. Conditions: Frozen lake with snow Skill Level: Beginner to expert Directions: Cumberland County Maine. Raymond Beach at the north end of Jordan bay is off route 302 north from Portland. Nasons Beach is off route 114 along the west shore of the lake. Local Info: Sometimes the Chickawaukie Iceboaters will post info on their hot line, check the NEIYA website for the latest link since it changes each year. The NEIYA website is always a good place to go for sailing sites throughout New England. Facilities: N/A Shops/Schools: N/A Restrictions: N/A Other: N/A

Lake Megunticook Description: Megunticook is a great resource for skaters and wing sailors who are not necessarily looking for big ice. It is one of the most scenic of the southern lakes as over half of the shoreline is protected by park and scenic easements. It is a great place to


Amesbury - Woodsham Farm

Description: Fields with hills to ride on the south side of road Conditions: Wind direction from W/NW. Best when there is more than 5 inches of snow. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: 95 North (from Boston) to 495 north. Take right off exit ramp onto Rte. 150. Go through the intersection of Rte. 150 and 110. At blinking yellow light, take a left onto Highland Street. At “T”, take a left onto Lions Mouth Road. Continue on Lions Mouth Road for 1 mile and the field will be on your left. Local Info: Facilities: No facilities but the town is close.

You can’t beat riding from your back door. Reeds Lake Ice Fly, Michigan. PHOTO: Tena David

Where to Snowkite in the United States orientation). There is a trail across the road from a gate marked with a DNR game area sign. Parking is on the shoulder of the road only, and can be very deep with snow. Local Info: Facilities: N/A Shops/Schools: Restrictions: Parking is a problem if you do not have 4WD. Other: N/A

Reeds Lake

What kite are you going to ride? Oh. Me too! Michigan. PHOTO: Tena David Shops/Schools: The shop is close by in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Restrictions: Private Property, must contact owners or local association. Be on good Keep your eyes on behavior since the owner is nice enough to Minnesota to see allow access. the future of flatland Other: Give sledders, cross country skiers freestyle. and snow shoers the right-of-way. PHOTO: Ben Berndt

Description: Frozen lake Conditions: N/A Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: Located in East Grand Rapids. Home to the annual Ice Fly and is an easily accessible riding spot for snowkiting in the Grand Rapids area. Local Info: Facilities: Rose’s Restaurant Shops/Schools: Restrictions: N/A Other: N/A

Silver Lake Description: Frozen Lake. Located next to one of the best water season spots, Little Point Sable. The dunes west of the lake and the location on the point make for a snowkiting spot that has more wind than many areas more inland. Conditions: The lake works well on N, NW, W, and SW wind. Because of the consistent wind, the lake does not accumulate as much snow and may be better suited for skis rather than a board. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: Access is on the east side of the lake in the state park. Parking space is plentiful. Local Info: forums Facilities: The gas station in the town of Silver Lake is about the only business open in winter. Shops/Schools: Restrictions: N/A Other: N/A

Michigan Austin Lake

Description: Frozen lake Conditions: N/A Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: From the north - take 131 south to I-94 east exit Portage road and head south. You actually drive past Austin Lake and West Lake before you will turn east to the public boat launch at Austin Lake. There will be a small brown boat launch sign on the east side of the road. Turn east on Woodbine and follow it to the public boat launch on the left (north). You can park right at the boat ramp. Driving distance about 1.25 hours from Holland. Local Info: forums Facilities: N/A Shops/Schools: Restrictions: N/A Other: N/A

Black Lake Description: Frozen lake. One of the more popular Muskegon area snowkiting spots is Little Black Lake. Because the lake is shallow it freezes early, and has few obstacles since ice fishing is only possible in a few locations on the NE side of the lake. Conditions: Best wind directions are N, NE, E, SE, S. Due to trees and sand dunes, west winds are unstable and gusty. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: The public access point is on Blake Lake Road on the West side of the lake (basically dead center of the lake on a N/S Check the Drift website for more snowkite locations around the world.

Also check out: Cass Lake, Orchard Lake, and Stony Creek Metro Park.

Minnesota Swede Lake

Description: Frozen lake with NSKiteboarding snowkite terrain park, motocross ice track and power foil air strip. Conditions: W/NW and NW winds are common but it can vary. Season starts in November on ice, then snow from December to early March. February is the best month. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: 40-minutes west of Minneapolis , Take Hwy 7 west out of mpls 35-45 mintues depending on traffic then take a Right on Co Rd 10 north go 3 miles


2008 Ride Guide Take a right on Swede Lake Road pulic access one mile on your right. Local Info: Facilities: Head two miles south into downtown Watertown for all facilites. D’Vinci’s is the best place to eat. Shops/Schools: www. 612-940-6639 and 612-9254818 Restrictions: None Other: Make sure to pack your jib board for hitting rails. Stop in to the warming house and say hello to the local crew.

Mille Lacs Lake Description: Frozen lake Conditions: Wind from any direction will work here in the winter, it’s a large open space. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: North Central Minnesota. On a map, Mille Lacs is located in the middle of the state and is the biggest lake that region. Local Info: Facilities: There are many resorts around the lake for supplies. Shops/Schools: No shops. Lessons from UMD Outdoor Rec Program and PASA Certified Instructor Randy Carlson. Restrictions: Access the lake only at public beaches unless you have permission from private land owners. Other: Be careful parking your kite with lines out near resorts. Snowmobilers have been known to run over kite lines heading for beer!

Wild Rice Lake Description: Frozen lake Conditions: Near Duluth Airport so easy access to current wind readings. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: From W Arrowhead Road head north on 4. Turn left on Rice Lake Dam Road, 6.2 miles from Arrowhead Road. Local Info: Facilities: None Shops/Schools: No shops. Lessons from UMD Outdoor Rec Program and PASA Certified Instructor Randy Carlson. Restrictions: The area near the Dam stays open all winter. Stay away from that area or take a swim! Other: To get the best wind you’ll need to bring a sled to hike to the middle of the lake. Duluth kiters hike to catch the best rides! Good warm up exercise.

Most directions work well. West is probably the not the best. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Direction: Located in the Uptown area. Take 35W to 36th street and head west to the Lake. From the West take Excelcior Ave East to the lake. A nice lakeside view of Local Info: the action. Minnesota. Facilities: As a inner city lake there are PHOTO: Tighe Belden some great options for food within minutes of the lake. There are also year round porta-potties on the north and south end of the lake. Shops/Schools: Midwest Mountaineering, Scuba Center, Extreme Action Sports, Lakawa School of Kiteboarding Restrictions: Rig at least 200 feet from shore. This lake is off limits in the summer months. Other: Follow the ice fisherman’s lead in the early and late season… if none are out the ice probably isn’t safe. This lake is enjoyed by many (no snowmobiles luckily) so play nice and make sure all users of the lake enjoy their day.

Lake Minnetonka Description: One of the favorite spots close to the Twin Cities. This massive lake is made up of dozens of bays and other lakes, offering launches for all directions. It is also home of Kite Island, which is located at the bottom of Wayzata Bay. The wind shadow behind the island usually contains the peanut gallery, the smell of BBQ and sounds of pumps. Conditions: December usually offers up great black ice skatekiting conditions. Snowkiting season starts mid January and lasts till April. Most directions work well from Kite Island, with East providing more gusty conditions. Numerous other launches around the lake offer great rides. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Direction: Head out of downtown Minneapolis on 394, head into downtown Wayazata off of 101, follow Grove Lane down onto ice. Local Info:, Facilities: Wayzata offers some great eats. Shops/Schools: Midwest Mountaineering, Scuba Center, Extreme Action Sports, Lakawa School of Kiteboarding

Lake Calhoun Description: This inner city lake provides a great winter option for riders in Minneapolis and St. Paul. With the Minneapolis skyline as a backdrop, it’s not uncommon to see 1-2 dozen kites racing across the cold sky. Many 9-5ers grab a lunch time session on Calhoun. Cloudy nights the clouds hold in the city lights and provide great night riding. Conditions: December usually offers up great black ice skatekiting conditions. Snowkiting season starts mid January and lasts till April.


Wide open spaces make Montana a snowkiters paradise. PHOTO: Joel Beatty

Where to Snowkite in the United States Restrictions: Be aware of strewn out lines as you approach kite island Other: Follow the ice fisherman’s lead in the early and late season…if none are out, the ice probably isn’t safe. Also check out: Lake Waconia and White Bear Lake.

Montana Windy Pass

Description: Backcountry location with about 3 square miles of kitable mountain terrain. Trees are present in some areas and large cliffs lie downwind. Conditions: Southwest 10 – 50 mph, other wind directions will work here, too. Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert Directions: Gallatin County. Take Highway 191, 29 miles south of “Four Corners” (west of Bozeman) to Portal Creek Road (Forest Service road #2686). Proceed 7 miles up Portal Creek to Windy Pass trailhead. Hike 2.5 miles up Forest Service trail #82 to Windy Pass. Portal Creek Road is gravel (and mud) and is open in the autumn until snows close it in late November. It reopens again on June 1st. The hike to the pass is moderate with a few steep sections. Local Info: Facilities: No facilities except for the Windy Pass Forest Service Cabin just below the pass. Cabin is available to rent from the Bozeman Ranger District. Shops/Schools: Montana Kite Sports, Restrictions: Grizzly bears present in the spring and autumn. Other: This area often will have wind even when predictions are for no wind. Closest wind meters are one mountain range west in the Madison Range at Big Sky Ski area and at “Yellow Mule”: php?wfo=tfx&sid=ylwm8&num=48

Georgetown Lake is the home of the legendary Montana Snowkite Rodeo. PHOTO: Joel Beatty

Georgetown Lake Description: Frozen lake with lots of powder and a small hill on the north side. Conditions: West/southwest, some north and an occasional east wind. 10-20 mph most days and often stronger when a system moves through. Windblown hard pack to ankle deep powder with a regular amount of new snow all winter. G-Town has a long season

Check the Drift website for more snowkite locations around the world.

Mount Haggin is a snowkiters paradise. Go big in Montana. PHOTO: Joel Beatty – the lake is frozen from mid November to late April. Skill Level: Beginner to expert Directions: 18 miles west of Anaconda, MT on Hwy. 1. To get to Denton’s point head west past the Brown Derby 200 yards and take a left on Georgetown Lake road. Local Info: Check out the forums, maps, and weather links. Facilities: A designated parking lot and two restaurants/bars. Shops/Schools: Montana Kite Sports, Restrictions: There are a few access issues, with a lot of private land ownership around the lake. Be nice to the ice fisherman and they might be nice to you. Other: Discovery ski area is only 8 miles from the lake.

Mt. Haggin Description: 10-mile-long valley with miles of terrain to explore with powder fields, small to medium size hills, natural half-pipes, a mile long cornice that runs from 30 - 150ft in height. Epic.  Conditions: West/southwest 10-20mph, wind packed to knee deep powder. 200+ inches of white stuff some years. Skill Level: Beginner to expert Directions: Head 4 miles east on Hwy. 1 from Anaconda. At the end of the giant smelter mounds, take a right and head south on Mill Creek Rd.  It’s 8 miles up the pass to Sugar Loaf Cabins, then another 3 miles to the valley. Local Info: Facilities: Plowed parking along the road at Dry Creek, and Moose Creek. The best soup and homemade bread in the world at Sugar Loaf lodge and cabins. Across the street there is a groomed crosscountry ski trail system and a huge plowed snowmobile parking area with a port-a-john most of the winter. Shops/Schools: Montana Kite Sports, Restrictions: The Wildlife Management Area is strictly for public use only! No lessons are available and the area is not to be used commercially in any way.  Other: Go to to get the snow report or call (406)491-3748

Macdonald Pass Description: Terrain with a few power lines and radio towers. Conditions: West thermal winds anywhere from 15-45 mph,


2008 Ride Guide The only tracks you’ll cross in Montana are usually your own. PHOTO: Noah Poritz

prime kiting in almost any wind direction. However many of these fields are private property and they are not open to kiting. Better to ask for permission than to wreck the access for everyone. If you don’t find the owner move on to the next spot.

Lake Sunapee

windblown hard pack with occasional powder. It’s best to hit it just after a storm, because it gets blown off quick. Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert Directions: 20 miles west of Helena on highway 12. Local Info: and go to the kite spots page for info Facilities: Plowed parking on the side of the highway at the top of the pass and also at the bottom of the west side. Just a short hike up to the wind.  Shops/Schools: Montana Kite Sports. Restrictions: The pass is a mixture of public/private land. It’s open to the public in most places except where marked. Other: On sunny high pressure days,  Macdonald pass usually generates enough wind to have a great session. The winds are unpredictable when a weather system goes through.

Description: The lake is 13 miles long and 2 miles wide and runs north to south. Conditions: Winds come from West/Northwest which makes for some great long runs. Ice in December. Snow pack through March. Soft ice in April. Web cam to check conditions. http://www. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert. Great place to learn Directions: I89 exit 11 head west 3 miles to intersection route 103A. Straight through to Soo-nipi park road. Follow to the dead end, park on road and follow snowmobile trail out on the lake. Local Info: Web cam - Facilities: Sunapee State Park for parking and access. Mount Sunapee has lodging food etc. Best Western at south end of lake. rental condos all around lake and at local ski area (Mt Sunapee) located at south end of the lake. Shops/Schools: Local ski shop - Closest kite shop - (2 hours away in Burlington, Vermont) Restrictions: The lake freezes around Christmas (on a good year) and stays as long as the 1st or 2nd week of April. Other: Locals gather most every weekend. Also several other small lakes are within 5-10 miles if conditions are not good. Also check out: Little lake Sunapee, Pleasant Lake, Otter Pond, Lake Mascoma

Also check out: Brown’s Lake and Black Pine.

New Hampshire Lakes Region (Northern N.H.)

Description: Includes but is not limited to: Lake Winnpesaukee, Silver lake, Ossipee lake, Conway Lake, and Chocorua Lake. Flat lake riding (beautiful scenery) Conditions: Winds out of the northwest are typical but they can come from any direction. Southeast or west are good and can be smooth, beware of west winds as they can be vicious. Skill Level: Beginner to expert, depending on the conditions. Directions: Maps show lakes and parks. There are many local camps and parks that offer safe and convenient parking. These lakes are very accessible from major highways. Local Info: Powerline Sports and International Mountain Climbing School. Facilities: Some of the parking areas have bathrooms and some have gas stations and/or restaurants close by. Some have no facilities. Shops/Schools: International Mountain Equipment and International mountain climbing school have both equipment (kites) and lessons for snowkiting. snow_kite.html Restrictions: No restrictions when lakes are frozen. Parking must be handled carefully and respectfully. Most people are happy to accommodate when asked nicely. Other: : There are many fields in the North Conway area that are


Another day at the office. New Hampshire. PHOTO: Charlie Meding

New York Tug Hill

Description: Varied terrain, mostly farmers fields not used during winter months. Rolling hills and dips. Conditions: Wind varies; Tug Hill is home to the largest wind farm east of the Mississippi, with average snowfall of over 250”. There is an abundance of wind, snow and open space in this rural landscape.

Where to Snowkite in the United States Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: The main fields are located on West Line Road off of State Route 177 which traverses the Tug Hill Plateau. From the east: take Rte 12N out of the Village of Lowlives, take a left onto Rte 177E, and the third road on the left about 2 miles on Rte 177 is West Line Road. Take a left ,and park at the end of the plowed road. Local Info: Jan Brabant at or Bob Diehl, Lewis County Trail Coordinator 315-376-5972 or bdiehl@ Facilities: designated parking area at end of road,working on getting seasonal facilities. Shops/Schools: TI Adventures LLC at Restrictions: Private property. Locals are working on permanent permission to use the fields and other Tugg Hill region sites throughout the winter. Other: This is private property. Be courteous and respect the

Must be consistently windy around this New York spot! PHOTO: Jan Brabant

North Dakota Bateman’s Field

Description: Open field. Conditions: Northwesterly at 15 kts. during winter months. Snow can be shallow, so use your “rock board/skis.” Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate Directions: Driving to Grand Forks from Fargo on I-29, take the exit onto 32ND Avenue. Drive past Target and turn right on Columbia Southbound. Turn right opposite the entrance to King’s Walk Golf Course. Drive to the small power station building at the center and park. Note: Snowkiting on the golf course is prohibited. Local Info: and Facilities: None Shops/Schools: Northern Heights Rock Gym, www.yogaslackers. com, Restrictions: Private Property, contact owners for permission. Casey Bateman Other: The best snow is found in January, February, and early March.

Devil’s Lake, East Bay


Chaumont Bay Description: The largest fresh water bay in the world. Conditions: Prevailing winds from South/South West 10-20 mph with over 150 miles of fetch which makes for really clean wind. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert depending on wind and ice conditions. Directions: Northeast end of Lake Ontario in upstate New York. There is a fisherman launch ramp on the north side of Chaumont just across the bridge where you go out on the bay. Local Info: Jan Brabant at or Bob Diehl, Lewis County Trail Coordinator 315-376-5972 or bdiehl@ Facilities: Designated parking lot and permanent outhouse. Shops/Schools: TI Adventures LLC (7 miles) Restrictions: None out on the bay, just be aware that you are sharing the ice with ice fisherman which has been no problem so far. Other: The bay must have ice on it which is usually early January. Let the ice fisherman be the probes.

Description: Frozen lake with snow cover. Conditions: Northwesterly at 15 kts. during winter months. Snow can be shallow. Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate. Directions: From Highway 2 in Devil’s Lake, head south on Highway 20. Once you see the lake, choose your parking spot and kite. Local Info: / / Nells Nelson 701-230-1179 local kiter Facilities: None. Shops/Schools: Northern Heights Rock Gym & Kite Sports, Restrictions: N/A Other: The best snow is found in January, February, and early March. Kite festival in February.

Four Bears Bridge Description: Frozen lake covered by snow. Conditions: Northwesterly at 15 kts. during winter months. Snow can be shallow or non-existent with hard ice beneath. Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced.

Crossing the Moon. North Dakota. PHOTO: Courtesy of Sam Salwei

Also check out: Lake Oneida (Sylvan Beach)

Check the Drift website for more snowkite locations around the world.


2008 Ride Guide Directions: From New Town, take Highway 23 eastbound to the Four Bears Casino. Pass the casino, take a left at the gas station, and make your way down to the boat launch. Park in front of the liquor store and walk down to the lake to kite. Local Info: / / Facilities: Liquor Store with Bathrooms. Casino with buffet, hotel, & gambling. Shops/Schools: Northern Heights Rock Gym / Restrictions: The lake is public property. No known restrictions. Other: Kite one mile north of the Four Bears Bridge for clean wind. It is possible to kite underneath the bridge with 30 meter lines, but don’t boost! Mt. Ashland on an early season expedition. Oregon. PHOTO: Matt Thames

Directions: Hwy 138 East Diamond Lake off of 97 to the north Entrance Road of Crater Lake National Park. The entrance road is not plowed. Park and hike 2 miles to the pumice desert. Local Info: (Bend) and SOKA Kiteboarding School (Ashland) Facilities: None Shops/Schools: (Bend) and SOKA Kiteboarding School (Ashland) Restrictions: You will be riding in a National Park. Be respectful to Park Rangers. Other: Riding the Rim is for advanced kiters only.

Great Meadows Sno-park Description: Grassy meadow bordered with conifer trees. No slopes, just flat terrain with a few nearby mountains. (2-3 sq. miles) Conditions: Best time of the year is between Jan-Mar. The average snow base is around 38”-50”, with an average wind 10-15 kts. Skill Level: Beginner-Novice, but even the advanced riders can have fun Dailing in there latest trick. Directions: milepost #37, Hwy140 between Medford and Klamath Falls. Local Info: Facilities: Paved/Plowed parking lot. Outdoor Restrooms Shops/Schools: (Bend) and SOKA Kiteboarding School (Ashland) Restrictions: Oregon Sno-park permit required for parking. Other: Be sure to check the road cam provided by www.tripcheck. com located right next to the Sno-park. (wind sensor not accurate) Klamath Ranger District (541) 885-3400

Mt. Ashland

Oregon Mt. Hood

Description: Big mountain terrain. The large “relatively” flat area west of the top of the Magic Mile Chairlift is great terrain. Ascend to the saddle between Crater and Illumination Rock for an amazing alpine experience. There are great views on sunny days of the southern Cascades. Conditions: Variable conditions. Season lasts from January to June. Best winds are southerly. Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert Directions: South side of Mt. Hood off of highway 26. Park at the Timberline Lodge Ski Resort. Local Info: Facilities: Designated parking lot, ski lifts, and historic lodge (great for après session beers and story telling). Shops/Schools: Choose from a few kite shops in downtown Hood River, which is a 45-minute drive. For lessons go to www. Restrictions: Snowkite outside the ski area boundary. Do not kite east of the ski resort unless you have advanced snowkite skills. Other: Check weather at Timberline Lodge. products/OSOTML

Crater Lake National Park Description: Large flat and rolling terrain. Conditions: Any wind direction. They get a lot of snow here (the most in the US). Skill Level: Beginner to Expert


Description: The highest peak of the Siskyou Mountains (elev. 7500ft) with complete exposure of the summit that provides consistent wind. There are patches of trees at the lower elevations. Conditions: Annual snowfall 285”, with an average wind S-SW 1530kts. Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced, due to the steepness of slopes and “high mountain” wind conditions. Directions: From interstate 5, take the Mt. Ashland exit (exit 6), and follow the ski resort signs along the 8-mile paved access road to the Mt. Ashland Ski Area. Park in the rear parking lot and hike the XC ski trail that provides access to the south side of the mountain. Hike in is roughly one mile. Local Info: www.mtashland. com Facilities: Ski resort provides food, restrooms, lockers and warmth. Shops/Schools: (Bend), www.kitezombies.

Skyline Drive, Utah. Home of the US Snowkite Masters event. You can ride for miles along the Wasatch Range. PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege

Where to Snowkite in the United States com (Mt. Shasta) and SOKA Kiteboarding School www. (Ashland) Restrictions: Sno-Park permits required Other: Call the Mt. Ashland snow phone (541)482-2SKI for a current weather report. (includes wind speed and direction)

Utah’s famous champagne powder is as good as it looks. PHOTO: Chris Nester

Conditions: The majority of the riding faces the prevailing southerly direction, look for winds from the SW in the 10-30 mph range. North winds can be ridden, but severely limit the available terrain. Skill Level: Novice to Expert Directions: 55 miles north of Salt Lakes international airport. Take I-15 North to Ogden’s 12th Street exit. Turn east and follow the signs through Ogden Canyon. At Pineview reservoir take a left on highway 158 and follow it up to the top of Pow Mow. Kiting is at the upper lodge near the Sunrise Poma lift. Hike out or ride lifts to the launch zone. Local Info: Snow reports at Facilities: Warming Huts, restaurants and lodging are available on the mountain near the riding area. Lift served skiing is available along with snow cat tours. Shops/Schools: Utah Kite Addiction and Kite Utah Restrictions: Must purchase a Snowkite Lift Pass at $20 per day. Other: No Kiting in bounds on ski runs. Wear safety leashes to prevent accidental release into lift towers. Always be aware of non-powered skiers and snowboarders.

Strawberry Reservoir

Utah Skyline

Description: An Alpine plateau with open terrain that is good for all wind directions. The exposed ridge line faces the prevailing South and Westerly winds offering terrain that stretches from miles of flats to rolling hills and steep cornices. Easy roadside access to a massive backcountry playground that is suitable for all riding abilities. Conditions: Snow fall starts in November and lasts into May, With December thru April offering better snow and wind conditions. The average flow is SW in the 5-15 mph range. Fronts can bring in North and Easterly winds, with strong ridge line gusts. Snow is usually deep powder but can become wind blown and packed. Skill Level: Novice to Expert Directions: Located 2 hours south of Salt Lakes international airport. Highway 31 begins in central Utah in the city of Fairview. Starting in Fairview, head east on Highway 31 for 14 miles. Park at the ‘Big Drifts’ parking lot on the right side of the road, just after milepost 14. Local Info: Sanpete County website lists lodging and local maps at and weather information is available at KiteUtah. com. Facilities: Restrooms and an Avalanche Beacon Garden are located at the Big Drifts parking area. No water, food or gas is currently available on the mountain. Shops/Schools: City Slickers Snowboard shop offers board & boot rentals. Kite Utah offers instruction and guided tours. Restrictions: None Other: Be courteous to Snowmobilers, roll up your lines after riding, avoid steep slopes during avalanche conditions.

Powder Mountain Description: An open ridge that sits just above tree line on the backside of the Powder Mountain Ski Resort. Sitting just under 9,000 feet, Pow Mow lives up to its name with heavy annual snowfall. Lift served skiing and warming lodges add to the resort ambience, just steps away from the out of bounds snowkiting. Check the Drift website for more snowkite locations around the world.

Description: An Alpine reservoir sitting at 8,000 feet and surrounded by open rolling hills. Multiple parking areas offer many routes of exploration and plenty of room to spread out. Natural terrain offers slopes and transitions in every direction. Conditions: Northerly winds bring better rides. Look for 15+ mph from the NW. Strong winds from the west and south can also be good, while not as consistent or reliable. The lower elevation brings snow from December thru April, with warmer spring conditions. Skill Level: Novice to Expert Directions: From Park City, head east on highway 40. Passing Heber and Daniels Summit, the riding starts at Strawberry River parking, and continues along the shoreline to Soldier Creek Bay on the east end of the reservoir.

Powder Mountain’s terrain provides breathtaking views. PHOTO: Chris Nester

Local Info: Weather reports are available at Local Forum is Facilities: Restrooms are available at several parking areas. Shoreline lodging is at the Strawberry Bay Marina on the SW shore. Shops/Schools: Kite Utah and Soaring Center in Draper. Restrictions: Park in designated areas, highway parking can lead to tickets and towing. Other: Check the lake conditions for ice depth, water can form above the ice and under the snow surface.


2008 Ride Guide Rush Lake Description: Strong winds and lake effect powder on a frozen lake near downtown Salt Lake City. Conditions: A shallow lake that freezes quickly with typically good ice. A mountain venturi funnels wind north and south across Rush. Winter storms can bring deep lake effect powder. As long as its blowing it can be good Snowkiting at Rush lake. Skill Level: Novice to Expert Directions: From Salt Lake head west on I-80. Turn south towards Toole on highway 36. Continue to Stockton, where you turn right onto Silver Ave. heading west. Follow the road around a couple miles and park on the access road leading down to the lake. Local Info: has a local forum, and weather links at Facilities: None, convenience store is in Stockton. Shops/Schools: Soaring Center in Draper has gear and lessons can be scheduled with Kite Utah. Restrictions: None Other: Watch out for spring mud on the shoreline. Also check out: Park City and Ephraim

Karl Bzdusek grabs a slice of Wisconsin goodness. PHOTO: Bob Cook

Wisconsin Tenny Park/Burrows

Description: Frozen lake with ice shanties usually starts around mid January. Go to Burrows for water riding in the summer to avoid the guarded beach at Tenny Conditions: W to NNW windblown hard pack to several inches of powder. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: East side of Lake Mendoata Local Info: Facilities: Designated parking lot and bathrooms in the summer, few minutes drive to downtown Madison Shops/Schools: Kite Riders, Restrictions: Don’t be an idiot Other: N/A

Wingra Lake

Description: First frozen lake of the winter Conditions: Any direction you get windblown hard pack to several inches of powder. No good in summer. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: North end of Lake Wingra by Vilas Park or Wingra Park Local Info: Facilities: Few minutes drive to campus and downtown Madison Shops/Schools: Kite Riders, Restrictions: N/A Other: N/A

Lake Waubesa


Lake Nachess/Snoqualmie Pass Description: Frozen lake Conditions: Ride here on east to southeast wind 10-20mph. West wind is not as good. You can ride Alpental ski area in the morning, check wind at the resort, and then kite the lake. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: Snoqualmie Pass. Park at sno-park and walk half mile over snow to the launch site. This walk is tough in deep snow. Follow the cross country trail along the power lines to the south. Local Info: Facilities: Designated parking lot. Shops/Schools: Choose from kite shops in Seattle, which is a 45-minute drive. Restrictions: Pay to park. Other: Check weather at maciver/roadview/i90/ or or


Description: Frozen lake with ice shanties usually starts in December. This is a great spot closer to Chicago than downtown Madison. Conditions: Any direction you get windblown hard pack to several inches of powder Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: McDaniels park or Lake Farm park Local Info: Facilities: McDaniels is a block or two away from a gas station, fast food, etc. Lake Farm park has a Port-a-John. Shops/Schools: Kite Riders, Restrictions: N/A Other: N/A Also check out: Lake Mendota, Lake Winnebago, Chequamegon Bay

Wyoming is known for it’s wind. The Snowy Range is known for it’s snow. You do the math. PHOTO: Eric Bader

Where to Snowkite in the United States

Wyoming Bald Mountain

Description: Eight square miles of gentle to steep mountain terrain. It is very open with no power lines or trees. Conditions: Southwest 10 – 25 mph and northerly storm winds 15 mph and up. Skill Level: Beginner to expert. Directions: Bighorn County, Wyoming. Highway 14A, 38 miles east of Lovell, or 17 miles west of Burgess Junction (Sheridan County, Wyoming). Parking at Dayton Gulch Forest Service road #15 turnoff. Local Info: None Facilities: No facilities. Bear Lodge Resort at Burgess Junction has full bar, restaurant, lodging, wireless internet, snowmobile rentals and hot tub. No pay phone and no cell coverage. Shops/Schools: Restrictions: Highway 14A is closed November to May. Snowmobile-access during winter. Be prepared for white out conditions and avalanche danger. Other: Burgess wind meter - getobext.php?wfo=byz&sid=BUJW4&num=48 and Snotel wind meter -

Bald Mountain. No one knows where it got the name. Bada Boom. PHOTO: Noah Poritz

Boarding the storm in Vermont. PHOTO:


Milton - Sand Bar Description: Frozen lake Conditions: Varied but South-Southwest and Northerlies are the best. Often has rock-steady 10-12 kt Northerlies especially in March. Skill Level: Beginner to Expert Directions: Route 89 north to exit 17 Route 2. Follow approx. 5 miles to the causeway leading to the Islands (South Hero). Parking in Sand Bar State Park for Northerlies and lot in the middle of the causeway for southerlies. Do not park in the Fish and Wildlife lot across from the Park entrance. Local Info: Stormboarding 802-578-6120, rachael@stormboarding. com Facilities: Port-a-Let in the Park. Plowed parking. Shops/Schools: Restrictions: No riding in the wildlife area in the far east area on the south side - they do give tickets. Avoid ice fisherman and do not park in the Fish and Wildlife lot on the south side. Other: Be aware of ice heaves and thin ice/water under the bridge 2/3rd of the way across the causeway (going West). Check the area or check in with Stormboarding if you are unsure.

Snowy Range - Libby Flats Description: Rolling hills and trees Conditions: SW to NW 10-20mph with higher gusts, windblown hard pack to knee deep powder. Wind is typically gusty. Avoid rocks and trees. Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert Directions: Libby Flats on the Snowy Range Road, Hwy. 130. From Laramie, WY, go west on 230/130, bear right on 130, continue west on hwy 130 until the road is closed for winter. Snowmobile or ski tour up the road about 4 miles, heading west until the terrain opens up. GPS: N41 21.169 W106 14.463 Local Info: Fine Edge Ski & Cycle - - 1660-E North 4th, Laramie, WY 82072, (307) 745-4499 Facilities: Parking lot where the road is closed. Small gift shop. Shops/Schools: Fine Edge Ski & Cycle - Restrictions: None Other: This area has a long season, from December to May. Also check out: Alpine, Bondurant, Jackson Lake, Togwatee Pass, Tetonia, Ririe, Tincup Pass, Slide Lake and Sulfer Creek. Check the Drift website for more snowkite locations around the world.

Thanks to everyone who helped get the information for these spots: Matt Vincent, Forrest Jones, Noah Poritz, Ken Lucas, Nathan Borer, Aaron Saude, Jeff Brown, Jan Brabant, David Polivy, Brian Schenck, Matt Thames, Monty Goldman, Eric Bader, Zebulon Jakub, Eddy B, Rachel Miller, Jan Brabant, Charlie Meding, Sam Salwei, Eric Byers, Tighe Belden, Joel Beatty, Richard Salonstall, Cole Russell, Karl Bzdusek and Bob Cook.

For more riding spots in the US and around the World, go to the [Locations] section at www. We will be adding more spots as they are discovered by Drift readers, so if you know of a great location anywhere, help us out by adding the info at www.driftsnowkitemag. com/locations/add... or send us an email.



Why snowkiting rules building off Your As a snowboarder growing up, I used to Existing Skills look out the car window at the all the killer snowcovered terrain I would have loved to ride and thought—if only it were on a slope! Now I don’t need gravity to have fun in all those places, because now I have snowkiting. Snowkiting takes all the fun of skiing or snowboarding, then combines it with the power of waterskiing or wakeboarding, and the access of snowmobiling. It can be done anywhere there is wind and an open area covered in snow like a lake, open field, park or the side of a mountain.

Just like the age-old challenge of patting your head while rubbing your belly, snowkiting requires you to do several things at the same time. While you are skiing or snowboarding you also need to be flying the kite. This takes some proper instruction and some practice, but it is a pretty simple skill to pick up.

Feeling comfortable and having control while on skis or a snowboard is a key skill that you will rely on. If you do both, consider learning on skis first since it makes some things easier. Waterskiers, wakeboarders, and mountainboarders should pick it up pretty quickly, but it helps You will look at the mountains to get some time on in entirely new ways because the snow with skis or a snowboard, without a you can go down, across and kite first.

Using the pull of a kite instead of gravity opens up a whole new 3-dimensional universe of fun. You can do all the things you normally do while skiing or snowboarding like make uphill with the powder turns, hit jumps and slide rails, but when snowkiting you can do all that going uphill, too! With some experience and skill you can go much bigger—so big that you can actually fly. Best of all, you don’t need to buy a high-dollar lift ticket to spend most of your time sitting on a lift or wear yourself out skinning up a hill to make turns. And everything you already own and know how to do at a ski area will help you learn to snowkite.

power of a kite.

Getting geared up

Although a good kite for snowkiting isn’t cheap, the good news is that you probably already have most of the other gear you will need. The most important thing you should have if you don’t already is a good snow-specific helmet. Additionally a good set of goggles and winter clothing are necessary for your safety and comfort. Both skiers and snowboarders should have relatively modern boards and boots. A twin-tip, symmetrical snowboard with the bindings centered and angled in a duck stance will allow you to comfortably ride in both directions—a necessary skill in snowkiting. It’s actually easier riding switch with a kite than it is riding downhill without a kite. Twin-tip skis aren’t necessary, but will make landing jumps more fun as you progress. The lighter the boots, bindings and skis, the better it is for jumping.

Lessons help you learn quickly and safely. PHOTO: Kim Kern


So, what about the kite? Look for a reputable brand and a kite that is well-made and in good condition if it’s used. Expect to pay from $600 to $1500 for a crispy new setup (kite, lines, bar, and bag) or $300 to $1100 for used gear. You certainly get what you pay for. The only other thing you will need is a comfortable harness which will run from $75 to $200. Many snowkiters use the same harnesses developed for water, but there are some new snow-specific harnesses on the market that are easier to use with bulky winter clothing.

PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege


The Fast Track to Fun

Although learning to snowkite is pretty easy, there are some very important skills that need to be acquired and the learning curve is pretty steep. The kite generates an amazing amount of power and if you aren’t properly trained in how to manage that power, things can get ugly fast. It is very important to take lessons from a qualified snowkite instructor instead of trying to learn on your own or with from a buddy. Instructors will take you through the proper steps and in the order that you need to learn them. Spending the time and money learning how to snowkite properly will put you on the fast track to having loads of fun. If you live near snow or are

The gear you have:

✔ Skis or Snowboard ✔ Helmet

PHOTO: Chris Nester

By Dave Grossman

traveling to a snowy area for vacation, the chances are there is an instructor nearby. Check our directory in this issue for shops and schools or go to

Welcome to the family With the specific skills and gear to snowkite, the world opens up in an exciting new way. Open fields you used to drive by will become your playground. Frozen lakes will no longer be just for ice fishing and you will look at the mountains in entirely new ways because you can go down, across and uphill with the power of a kite.

The gear you need:

✔ Kite with bar ✔ Harness


INDUSTRY NEWS Skyline Snowkite Summit brings industry experts together By Dave Grossman

many new friendships, a motivated group of stewards of this new sport, Drift Snowkite Magazine, and a bunch of new projects that will help grow the sport of snowkiting and share the fun.

The meeting of the minds brings out the brotherhood of snowkiting. PHOTO: Dave Grossman The first Snowkite Summit was as powerful an event as the snowladen storms that blanketed the Skyline area just in time for the arrival of the 50-plus participants. Kicking off the 2007/2008 Ozone Snowkite Basecamp Tour, the Snowkite Summit set the stage for an important shift in the industry and sport of snowkiting. Billed as both an Ozone dealers’ meeting and a chance to gather with some of the industry’s best and brightest, the Summit delivered. In attendance were Matt Taggart and Rob Whittall of Ozone Kites, Kite-Mountaineer Andrew McLean, Windzup’s Brian and Heather Schenck, and backcountry pioneers Ken Lucas and Noah Poritz. Many key retailers, distributors, instructors, pros, and kiting enthusiasts came from around the country to join in the ground breaking event. The mornings were comprised of big breakfasts, dynamic discussion on everything from retail strategies to insurance challenges, and excellent presentations on a variety of subjects. The group got a fascinating glimpse into the design and product development process, learned about online weather forecasting and the tools available, and avalanche issues specific to snowkiting. As the inches piled up outside, we talked about harness design, expedition logistics, and marketing strategies. Everyone contributed opinions, ideas, and suggestions. The raging wood stove and cold storm outside fostered a unique environment to share and contribute. With lots of fresh snow on the ground, everyone in attendance was excited to balance the informative and stimulating discussions with some adrenaline fueled snowkiting. Friday’s weather proved to be a baptism by white-out for experienced and inexperienced mountain drivers alike with only a few experienced and very adventuresome kiters out in the raging storm. The results of that storm yielded some amazing kiting on Saturday with bountiful snow, good winds and lots of smiles. Sunday yielded bright sunshine, endless powder, yet not enough wind to kite with much success. Inspired by the spectacular scenery, the gathering of fellow kiters and some tasty Ska beer and homemade gumbo, we gathered in knee deep snow to discuss new kite improvements, avalanche beacon use, insurance issues for instructors, and the idea of forming an industry association. The Summit offered a great opportunity to meet fellow kiters, learn more about the gear we use, expand our skill set, and have a great time. It was also a unique opportunity for a group of participants at the infancy of a new sport and industry to share ideas and help shape the future of snowkiting. From those three days have grown


Flying down the highway headed home after three great days, I felt as if I had my big kite out and was fully lit. I reviewed the names of the people I had met, the information I had learned, and the fun I had. I wondered if I had just experienced a singular event in snowkiting and if we would all go back to pursuing snowkiting in our own areas, detached from the tribe. With the 2009 winter approaching, I am happy to report that the Snowkite Summit will again meet in snow-covered and windy Skyline, Utah. Like the sport it is helping develop, the Snowkite Summit is growing and becoming more inclusive with more manufacturers participating, more clinics and breakout sessions, events for the general public, and even better opportunities to share in the growth of the sport of snowkiting! Look for dates, details, and more as we prepare for the 2008/2009 Snowkite Summit.

‘To Cross The Moon’ (2XtM) Brings the Winds of Change By

A moonscape or North Dakota? You be the judge. PHOTO: Mike Mohaupt To Cross the Moon (2XtM) was a snowkiting expedition that spanned nearly 400 miles across North Dakota to raise awareness about wind energy and climate change. Ironically, the 2007 expedition was cut short due to one of the warmest winters on record. The 2008 expedition faced similar challenges, but the crew was able to finish the expedition using a combination of skis, snowboards and buggies. This year, 2XtM founders Sam Salwei and Jason Magness, along with Paul Cassedy dealt with subzero temperatures and obstacles such as ice ridges and barb wire fences. A community outreach crew followed the expedition route and gave educational presentations to increase awareness about wind energy and climate change in local schools and at community forums. The crew also held free snowkiting clinics to get people actively involved and excited about using wind. During the program’s two seasons, the crew has spoken to over 10,000 people, taught hundreds how to snowkite and reached millions more through the media including appearances on MSNBC and Outside Magazine. For current daily news go to


MEDIA By James Brown


Project: Cloud 9

Once you get over the magical 3D effects in the opening credits and the brilliant HD quality you will be treated to the very best freestyle snowkiting in the world and a glimpse at the unique personalities that are dedicating their lives to it. The spectacular backdrops and varied terrain from above the Fjords of Norway to the jutting high peaks of Chile show why we are drawn to such an amazing sport. We’ve come to anticipate a high level of riding and cinematography from the snowkitefilm crew and they definitely deliver as they show us how to make the most out of natural terrain, kickers and rails. Sometimes it results in scary crashes but more often than not these guys stick the most amazing moves you can imagine. Bonus section: Super 8 footage with an acoustic jam from Frank. Running Time: 40+ minutes For copies go to:

Do you want to know the best way to spend the winter? It’s fairly simple actually. You buy a cheap, used R.V. from eBay and name it Clark. Gotta name it or the whole plan will fall apart. Then do a little snow dance to make it dump record setting amounts of snow. Then invite your friends to road trip around the country to hit as many epic snowkiting spots as possible. Done. So, check out the documentary of Patrick Nedele, Paul Macaj and friends as the travel throughout Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Montana. There’s a good mix of freestyle and big air. You’ll see why our foreign friends come back each year when you see the sick terrain they get to ride.

How To Snowkite: Volume No. 1 Basics Morten Gjerstad from has created the most complete resource for learning to snowkite that has ever been produced in the DVD. It breaks down of every facet of snowkiting in a well organized and easy to understand format. Even seasoned riders can pick up some helpful tips from it. Chapters include: Introduction, Terminology, Equipment (Kite, Clothing and Board/Skis), Location & Conditions, Kite Flying, Foil and Tube Kite Basics (Set up, Safety Release, Launching & Landing, Relaunch and Packing), Riding (Basics and Turning), Backcountry & Freeriding, Expeditions, Kite Repair and Jumping. Every beginner should watch this video before even setting foot on the snow. It is not a substitute for taking a hands-on lesson from a certified snowkite instructor, but it’s pretty darn close. Narration is available in both English and Norwegian. Running Time: 1:57 minutes For copies go to:


Running Time: 35+ minutes For copies go to:

Abducted by the Wind and Ride it out ‘Abducted by the Wind’, produced by local Idaho snowkiters J. Clive Jordan & Darrel Thomas is a quirky feel-good video showcasing the local talent and epic terrain you will find on their home turf. It documents real-life snowkiters in an un-real location. ‘Ride It Out’ gets right to the heart of why we snowkite—good clean fun. It also points out other benefits like getting away from crowds, reducing noise pollution and more importantly reducing our carbon footprint in the search for ultimate adventure. Running Times: 15+ minutes For copies go to:

INTERNET VIDEO LINKS There’s a reason that Chasta is a Red Bull athlete. This video shows why and it will get you pumped for the upcoming season. The Ozone team and some friends spent a week of snowkiting, speedflying and skiing at Thompson Pass in Valdez, Alaska. Check out the action from March. Here’s a nicely done 10-minute French snowkite film featuring some sweet terrain and solid riding. Seen any cool videos online lately? Take a minute to share it with Drift readers by sending the link to

Colorado Snowkite Lessons

Dillon Reservoir, Summit County, Colorado • PASA certified instruction • Small Classes • Beginner, Advanced and Private Lessons • Discounts on gear with lessons • Helmets Required Contact us for pricing, scheduling and directions. 970.389.0683 or 10 Farmers Lane, Unit 5, Breckenridge, CO 80424



Boardslide to Blind with Surface Handlepass RIDER: Guillaume “Chasta” Chastagnol

WORDS: James Brown


PHOTO: Pascal Boulgakow




n Stand upright and spot your kite. Make any adjustments depending on where your kite may be in the window.



n Continue rotating your head and upper body. Reach around with your free hand and grab the bar close to the center of the bar.


n Drop your shoulders slightly, but keep your head and chest up as much as possible without looking at your feet which will throw off your balance. This position keeps your arm more in line with your waist which is less stressful on your shoulders than if you were upright.


n Keep your body in a vertical position as much as possible and get your board turned and underneath you facing slightly downwind. If your board is lined up correctly, you can land, even if your upper body hasn’t caught up to your board.


e are starting our first issue with an advanced move. In future issues we will break down a variety of skills ranging from the very basics to highly technical pro-level tricks. This sequence demonstrates a move that requires multiple skills including precise kite and board control while unhooking and passing the handle. Work your way up to it by practicing each skill separately. No rail is needed so try it in the flats or off a kicker.

 HELPFUL HINTS n Adjust your depower strap so that when you unhook, the kite is not oversheeted. This keeps the kite from being too powered or backing down in the window which makes it possible to stay on the rail and complete the handlepass.

n Keep your kite at 45 degrees. If the kite is too low it may pull you too fast and pull you off the rail. If it is too high it will kill your forward momentum and when you go for the handlepass it will be harder or impossible to reach the bar.



n As you approach the end of the rail, in one “committed” motion, let go with your back hand, open up your chest rotating back towards the direction you are coming from.


n Ollie onto the rail. Get one foot on each side of the rail. Focus ahead of you at the end of the rail, not at your feet.


n Unhook right before you get to the rail. Keep your hands near the center of the bar and hold the bar in a neutral position. This means that the bar is neither above your head or below your waist and your arms aren’t completely extended or against your body. This allows you to adjust any direction.


n Approach the rail with moderate speed. This is the most important step because you have to get lined up perfectly with the rail. Keep your kite at 45 degrees.


The Making of


CLOUD 9 A Snowkite Documentary

WORDS: Patrick Nedele PHOTOS: Charles Braden The idea of the “Project” formed because we wanted to explore the best snowkiting destinations in the US and film the action for the third snowkiting DVD by Paul “Motz” Macaj, aka Fuze Productions. I bought a Toyota 4WD RV from eBay and named it Clark (after Clark Griswald from the movie, National Lampoon’s: Vacation). Motz and his filming partner Charles Braden jumped in and we were later joined by Guillaume “Chasta” Chastagnol who flew in from France for our month-long adventure. Driving through snowstorms with white knuckles and bloodshot eyes to reach each destination was par for course. We had no idea if we would get lost, stuck or frozen like popsicles inside the camper— but we were willing to take the risk. The trip took us through the most blizzards we’ve ever seen on the plains east of Denver, Colorado, the Snowkite Rodeo event in Montana, 4-feet of snow in Hill City, Idaho, snow-covered sand dunes in St. Anthony, Idaho, the Ozone Snowkite Masters event at Skyline, Utah, warm spring conditions at Lake Dillon, Colorado and extreme backcountry sessions out my back door on the Continental Divide in Winter Park, Colorado. We got to kite the some of the best terrain, with some of the best possible conditions, and met some awesome people. We were on Cloud 9!

The Colorado Blizzard December delivered three major blizzards in a row to the eastern plains of Colorado. It covered most of the sage brush and cactus so we could kite anywhere for the first time since we began snowkiting years ago. We had been asked to leave some private property and ended up finding a 3,000 acre ranch that was legit to ride. We rode close to the road for a day before finding this cliff. We jumped over a barbed wire fence to get to the cliff, which was probably the sketchiest thing we’ve ever done. Unfortunately I looped my kite into a Yucca plant and popped it. I had to post-hole for about two miles to get back to the road.


Clark Takes Us On An Amazing Vacation” I bought this sweet Toyota camper and borrowed a trailer from Windzup. Motz had a pop-up named Cousin Eddie, like the guy from National Lampoon’s Vacation. So I named mine Clark.In this shot, we had just washed Clark at the Mt. Pleasant car wash. We were putting an Ozone sticker on the side. They were our only sponsor for the Project. The brakes went out on the way down the canyon from Skyline the day before so we took it to the place behind. Maybe if we had gotten more sponsors, the brakes would have lasted, because they never worked well again.

Our Own Private Idaho Motz and Chasta are discussing where and what to shoot at this epic snowkiting spot near Fairfield, Idaho. There were massive mountains with no trees, sage brush or cactus. Everything was covered with snow. The Norwegians were there a week before and it was bare. You could ride for miles in one direction so I brought snowshoes with me in case I got caught out too far from the road. Our next stop was at Crater of the Moons national park. It was snowing too much to ride and luckily we found a natural hot springs in the canyon. At first we thought there was a fire, until we realized it was steam. The water was super hot, but you could move rocks around to let the cooler river water in to mix it up a bit.

Young Blood Pushes The Envelope of Snowkiting I taught PJ to kite two-years-ago and now he’s ripping it up like a pro. He has absolutely no fear. Coming from a freestyle skiing background has given him the skills to push the sport in a short amount of time. He sends it huge with kiteloops all the time. Here he’s owning the rails at the Therapy Sessions event at the Sanitarium in Colorado.

Who Needs Snow!? There was some open water where the river flows into Dillon Reservoir, so we did a bunch of runs from the snow onto the water. Some people make it across and some don’t, which gets the adrenaline pumping. It’s just like kiting on the water—only you can completely soak your winter clothes and iPod.

Back On Home Turf This is Rollins Pass where I live in Winter Park, Colorado. It is a long, but easy snowmobile ride to sweet open terrain that gets wind from the typical direction. You can ride for a few miles in any direction and show off for the commercial snowmobile tourists. If you want you can ride for many miles down the ridge line, but would need to pack up your kite to get across a few rock bands. There are unbelievable views of the valley.



for keeping your riding spots open So you’re a snowkiter now, huh? You got brand new gear for Christmas, the wind is cranking and you know of a snow-covered valley just begging to be kited. There’s only one problem. It’s probably private land, or a wildlife viewing area, or recreational area meant for hunting and fishing—not necessarily for snowkiting. Here are five tips that will help ensure that your ultimate kite spot remains open for all kiters, not lost to the realm of negative public opinions about our great sport. It’s happened before, so please take a minute to read.


Ask permission


Don’t overrun the area

Maps are great at showing what land is private, federal or state owned, but can sometimes be unclear about the rules of public access. If you are not sure, ask locals, landowners, park rangers or local or state police officers before riding. This simple gesture shows respect, can get you valuable information about the area and could prevent a fight with the local chapter of Duck’s Unlimited, that before now has had the area to themselves (true story). Asking the right way can gain you kiting access to almost anywhere.

Even on public land this is a good rule to follow. Kiting can be a graceful thing to watch, but if an army of kiters show up all at once with their bright kites, it can seem like an invasion. Keep kiting a novelty in your new riding spot, at least for the first season or two. Over time non-kiters will become accepting of more and more kiters enjoying our environmentfriendly sport. If a crew of riders carve up a normally pristine field, it will make it hard for non-kiters to accept.


Be friendly

A smile goes a long way. Most rural landowners are a hard working, friendly bunch, but sometimes it’s hard to get their attention. Take a moment to chat about the weather, their property, the slumping cattle market or the rising cost of irrigation. Then tell them why you are there; that the wind and snow on their dormant fields is perfect for snowkiting. They might look at you crazy or even show some doubt, but stay enthusiastic. No one likes to discourage a friendly person. Also, if you are sharing the area with ice fisherman or snowmobilers, show some interest in their sport as well. Making new opportunities down the road. 56 friends could open


Give back to the land and the community

One of the many perks of snowkiting on public or private land is that it’s free. You’re not paying for a lift ticket or for someone to clean up after you. Take the time to pick up garbage (even if it is not yours), fix a fence, or stand up a blown over sign. Show some respect for the land you are using. Go to meetings about recreational activities for the area and establish a relationship with the owners, caretakers or government officials that oversee the area. Most land needs maintenance. Volunteering could pay off at the next recreational planning meeting and can only improve attitudes towards kiting in general.


Be responsible

Next time you are having an epic session, resist the urge to boost over an ice fishing shack, road gap in front of unsuspecting motorists or grinding that nice wooden fence that took someone all summer to build. Snowkiting has seemingly endless possible moves, but respect your surroundings at all times. Make friends with others sharing the area before you start pulling some risky moves. If a day of kiting ends up with a trip to the hospital, a “dangerous” label is hard to erase out of the minds of non-kiters. Clue in other kiters about the “rules” of your local area. Let them know where to park, where to set up, where the boundaries are and what to expect for weather for example. Respect and a healthy sense of awareness for your surroundings will pay dividends in the end and help keep your new choice kiting spot open for years to come. Joel Beatty is part owner of Montana Kite Sports which serves Kalispell, Missoula and Helena in Montana.




the Standard Snowkite designer Rob Whittall keeps raising the bar By Brian Schenck & James Brown

Imitation is the greatest compliment. This common phrase couldn’t be more true when it comes to Rob Whittall’s industry-leading snowkite designs. His designs have been dissected, studied and emulated by other designers over the years. His recent refinements to the Ozone product line have blown minds, leaving other companies scrambling to keep up. We had a chance to catch up with Rob for a glimpse into his active life and restless mind. How are you involved in the snowkite industry? I am involved in many ways but I like to think that my main role is to keep pushing on all sides to further the sport and the fun people have with it. I love to ride and develop my own skills but most of all, riding inspires me and in turn my designs. I was one of the founders of Ozone but sold out due to the stress of business. I now am contracted to design all Ozone kites. My job is great, it allows me to enjoy the sports that excite me while pushing my brain to create and refine designs.

You held both the paragliding and hang gliding World Champion titles. What hooked you about snowkiting and pulled your focus away from those sports? I love all kinds of sports and I try to do everything I can because it is all good experience, but snowkiting is the perfect mix for me because it is so versatile. I love, speed, airtime, danger and dynamics. With a kite I feel like I have the perfect combination to exploit and satisfy my desires. When and where did you first discover snowkiting? I was living and working at designing paragliders for Ozone when I made a foil kite and tried it on the snow. It was an interesting first session but I was hooked immediately. There were power lines, thin snow and strong wind but I had a blast getting slammed and dragged. The fleeting moments that it came together were enough to send me back to the office ranting and raving, the following weekend I was doing it for real and that was that. What keeps driving you to progress designs as well as your own personal skill level of riding? Both develop together really. I would like everything to be better than it is and I always try my best to do that with my designs. As the designs get better so does my riding and as my riding gets better I want more from my kites and so on. However the main reason I have drive is that I really enjoy kiting and I enjoy watching others enjoy it and it makes a — continued

Rob charging the ultimate snowkite playground. Valdez, Alaska PHOTO: Andrew McGarry


The Standard

part of me feel really happy if they are riding one of my designs. Watching someone discover the sport or Chasta perform amazing feats with a kite I designed is really a beautiful thing. Do you still participate in other sports? I do a bit of everything. Paragliding, Speedflying, Motocross/Enduro, Ski, Snowboard, Skydive among others! I know it is a lot but I enjoy all of them for their own reasons. They are all flowing, engaging sports that require concentration and finesse at the same time­—much like it is with snowkiting.

How does terrain riding influence the styles and designs of kites you are developing? I try to design kites that are versatile so that all aspects of the sport can be enjoyed, I don’t focus on any particular one. Having said that, my idea of a snowkite is specific because I think the sport is much bigger than just freestyle. We have the mountains, lets explore the possibilities and push development in all directions and see what amazing things can be done with a kite and the human mind. Terrain is what this is all about to me and one day perhaps we will be kiting up 7000m peaks in the Himalayas and then flying down!

The fleeting moments that it came together were enough to send me back to the office ranting and raving.

Tweaking it out like a true Snowkite Master. Skyline Drive, Utah PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege


When you first started riding uphill, how did that affect your vision of snowkiting? I already knew it was an amazing sport but the uphill aspect made me realize we could now take it to the limit. It opens every door and as I found out in Alaska, to use a kite as an access tool is a reality. I kited up then skied down, kited down or I would Speed Fly down, sending huge air’s on the way. I think a kite on the snow with all it’s capabilities is probably the best and most versatile tool you can have.

Edging hard on a perfect powder day. PHOTO: Courtesy of Rob Whittall

The lines are getting blurry between the long flights of paragliding and those of some snowkiters that are flying off mountains. What are your feelings on that and how are your designs affected? Well I am the wrong man to ask because I am a hypocrite! It is really a totally stupid and crazy thing to do and I should know better coming from the paragliding world. It is not safe to do it and so far we have been lucky that nothing too serious has happened. If you do fly or want to fly them, then I tell you, you need to seriously think about what you are doing. For sure I do it so I make all our equipment as good and as strong as it can be but that is still nothing compared to what can possibly go wrong. They are not flying machines so we take our own risk if we chose to try to fly them. Your lifestyle must be very unique. Do you spend much time in the office or is most of your work done in the field? I love my life but it has it’s hard work and down sides, every day I spend behind the computer for example but I am outside breathing fresh air much of the time and that is what makes it all very enjoyable. It allows me to travel, meet new friends and have some magnificent riding in stunning places.

Do you think technology will combine and the future will bring one kite that does it all? Or will kite sports diversify and have even more niche specific products? Simple answer, I dream of one kite for all, but look at what Chasta needs compared to a wakestyle snowkiter—totally different. A Formula 1 car versus a rally car, different criteria different cars. Give an example of one of these niches and new technology that you are working on for future snowkites? I can’t do that but I promise you that my mind is not at rest and we are working on new stuff all the time. Watch this space… Where do you see snowkiting evolving? In the long term it will be atomized into extinction with the rest of the world when the time comes but before that I think we are going to be continually amazed as it progresses and grows.

What are the advantages of the snow-specific designs you’ve developed and how do these differ from water kites? Well as you all know I am the advocate of open-cell foils on the snow. The main reason is that I feel they are more versatile. They pack smaller, no pump, easy inflation, easy deflation, more power in light winds, you don’t need anyone to help launch and land even if the wind is nuking! They create massive power through the turn, which is crucial in light wind. Then you only have to watch Chasta ride and you see all the advantages. If you want to explore and ride the terrain and mountains then I think there is no choice—the open-cell foil is the hands down winner. If all you want to do is freestyle next to the parking lot then inflatables are excellent. That is the beauty of the sport, there is something for everyone. The 2008 Manta II model was a breakthrough in snowkitespecific design. Where do you go from there? Don’t worry, that was just the beginning of development; we are going to be going a whole lot further very soon. I know what we need and I am on my way to getting it. I would like to get more power from a smaller kite then the power can be controlled by the speed of the kite (How fast you move it around). Showing how it’s done with the kites he designs. PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege


‘09 Gear


Guide W

hether you are a complete newbie, a top pro or a gear hog—you need proper gear to have epic

snowkite sessions. Many technological advances have been made to enhance your snowkiting experience for the 2008/2009 season. Check out the following guide to drool over the latest weapons for your arsenal. We will be doing updates, in-depth reviews and analysis of gear in future issues and on the Drift website. Note: Currency conversions on prices may be approximate.

Sections: Boards - Pages 64-69 Boots and Bindings - Pages 69-71 Clothing - Page 72 Accessories - Page 73-80 Kites - Pages 80-91 PHOTO: Chris Nester


‘09 Gear Guide ABoards 

Kite+Snowboard ABoards Kiteboarding team has developed a twin tip with centered waist and wood core that can be truly called “2 in 1 board” fitting equally well for both snowkiting and snowboarding. Tests have shown that the ABoards 2009 kite+snowboard suits not only advanced riders but also beginners and intermediates. Beginners will enjoy the board when making the first steps in snowkiting or cruising down the slopes of snowboard resorts. Rippers will find it equally great in snowboard parks without a kite or when performing freestyle tricks with a kite in the mountain wilderness. Sizes: 147cm / 155cm / 158cm Colors: One design Price*: $538 / €399

Air Evolution AIR F 158

Snowkite Board pro-model Romain Fabretti. The most titled board until now, 4 x world champion. Developed by the pioneer of snowkite boards, Damien Richard. A must! Sizes: 158cm Weight: 2,2kg Dedicated to rider under 80kg Colors: Orange & Black / Black & Orange Price*: N/A Buy now:

Blizzard  The Reason

Have you been searching for the perfect ski that attacks the pipe yet stays completely solid on kickers and on slopes? Search no more...the Reason boasts IQ Free Carbon technology, three mounting positions with inserts, high resistant dual wood core and rock-solid sidewalls. Lean back and enjoy the show! All Mountain, Pipe & Park, Frozen Lakes. Construction: Woodcore, UHM Sintered Graphic base, CK 60 Steel Edge, High Resistant Gloss Topsheet, Compound Sandwich and Carbon Sidewalls. Sizes: 164cm / 171cm / 178cm / 185 cm Colors: One design Price*: $699 / €517


Empire Snowboard Whether you are into freestyle tricks, big air or just freeriding, the Empire will expand your possibilities. The Empire snowboard is a true twin tip with a high strength to weight ratio wood core that delivers an even response to long periods of edging which is unique to snowkiting. The Quadrax orientation of the lay-up distributes binding pressure over a greater area, because the 30-degree axis fibers add extra torsional stiffness. The stainless treated steel edges and Crystal EzCare base all make for a snowkite board with the highest durability. Sizes: 156cm Colors: Black/White Price*: N/A


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

DeCosse Customs 

Bjorn Pro Model/Park and Pipe Description: Designed by kiters for kiters. We have our team riders push our prototypes to their limits in search of the perfect formula for freeriding bliss. Kite-specific geometry and high tech materials provide maximum control and pop. Whether kite skiing on the platueau’s of Norway or riding the terrain parks in North America, the “Bjorn Pro Model” will stomp any trick as well as perform with precision. Size: 118/86/111, Length: 173 Color: Rasta Price*: $900 / €667 with standard graphics. (Custom graphics available upon request)

DeCosse Customs Tantrum 159

Description: The Tantrum 159 is the result of extensive testing by James Brown and Sigve Botnen. Rider input has evolved a board boasting multidimensional riding characteristics without compromise. Hard rock Canadian maple and poplar cores provide huge pop and lively feel with unsurpassed durability. 4 flexes available to suit all rider abilities. Travel light - this board also rocks on the slopes. Save that extra luggage space for beer. Size: Nose width 288mm, Waist width 248 mm, Tail width 288mm, Sidecut radius 9.8 meters, Length: 159cm Color: DeCosse Red Price*: $650 / €481 with standard graphics. (Custom graphics available upon request)


HellBent This is the rockered ski of choice for our Factory Team members on the deepest pow days. The HellBent is a massive functional backcountry twin tip built primarily for bidirectional skiing. The ski has been designed with a non-rockered, flat section, under foot giving this massive ski surprising versatility outside the powder. Sizes: 169cm / 179cm / 189cm Colors: One design Price*: $875 / €692


Mt. Baker Built for burly AT boots and aggressive touring, the Mt. Baker makes no apologies for its slightly heavier weight. The added directional stability that weight provides combined with two sheets of metal, a shallower progressive sidecut, and less hooky Powder tip give it unmatched smoothness, stability and predictability in the most challenging snow conditions. Sizes: 167cm / 174cm / 181cm Colors: One design Price*: $550 / €435

*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide K2 

Miss Baker Like its male counterpart, the Miss Baker was designed for high performance ski touring. Two sheets of metal give it a damp, agile and solid feel not available in most women’s skis. When conditions get sketchy, you’ll rejoice in the new found confidence that the predictable Powder tip and progressive sidecut provide. Sizes: 160cm / 167cm Colors: One design Price*: $550 / €435



Need a ski that does it all? Powder, crud, hard pack or bumps, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a condition the Schi Devil can’t tame. A deep sidecut and two sheets of metal provide unshakeable edgehold on hard snow, and give you a supple, smooth confidence that will almost make you feel guilty. But duck into the trees after a storm and you’ll swear you’re skiing fatties.

Like K2’s new neighborhood, the SODO (South Of the (King) DOme) is edgy, aggressive, and street savvy. Our heaviest and stiffest ski in the line, it has the brawn to straight-line that chute you’ve been eying just out-ofbounds, or blast through cut-up crud at the resort. Twin tips allow you to ride switch or throw a discouraging smokescreen when racing for first tracks, and a notched tail keeps skins in place when all your inbounds stashes are tracked out. Welcome to the hood.


Schi Devil

Sizes: 153cm / 160cm / 167cm

Sizes: 169cm / 179cm / 189cm

Colors: One design

Colors: One design

Price*: $525 / €415

Price*: $625 / €494


Darkstar/Wide True Freestyle Versatility. Refined for the rider ripping in the park, hitting natural kickers and taking tree runs all in a days ride, the Darkstar’s twin-tip design and medium flex defines true freestyle versatility. Winning numerous board tests in 2007, the Darkstar is back and a freestyle power to be reckoned with. Hyper Progressive Sidecut and centered stance offer precise response and easy maneuverability while the Hybritaper Tip and Tail reduce swing weight and has the stability to power through any landing. Sizes: 152cm / 155cm / 157cm / 159cm / 161cm Colors: Standard-Black with White top / Wide-White with Black top / Eech size has unique base color Price*: $399.99 / €316 Buy now: Buy now:


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

Mushow  Schizzo

Unique Snowkite Freestyle Board, Flat Shape between Stance, Twin Tip, SNK Soft Tip Flex, SNK inserts for wider stance, sidecut radious 13/9m, Wooden Core, Triax Glass, Nonocarbon, Hardening steel, Anti-Vibrating Rubber Sizes: 159 cm Colors: One design Price*: $470 / €350 Buy now:


Remi Pro Model

The Remi Pro offers stable riding in all conditions – smooth, fast and great pop. A centered stance and symmetrical outline give true twin tip riding. The 163cm has a little more sidecut radius and is perfect for larger riders, powder riding or riding without the kite for regular snowboarding. The 157cm and 148cm are pure snow kiteboards with less sidecut. The 157 is the choice of Remi for freestyle kiting, offering ultimate pop and controlled landings, while the 148 caters to women and smaller riders. Having a sidecut radius of 20m, these dedicated snow kiteboards will make your riding more comfortable without being forced upwind all the time. Sizes: 148cm, 157cm, 163cm Colors: Gray/Pink Price*: $449 / €325

Prior 

Khyber Splitboard The Khyber Splitboard is a backcountry powder board with a wide nose, generous sidecut and tapered shape that alleviates back leg burn and increases maneuverability. The Khyber’s quick-turning nimbleness makes riding tight trees and critical sections easier than you’ve ever dreamed possible. For these reasons the Khyber split continues to be the best selling splitboard we offer. The Khyber is the perfect backcountry snowkiting tool for snowboarders that want the option of using skins when kiting is not an option. Sizes: 150cm / 156cm / 160cm / 165cm / 170cm Colors: 11 designs


Price*: $1034 / €766

Original Ski The Original is the first Prior ski and it just keeps getting better. Its mid-fat freeride chassis floats in the powder, holds an edge on hardpack, and has just the right combination of flex for pop and dampening for a chatter free ride. Its all maple core and carbon/glass construction provide a perfect balance between weight savings and strength. Originally designed as the quintessential whistler all-mountain ski, the Original has now proven its ability on mountains worldwide. The characteristics of the Original make this a great snowkiting ski. Sizes: 165cm / 171cm / 175cm / 181cm / 188cm / 193cm Colors: 9 different designs Price*: $862 / €638

*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Snowfer UniBoard  K4 speed

For years, extreme sport enthusiasts have been exhilarated by the Snowfer Board; a surf board that glides at thrilling speeds over ice and snow. Now, Charles Chepregi, the inventor of the Snowfer Board has developed the revolutionary Snowfer UniBoard which simulates the thrill of kite boarding on water to snow and ice. The unique design of the UniBoard allows for 3-directional movement, while the single running steel edge allows for greater control on even the roughest terrain. Added features, such as the adjustable foot strap and board curves minimize counter-pull, making this board enjoyable for experts and beginners alike. Sizes: 7’ x 13.5” Colors: Red, White and Blue Price*: $800 / €592 Buy now:

Twisted Kiteboards Velocity

The Velocity is designed specifically for the rigors of Snowkiting. The Posi + Rocker combined with an obtuse side-cut gives the Velocity the feeling of a surf board with an effective edge that is smooth in transitions and efficiently tracks when the edge is set. The blunt tips and wide body create a shape that functions naturally under kite power unlike a traditional snowboard that is constantly trying to turn while on edge, the Velocity cuts thru and floats on top of the snow, allowing for a less fatiguing session. Sizes: 164cm Colors: Red base with full Twisted graphic in black. Black top sheet with a white toe side stripe. Price*: $450 / €333 Buy Now:

Venture Snowboards  Helix

The Helix’s true twin shape and mind reading responsiveness offer all the benefits of a freestyle deck while bomber construction and aggressive flex bring increased stability, energetic turns, and solid landings. Available in three waist widths and a variety of lengths to accommodate riders of all sizes. Handcrafted in Silverton, Colorado, USA with sustainably harvested woods and wind power. Sizes: Narrow (24cm waist): 152cm / 157cm / 162cm Medium (26cm waist): 153cm / 158cm / 163cm Wide (28cm waist): 154cm / 159cm / 164cm Colors: Natural/black / Red/black / Green/black / Blue/black Price*: $545 / €403 Buy now:


Splitboard Bindings

Bomber splitboard bindings provide a rigid, lightweight interface for hard boot splitboarders. They are built to last and compatible with Voile Aluminum tracks. Also available with Intec Heel piece to be used as a cord-releaseable binding setup - contact us for more info. Sizes: One size Price*: $171 / €126


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

Information soon at

*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Cabrinha  Effect Binding

The Effect binding brings to snowkiting the ultimate in performance and ease of use. The direct yet relaxed feel delivers the kind of rider to board connection that is essential for long periods of edging. Its design is perfect for all mountain and freestyle riding, providing a forgiving feel during hard landings and all day riding. The Flow Technology with its reclining hi-back allows the rider to easily get in and out of the binding even with kite in hand. This simple entry and exit of the binding is essential to snowkiting. Sizes: N/A Colors: Black Price*: N/A


Targa Ascent Binding

The Targa Ascent combines the award winning, lightweight T9 binding with a pole-activated free pivot system, easily switching the binding from tour to ski mode. XRace cartridge. 40mm rise. Sizes: N/A Colors: N/A Price*: $258 / €191

K2 

Auto Ever The lightest and most advanced performance binding ever. Say good-bye to toe ratchets and forward lean components and welcome shockingly light performance. The all NEW! Auto ever encompasses binding technology at its finest. Top tier performance for riders requiring no barriers. The NEW! Airlock highback creates a direct connection between the highback and heelcup and eliminates components for feather light response, seamless energy transfer and smooth flex. The New Auto-Lite Chassis design with Harshmellow maximizes power, comfort and durability whether you’re riding tree line or lift line. Sizes: M / L / XL Colors: Black Price*: $299.99 / €237 Buy now:



Customized Control. The perfect balance between performance and value, the Indy delivers customizable control and precise response at an unbeatable price. Featuring the Motion Chassis with adjustable aluminum heelcup, Caddy Ankle Straps, and NEW! Airframe Highback, the Indy kills it on the performance scale without sacrificing a super cush fit and durable construction. Customizable fit and function to meet the needs of the seasoned shredder or the recreational carver. Sizes: M / L / XL Colors: Black, White, Black/Red Price*: $139.99 / €110 Buy now:


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

K2  T1 DB

Customized Performance. Leading the charge for the K2 boot collection, the T1 DB takes the team driven T1 to a new level with the fastest and most convenient lacing system on the planet. The T1 DB’s Access Harness with BOA CBR combined with an external BOA Coiler System offers the fastest, most convenient lacing system out there. The Vibram Super Light Sole with Harshmellow and Intuition liners decrease the impact your body takes while magnifying board feel. Sizes: 6-13, (1/2 sizes 8, 9, 10, 11) Colors: Black Price*: $299.99 / €237 Buy now:


Transit Boa Roll up on anything with Boa ease. New this season, the Transit rider does it all in style. Combining trickled down tech and Boa lacing ease, the Transit Boa kills it on the performance scale without breaking the bank. Offering maximum technology to both beginners and advanced riders, the Transit Boa is fast, comfortable and ready to take your riding to the next level. A full synthetic upper liner makes for a responsive and comfortable ride whether they are fresh from the box or on their third season. Sizes: 6-15, (1/2 sizes 8, 9, 10, 11) Colors: Black / White Price*: $149.99 / €118 Buy Now:

Marker  Baron

Marker’s newest entry into the AT market for winter 09. Same proven technology as the Duke’s. Maximium DIN = 12. Sizes: S 265-320mm / L 305-370mm Price*: $388 / €287


Attiva Dragon 100

The Attiva Dragon 100 is a new high performance woman’s boot. 3 Density Construction, Cuff Alignment, Flex Adjustment, Anti Vibration System with Grip Sole, and Carbon Steel Buckles, give this boot ultra performance. Combine that with women’s specific fit, warmth and comfort features such as a scalloped velcro rear spoiler, Primaloft® Footbed and toe box, the women’s flared scalloped calf with calf adapter construction, and a velvet fur lining, and you have a boot that not only performs but feels good and keeps your feet warm and dry. Sizes: 22.5 - 27.5 Colors: One design Price*: $660 / €488 *Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Tecnica 

Agent Flat Brim Cap Cool flat brim design with flex adjustable fit. Be an Agent! Sizes: Flex adjustable fit: S/M, M/L Price*: $25 / €18


Agent Reversible Zip Hoodie

Heavy duty reversible zip hoodie. Sizes: S – XXL Colors: Black one side reverses to cool Agent colors. Price*: $110 / €81

Tecnica 

Midweight sock A great blend of Merino Wool, Polypropylene, nylon and spandex offers moisture wicking and warmth. Loopy terry cushioning on the shin and underfoot adds warmth and comfort. Great fit for added performance. Sizes: M / L Price*: $20 / €14


Spring Glove

Lycra stretch back with leather palm and forefingers offers great flexibility with durability. Velcro adjustable wrist strap. Sizes: XS - XL Price*: $38 / €28


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

Transcend Apparel  Snowkite T

Transcend is focused on producing the highest quality kiteboarding apparel. Founded out of a serious addiction to kiteboarding and a passion for design, Transcend strives to do its part in the pursuit of spreading the stoke of kiteboarding. Sizes: M-XL Colors: Military Green, White Price*: $21.95 / €16 Buy now:

Best Kiteboarding ‘09 Best Bar

To help you express your own riding style you need a bar you can rig and ride exactly how you want. The ‘09 Best Bar provides the perfect mix of ease of use, advanced safety features, with maximum freeriding versatility. Our new “Big-Black” molded chickenloop Quick Release provides easy one-handed release under any line load. With only one internal moving part, it’s a cinch to reassemble, giving you security and confidence. The “Oh Shit Release” grab handles on all front and rear flying lines allowing you to selfland your kite safely regardless of wind direction. Sizes: 45cm and 55cm Colors: N/A Price*: $349 / €258

Best Kiteboarding  ‘09 Best Waist Harness

A 3D-molded construction mixes form and function, bringing All Terrain durability. A dual-density wrap-around liner provides anatomically correct support, while a plush surface finish offers comfort and resists kite-induced harness twist. An integral spreader bar pad protects your ribcage from frontal impact and an additional lower strap helps keep the spreader bar locked down for riding overpowered. All webbing hardware is easily replaceable. A heavy duty webbing-reinforced handlepass leash attachment mounted via 20mm stainless steel rings and a hideaway safety knife provide the finishing touches. Sizes: XS 28-30” / S 30-32” M / 32-34” / L 34-36” / XL 36-40” Colors: N/A Price*: $149.99 / €111

Best Kiteboarding ‘09 Best Seat Harness

Brand new for ‘09, our Seat Harness is designed for riders who prefer the lower spreader bar position and added lower back support offered by a seat harness. Dual-density internal padding and a scalloped back ensure maximum freedom of movement at all times. Wide padded leg loops help spread the load from your kite across your hips and lower back. Finished off with a heavy-duty grab handle on the back and a webbing-reinforced handlepass leash loop. Sizes: XS 28-30” / S 30-32” / M 32-34” / L 34-36” / XL 36-40” Colors: N/A Price*: $124 / €92 *Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Flytec 

Windwatch Pro The Windwatch Pro is the latest evolution of Flytec’s popular Windwatch and Alti-Windwatch. The Windwatch Pro is a personal hand held weather station that perfectly blends state-of-the-art technology, superb functionality, user-friendly ergonomics and aesthetic product design. The Windwatch Pro has three technology patents and features an altimeter with previously un-obtainable accuracy, wind meter (average peak and instantaneous), barometer with barograph, temperature with trend graph, humidity/dew point with trend graph and full function chronometer. Size: 11.9 x 5.8 x 1.9 cm (67g) Colors: Red Price*: $179 / €132


Forerunner 405

The Forerunner 405 fitness watch has all of the awesome GPS features – how far, how fast, elevation, grade, virtual partner’s pacing, compass screen guiding you back to start, etc. – but in the size of an actual watch. It also has automatic, wireless download to your computer so that you can analyze your data after the workout, and you can even share routes wirelessly with another 405 user. The coolest feature is the addition of a touch-sensitive bezel. The vast majority of the functionality is done by touching, tapping or swiping the ring around the face of the watch. Sizes: One size fits all Colors: Black, Sage Green Price*: $299 / €221 or $349 / €258 with heart-rate monitor included.

Garmin 

Buy now:

Oregon 400t

Bringing the sleek ease-of-use of touchscreen technology to the rugged outdoors, Garmin’s Oregon series is an exciting new line of handheld GPS devices. You’ll never lose your way with Oregon’s high-sensitivity GPS receiver, shaded-relief mapping and color 3-inch touchscreen in high resolution. The Oregon has wireless exchange of tracks, waypoints and geocaches between other Oregon and Colorado units. The Oregon 400t gives hikers state-of-the-art 3D elevation perspective and preloaded U.S. topographic maps. And for those who do it all, the Oregon lets you customize five profiles: automotive, marine, recreation, fitness or paperless geocaching. A microSD slot allows for supplementary mapping. Sizes: One size fits all Colors: Silver Price*: $599 / €444 Buy now:

Garmin nüvi 500

Drive, hike, bike or boat. With the rugged, waterproof, multi-mode Garmin nüvi 500, you can do it all. Packed with detailed street and topographic maps, nüvi 500 is ready for adventure both on and off the beaten path. The nüvi 500 features driving, walking, bicycling and boating modes – all with spoken turn-by-turn directions – which customize your nüvi specifically for your method of travel. This portable hybrid combines the advanced navigation features and large, color display found in automotive units with the durability of an outdoor handheld. Sleek and slim, you can slip nüvi 500 into your pocket or backpack. Sizes: One size fits all Colors: Black/dark gray Price*: $499 / €369 Buy now:


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


Edge Helmet The Edge offers lightweight performance at a minimal price. As with all K2 helmets, the edge meets all the highest test standards for ski and snowboard helmets with a clean look at a minimal weight. Sizes: Small 51-55cm / Med 55-59cm / Large 58-61cm Colors: Matte Black, White, Silver, Harvest Moon. Price*: $100 / €79


1000 Weather Meter The Kestrel 1000 Wind Meter is the base model of the Kestrel weather meter collection. Simple and compact, the Kestrel 1000 fits right into the palm of your hand & weighs a mere 1.5 oz. It’s also extremely durable and waterproof, allowing you to measure wind speeds in even the harshest weather conditions - it even floats! Measures current wind speed, average wind speed and maximum wind speed and includes a hard slide-on case, lanyard, and battery. Convenient and reliable, the Kestrel 1000 is the perfect tool for snowkiters & other outdoor enthusiasts that rely on accurate wind speed information. Sizes: one size, 4.8” x 1.7” x .06” - weighs 1.5 oz. Colors: blue Price*: $64 / €47 Buy now:

Kestrel 

4500 Weather Meter The Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Tracker is Kestrel’s flagship meter. Capable of monitoring and reporting an exhaustive list of environmental parameters, the Kestrel 4500 is the most feature-rich pocket weather meter in the entire Kestrel catalog. The Kestrel 4500 features a digital compass and measures: wind direction, crosswind, headwind / tailwind, current wind speed, max. wind gust, average wind speed, temperature, wind chill, relative humidity, heat stress index, dewpoint temp, wet bulb temp, barometric pressure, altitude and density altitude. The Olive Drab NV version is equipped with a red night vision backlight. Sizes: one size, 5” x 1.8” x 1.1” - weighs 3.6 oz. Colors: Yellow (standard 4500) and Olive Drab (4500 w/night vision) Price*: $289 / €214 (standard) $309 / €228 (w/night vision) Buy now:

KiteFix kx-0401

KiteFix’s best seller! This repair package contains all you need to make permanent repairs. Hand assembled in Canada with high quality products, KiteFix’s repair kit is a must to be added to your equipment. Includes: 1 Glufix tube (1 oz.), 2 self-adhesive dacron rolls (Black & White, 5’ each.), 7 Fiberfix tapes (4’ each), bladder ultraadhesive patches (3’’x 7’’), 1 Peel2Fix valve repair system, 1 Talkine bottle (3 oz.), 1 Glufix applicator, 3 tie raps, 1 detailed user’s guide, 1 brush, 1 pair of scissors, 1 marker, 1 plastic bag, 1 kitefix sticker. All put together in an airtight plastic container. Sizes: N/A Colors: N/A Price*: $49.99 / $59.50 CND (in US and Canadian shops) Buy now: *Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Osprey 

SpaceStation 140 Lighter than competitive models, these rolling expedition duffels offer all the function and durability of the smaller Osprey travel wheels, with the great features that Osprey bags are known for: an oversized base compartment with bellows divider, StraightJacket compression, one external side wet/dry pocket, two additional external side pockets and 6 grab handles. They also feature a larger 18-inch wide base High Road™ Chassis. Sizes: The SpaceStation 140 provides 8500 cubic inches of gear space at just 11 pounds, 7 ounces. Available also in 100-liter volume. Colors: Available in black and montero blue. Price*: $249 / €184 Buy now: mmc=CSE-_-GoogleBase-_-na-_-Osprey-SpaceStation-140-Pack-&ad


Variant 37

A new ski mountaineering and ice climbing design: the result of mountain guide, professional alpinist and weekend warrior input. Features a removable 3D contoured EVA hip belt with tool loops, and a removable HDPE framesheet with 6067 aluminum stay. A crampon shield compression pocket keeps those awkward to carry sharp pointy things out of the way, while side compression/ski straps provide a place to stash your planks. Additional performance logic includes a sternum strap whistle, removable top pocket with spindrift collar, wand pockets, and hyper-comfort Thermoformed backpanel, A hydration sleeve and ice tool attachments stow alpine necessities. Sizes: Three torso sizes (Sm, Med, Lg) and four hipbelt sizes (Sm, Med, Lg, XL) Color: Pyro Price*: $169 / €125 Buy now: MG/item/212233/N/0

OtterBox 

iPhone 3G Defender™ Series Case Provides semi-rugged, drop and scratch-proof protection for iPhone 3G devices. Sizes: fits Apple iPhone 3G model only Colors: Available in black, coming soon: white, yellow/black and pink (benefits the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade) Price*: $49.95 / €37 Buy now:


iPod nano 3rd Generation Armor™ Series Case

Provides fully waterproof, interactive protection for iPod nano 3rd Generation devices. Sizes: fits Apple iPod 3rd generation only Colors: clear Price*: $39.95 / €29.59 Buy now:


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Ozone 

Control System 09 In 2005 we introduced our “leash-less” Re-Ride safety system which meant no more leash tangles or hassles when riding. The Frenzy FYX and the Manta II 09 has a newly re-designed Re-Ride safety system. The “Patent Pending” system is simpler and more effective while being easier to reload once activated. The new Control System with our moulded “Megatron” Chicken-loop, trim buckles, new plastic bar ends and cleaner safety system gives you the ultimate bar in one length (54cm) that works for all sizes of Frenzy FYX and Manta II. Size: 54cm Price*: $250 / €175


Access XC Harness This comfortable harness, designed like a rock climbing harness, will not ride up. Lightweight yet strong, there’s plenty of padding for the back and leg straps. Constructed using the finest nylon webbing and kite harness buckles, it’s the perfect complement to your Ozone snowkite. Choose either the D-Ring Hook or the XC harness with a spreader pad and hook. For 09, we have improved the XC Harness and it now comes without mesh to stop snow build up. Sizes: One size fits all Price*: Price with D-Ring: $99.00 / €65 or Price with Spreader Bar and Hook $125.00 / €90

Predator  Shiznit

The Shiznit can be worn with the visor front or back. When compared to helmets with longer visors, the Shiznit’s 1 1/2” (4cm) visor provides sun protection and improved safety by reducing “bucketing”. The shell is made of high impact Ralvek® thermoplastic for increased stiffness and protection. A comfortable closed-cell waterproof foam is used to dissipate impacts. The Shiznit also features our Croc-Loc® rear adjustor for a comfortable, locked-down precision fit. The Shiznit includes a closed-cell fit pad kit for customizing, detachable thermoformed ear covers, top quality webbing, buckles and stainless steel chinstrap rivets. CE EN 1385 approved Sizes: One size with fit pads included Colors: white, blue, matte black, black carbon. Price*: $69.95 / €51.81

Voile Skins

Brand new! These XL skins are 130mm wide and come with a cutting tool so you can custom trim the skins to fit the shape of your splitboard. Sizes: 130mm Colors: Orange Price*:$172 / €127


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

Ska Brewing Co.  Pinstripe Red Ale

The most important new feature on our ’09 model is absolutely nothing—we perfected the Pinstripe nearly 13 years ago. Caramel malts and Liberty hops allow the rider to increase his/her own perceived abilities. The circular opening atop the long, amber neck allow for optimal air intake, resulting in higher lift for the rider. Newcomers, intermediates, and experts alike will find the Pinstripe’s flight properties unparalleled, unmatched, and downright delicious. Made by snowkiters. Sizes: 12 ounce Colors: Red Price*: $8.49/6-pack


Black Hole Duffle

The Black Hole Duffle Bag will soon become your favorite duffle for day to day use or travel. Its volume/capacity, durability and stylish good looks make this the perfect addition to your luggage collection. Removable and adjustable shoulder strap. Padded and adjustable stow away. Convertible shoulder straps. Made of waterproof rubberized material. Compression straps. Carry handle located on the top. Stow away convertible pack straps. Carry handles located on the side. ID window. Reinforced bottom. Large and durable top opening zipper. Inner mesh compartment. Airline approved. Sizes: 80cm x 40cm x 34cm Colors: Black Price*: $85 / €62 Buy now:

Slingshot  Daily Board Bag

The essential padded board bag for daily use. Removable and adjustable shoulder strap. Fits up to 50cm board. Fully padded Full access zip. Carry handle located on top. Id window. Airline approved. Sizes: Small: 138cm x 45cm x 15cm / Large: 148cm x 45cm x 15cm Colors: Black Price*: $60 / €44 Buy now:


Kite Back Pack

Padded yolk style shoulder straps. Padded back. Adjustable shoulder straps. Stabilizing cross strap. Carry handle on top. Carry handle in front. Cell phone pocket on the shoulder strap. Easy access padded front zip pocket. Sizes: One size Colors: Black and Gray Price*: $25 / €18 Buy now:

*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Zeal 

Detonator PPX World’s only UV activated Photochromatic & Polarized lens. Glare cutting and auto light adjusting lens works in low light to full sun conditions. Comes with a protective hard case and lens cleaning bag. Helmet compatible by design and permanent antifog. The height of current goggle technology. Sizes: Fits medium-Large size face Colors: Carbon, Black and White Price*: $170 / €125 or $200 / €148 (for Spherical Lens) Buy now: s_09&detail=detonator&m=1&s=1


Link SPP

Spherical Lens shape provides 20% more air volume over flat lens shapes. UV activated Photochromatic & Polarized lens. Glare cutting and auto light adjusting lens works in low light to full sun conditions. Comes with a protective hard case and lens cleaning bag. Helmet compatible by design, permanent antifog. The height of current goggle technology. Sizes: Fits medium size face Colors: Carbon, Black and White Price*: $200 / €148 (for Spherical Lens) Buy now: &detail=link&m=1&s=1

Air Evolution  Hybrid X-Air

Mountain range, from beginner to World Champion! The X-Air is the perfect kite for beginners to depower kites right throught to expert riders demanding a kite that has ultimate stability, incredible depower, insane pop and unrivalled float. Sizes: 6m / 8m / 10m / 12m Colors: Blue / Yellow / Purple / Red Price*: N/A Buy now:

Air Evolution Hybrid Z-Air.Box

Freestyle Range. The Air Evolution Team was looking for a 100% freestyle foil to sit beside the X-Air. Everything has been rethought and developed with our unique logic to give the freestylers the perfect tool they need on snow or on land. The Z-Air.Box is a totally different kite to the X-Air, and with this revolutionary concept it answers the teams request of getting closer to LEI riding. Faster-Bigger window-Shorter turn. Sizes: 8m / 10m Colors/Sizes: 8m Yellow / 10m Purple Price*: N/A Buy now:


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Airush  2009 Crest

Highly responsive and maneuverable, the Crest is designed to make quick, sharp turns and give the rider greater control and freedom. With a strong focus on safety, the Crest offers maximum depower, extreme stability, and easy relaunch across a wide range of wind conditions. The profile is designed to maximize the airflow in order to maintain the speed of the kite without losing any stability or performance. Due to the stability this kite can be used by all riders. All the range is packed in a mountain bag to carry food, water and first aid kit. The bar that is coming with this kite comes with an easy grab handle, safety parts in red and safety release extension for short arms. Sizes: 5.0m / 7.5m / 10.0m / 12.5m Colors: Red / Blue / Green Price*: $899 - $1,299 / €665 - €962


2009 Outback The Outback has been developed to enjoy your first ride on land or snow and keep you happy for years after that. Stability, easy relaunch, safety, smooth power and control are the key aspects of this kite. This kite is especially made for the rider that wants to try snowkiting without buying a complete quiver. As all our range this kite is reinforced with the same process and has the same bar as the Crest. Sizes: 8.0 Color: Black and White Price*: $749 / €554

Airush  2009 Trainer

The Airush trainer has seen ongoing improvements with a focus on maximum stability, reliability and ease of use. The trainer features a 3rd line for easy relaunch and increased safety on all sizes. Compared to 2008, New shape, faster, more stable, 3rd Line system on every size. Sizes: 2m / 3m Colors: Red / Blue / Green Price*: 2m - $149 / €110, 3m - $249 / €184

Best Kiteboarding Nemesis HP

The perfect balance between C-kite responsiveness and SLE performance making it an unbeatable choice for all conditions. The addition of Twister Tech for ‘09 delivers faster turn initiation and tighter turning with reduced bar pressure, maximizing handling response in all conditions and easier relaunch. With a more responsive kite you will even find light wind kiting more practical and enjoyable than ever before. Our Cuben Equipped LE continues to deliver breathtaking jumping, upwind riding and hang time. Add in a revised VP2 bridle for stability and you have the number one kite choice for allperformance-focused riders, in any conditions. Sizes: 6m / 8m / 10m / 12m / 14m Colors: Red / Burgundy / Green / Turquoise / White / Yellow Price*: $879 – $1,249 / €651 – €925


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

Best Kiteboarding  Waroo

The standard against which all other free-ride kites are judged, the ‘09 Waroo doesn’t just blur the lines between new school and old school, wakestyle and freestyle: it erases them. The Waroo’s huge depower, fast turning, easy relaunch and easy handling help riders of all skill levels to progress faster, further, and simply have more fun snowkiting. The ‘09 Waroo comes with a revised VP2 bridle for perfect stability and ABC Custom Tuning for confidence-inspiring versatility and ease of use. Our All Terrain build quality and original Canopy Framing ensure your Waroo can withstand any abuse you throw at it. Sizes: 3m / 5m / 7m / 9m / 11m / 13m / 15m / 17m Colors: Red / Burgundy / Green / Turquoise / White / Yellow Price*: $429 – $1,099 / €317 – €814

Blade Trigger

The Trigger is unlike any other SLE kite on the market. It is characterized by constant maximum power throughout every movement – without sacrificing the favorite features of classic SLE kites. Blade created a uniform bridle system that turns the kite quickly and responds to steering commands without delay. The combination of a very efficient profile and wingtip design makes the Trigger extremely powerful even in lighter wind ranges since it moves faster and maximizes constant power. Don’t overlook the fact that with impressive stability and easy relaunchability, the Trigger is not only powerful and quick but forgiving as well. Sizes: 5m / 7m / 9m / 10m / 12m / 14m Colors: N/A Price*: $1,282.50 / €950

Cabrinha 

Switchblade IDS

The industry-leading kite for wakestyle and freeriding just got better. Thanks to the addition of our Intelligent Depower System or IDS you have more control at your fingertips than you ever thought possible.The Switchblade IDS is a performance kite with a direct, light bar feel, and easy handling capabilities. The Switchblade handles the task of unhooked riding by delivering a constant steady powerband. When unhooked the kite continues to fly forward, making the power predictable during your tricks. Sizes: 14m / 12m / 10m / 8m / 6m / 4m Colors: N/A Price*: N/A


Crossbow IDS

The Crossbow IDS delivers in all areas of power and range of use that you would expect from a Cabrinha Freeride kite. We have implemented a Dynamic Arc progression which reduces the flatness of the arc as the kite sizes get smaller. The larger sized kites have the flattest arcs and highest aspect ratios for light wind efficiency and a wider wind range. The smaller kites have a more conservative arc and lower aspect ratios for control and handling in stronger winds. This unique design progression makes the Crossbow a chameleon when it comes to challenging wind conditions. Fast flying, quick turning and a wide wind range blow the doors wide open for high performance riding in any type of discipline or conditions. Sizes: 16m / 13m / 11m / 10m / 9m / 7m Colors: N/A Price*: N/A *Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Caution Kites  The Zombie

The ultimate inflatable for those kiters who insist on the best of both worlds. This new design combines a stable wing with Caution’s renown flying characteristics and bombproof build strategy. With balanced bar pressure, highly responsive steering characteristics, and a foolproof short bridal system, the Zombie is the ultimate crossover for reliability and performance on both the snow and water. The single inflation system integrates new connection hardware, proven to be durable and failsafe for quick inflation in extreme environments. With smooth and direct handling characteristics, the Zombie is a well-built free-ride kite guaranteed to impress the most demanding kiter. Sizes: 4m / 6m / 9m / 12m Colors: Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue

Price*: Starting at $999 / €790

Flysurfer Kiteboarding Outlaw

The Outlaw gives it’s a rider a stable and secure platform to perform tricks. With its high turning speed and tight turning radius, climbing uphill has never been so easy! It incorporates a Total Depower System, patented Jet-Flap Technology to increase lift and reduce stalls and Auto Bleed Over to automatically remove sand, rain and debris from the kite. The Hard/Soft Steering is continuously adjustable allowing riders to adjust bar pressure according to individual desire. Front Line Safety (FLS) or Back Stall Safety (BSS) with the possibility of a re-launch which is preferred by many snowkite users! Sizes: 6m / 8m / 10m / 12m / 14m Colors: Blue/Black / Red/Black / Orange/Black / Green/Black / Blue/Black Price*: Different in all markets. 6-Month free repair warranty.

Flysurfer Kiteboarding  2 Cool

The 2 Cool completes its predecessor with the Full Depower Safetyline (FDS). We’ve also been able to increase the overall performance without sacrificing its extremely competitive price and value on the market. It surprises with well-tempered flying characteristics, tight turns and a steady power generation. With all these characteristics the 2 Cool addresses itself to the beginner and offers the advanced rider a cost efficient kite for land and snow usage. Free-Repair Warranty. Sizes: 4m / 6m / 9m Colors: Blue/White / Red/White) / Orange/White) Price*: Different in all markets. 6-Month free repair warranty.

Flysurfer Kiteboarding Pulse 2

Improvements give the Pulse 2 superb depower, good light wind characteristics, unmatched handling, decreased risk of a front stall and more direct feedback on the bar. Turning speed has been increased, without annoying back stall. The kites’ bridle has been shortened considerably for less tangling and the already well known Hard/Soft Steering is continuously adjustable allowing riders to adjust according to individual desire. In this way, the rider can decide between extremely high or extremely light bar forces – up to 50% lighter than any other Kite. The Front Line Safety (FLS) combines a high safety level with the possibility of re-launch. Sizes: 6m / 8m / 10m / 12m / 14m Colors: Blue/White / Red/White / Orange/White / Green/White / Blue/White Price*: Different in all markets. 6-Month free repair warranty.


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

Flysurfer Kiteboarding Psycho 4

The Psycho4 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor and impresses as a radical freestyle kite with big safety reserves. The enhanced agility and direct feedback enables superior control learning new tricks has just gotten easier! The new “Triple Depower“-Technology combines 3 characteristics to maximize the depower effect: the angle of attack changes, the projected size of the kite changes and the airfoil camber changes. These result in an extremely wide “sweet-spot” where the kite creates its optimum performance. A tube kite, by comparison, only uses the change in angle of attack in order to achieve its depower effect. Sizes: 6m / 8m / 10m / 12m / 15m / 19m Colors: Blue/Black / Red/black / Orange/Black) / Green/Black / Blue/Black / Red/Black Price*: Different in all markets. 6-Month free repair warranty.

Flysurfer Kiteboarding Speed 2

The Speed 2 excels in hangtime and upwind ability. The new Front Line Safety (FLS) is now standard on all new Speed 2 kites and allows the rider to reduce the kite’s pull in a very effective and fast way even outside the recommended windrange or in emergency situations. The biggest advantage of the FLS consists of the absence of an extra 5th line. This is the new light wind weapon. When parking the kite at the edge of the wind window you can hardly feel the kite’s power because of its huge depower. Sizes: 6m / 8m / 10m / 12m / 15m / 19m Colors: Blue/Black / Red/black / Orange/Black) / Green/Black / Blue/Black / Red/Black Price*: Different in all markets. 6-Month free repair warranty.

Flysurfer Kiteboarding  SilverArrow 2

The SilverArrow 2 enables you to have fun in marginal winds! Thanks to the reduced weight (more than 25%) it won’t fall out of the sky in lulls. Comparable tube kites can weigh up to three times more! It is almost 25% smaller when packed away than the Speed 2. To squeeze out the maximum of the low end, all kites will be delivered with extra 6m line extensions. Custom sizes with our lightweight fabric Skytex 27 are available on request. Sizes: 19m Colors: 19m (Silver) Price*: Different in all markets. 6-Month free repair warranty.


Bandit Dos

Delta “C” shape design advantages on the snow. Easy setup with the simple linesystem, only 4 lines. Autorelaunch (even easier than on water). The Delta C shape original power makes it really good in light wind. Very stable in gusty winds (good in the Alps, Chile). Huge windrange (you can cover all wind strengths with 2 kites) with foilkites you would need 3-4 kites to cover the same range. Very good quality and resistance of the Force Frame concept, so you can crash them a lot on ice etc without breaking them. Sizes : 4.5m / 5.5m / 7m / 8m / 9m / 10m / 12m / 14m /16m Colors : 12 combinations Price*: $1,249 - $1,799 / €689 - €1,229 or *Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Gin 

Eskimo III The Eskimo III follows the generation of Eskimo. It is a high performance and high quality snowkite product. Big lift, precision, stability and reactivity are their main characteristics. New for this year: a 5th line, to be able to cancel 100% power of the kite after having open the quickrelease of the kite and the kite is on the ground. Like all the GIN kites, ESKIMO has a very light pressure in the bar and it is a very instinctive kite. Available in November 09. Sizes: 6.5m / 8.0m / 10.0m / 12.0m / 14.5m Colors: Vanilla / Milkshake / Kiwi Price*: $1,203 - $1,584 / €949 - €1,249

Gin Inuit

Intermediate snowkite. Inuit is simple, safe, accessible and instinctive. Inuit has also very interesting performance, and all the GIN characteristics. Available now. Sizes: 4.5m / 6m / 8m / 10.5m Colors: Pitaya, Lime, Orange Price*: $761 - $913 / €600 - €720

Gin 

Tonkawa The Tonkawa is the ideal kite for competition buggy, snowkite and MTB speed (speedcross and race). The TONKAWA is a kite that offers the highest performance to all levels : Flight quality, Handling, Design, Construction. Available now. Sizes: 3.1m / 4.1m / 5.4m / 6.8m / 8.7m / 11.5m / 15.4m Colors: pepper, wasabi, cinnamon, curry, juniper Price*: $632 - $1,584 / €499 - €1,249 (Kite-Only prices)

HQ-Powerkites Montana IV

Reborn in its 4th generation, the dynamic new Montana IV sets the standard for depower foils. Faster and more responsive, the Montana’s wider tips and slender profile provide more lift and stability. You’ll be amazed by the light wind performance and increased depower, making the Montana IV the freestyle kite of choice. Sizes: 7.0m / 9.5m / 12.5m Colors: 7.0m–red/yellow/grey / 9.5m–orange/yellow/grey / 12.5m–blue/yellow/grey Price*: $849 - $1,039 / €628 - €769


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

The velocity, full of new school innovation. .. For the full low down and tec specs check out the website world wide shipping avaiable Contact...Windzup (+1)435-462-5303. *Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide HQ-Powerkites Apex II

With the Apex, HQ Powerkites continues the idea of a beginner friendly depower kite with lots of performance. After two years of continuous development, an all new shape and profile offers more depower range and faster turning speed without losing its brilliant stability. The Apex is the perfect kite for snowkiting in the backcountry or for cruising with a landboard. Sizes: 5.0m / 7.5m / 10.0m Colors: 5.0m–purple/fuchsia / 7.5m–yellow/orange, / 10.0m–green Price*: $619 - $759 / €458 - €562

HQ-Powerkites Neo

HQ Powerkites is launching a true crossover kite that will revolutionize the sport. An innovative closed cell design and bridle system allows riders to use the NEO on terra firma or water with the ability to launch and land in areas never before possible. The NEO is an easy-to-fly foil that offers fast turning speed, a huge depower range and the ability to reverse launch off any surface. The durable ram-air properties of the NEO eliminate bladders that burst and the time spent pumping them up. Whether you are freestyling on snow or cruising flatwater, the NEO will be your perfect ride. Sizes: 6.0m / 8.0m / 11.0m / 14.0m Colors: one color per size (6.0m–grey/yellow, 8.0m–blue/yellow, 11.0m–green/orange, camuflage/orange, 14.0m–yellow/orange) Price*: $849 - $1,169 / €628 - €865

Liquid Force  Session

The 2009 Session is the most stable, friendly and reliable kite that Liquid Force has ever released! Designed to be the ultimate all conditions, all terrain and all abilities SLE kite. Using LF USB 2.0, and proven Diamond Wingtip, the Session eats up gusty/unstable conditions for breakfast, providing the ultimate depower and unmatched range in a 4 line 1:1 SLE kite. Safety and relaunch capabilities of the Session push the limit of reliability to the point where you can be confident that it will depower when you release the bar and relaunch effortlessly when it hits the snow, every time! Sizes: 4,6,9,12,16 Colors: Blue / Red Price*: $1399 - $1599 / €1,039 - €1,188


2009 Cult The Cult returns as the ultimate user friendly, all-terrain kite that is ideal for the majority of the world’s riders. The focus this year has been on improving the turning speed on the larger sizes, extending the low end, and making the relaunch even easier. It has our new Direct Response Steering technology, Low Drag Wingtips and re-engineered bridles.The Cult is designed for beginner through advanced riders seeking a stable, easy handling, All-Terrain kite. Beginners will enjoy the smooth, responsive steering, light bar pressure, de-power capabilities and easy relaunch. Advanced riders will enjoy the balanced feel, hooked-in or unhooked. Sizes: 3m / 4.5m / 6m / 7.5m / 9m / 10.5m / 12m / 13.5m / 15m Colors: Too many combinations to list. Price*: $1,399 - $1,749 / €1,036 - €1,295


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

North Kiteboarding  Solid

The “5th Element-like Pressureless Safety System” continues to be the most important feature of the Solid 09. In addition to the regular landing and relaunch option, this system offers perfect safety functions: releasing the 5th Element safety line pulls down the kite’s central profile, causing the rest of the kite to collapse backwards. The wind meets no resistance and the depowered kite sinks to the ground. Together with improved profile and bridle geometries we optimized the flying properties of the various sizes. The smaller sizes now have more harmonious flying characteristics and permit an absolutely stress free kiting experience, particularly for newcomers and intermediate riders. The Vario Trim option allows the rider to adjust the kite to personal preferences. Sizes: 4m / 6m / 9m Colors: Various Price*: $1099 - $1299 / €499 - €649


Access XC 09

The Access XC is designed for taking beginner snowkiters X-Country into the back country; it’s the ultimate personal ski-lift to take you wherever you wish to go. The ultimate Global Season Pass. For the 09 season we have updated the Access with a new bar in 54cm for all sizes, a completely new backpack design and all new colors for ‘09. The Access has become one of our most successful designs to date. It is the ultimate kite for anyone new to snowkiting giving the rider un-matched peace of mind and security and is the choice of every leading snowkite school in the world. Sizes: 4m / 6m / 8m / 10m Price*: $649.00- $949.00 / €590 - €750

Ozone  Frenzy FYX

The Frenzy has been the benchmark for D-Power foil design since 2001. Our designers have created a technical masterpiece combining performance and ease of use like never before. It is based on the design of the legendary Manta II and shares the same Speed System that allows the angle of attack to be changed minutely, which results in the smoothest progression from full power to full D-Power. The balance of the design is what makes the mid-aspect FYX such a solid performer with unbeatable stability, turning speed, low-end power and impressive D-Power. Sizes: 7m / 9m / 11m / 13m Price*: $999.00- $1299.00 / €910 - €1080


Manta II 09

The high aspect Manta II became known as the snowkite of choice for experienced kiters last season—the ultimate backcountry tool for those in the know. The handling and performance allows the rider to push their skills further than ever before making this the ultimate kite for experienced riders. Chasta says: “The Manta is amazing, I love this kite. It makes me feel that there are no limits to what I can achieve” For the “09 the Manta II has been updated with improved trim, our new “Patent Pending” Control System, new backcountry technical backpack, safety leash and new colors. Sizes: 8m / 10m / 12m / 15m Price*: $1100.00- $1400.00 / €1000 - €1240 *Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.


‘09 Gear Guide Ozone  Cult

The Cult is easy to use, yet has top-end power and performance. This high performance Powerkite for Buggying, Land-boarding, Snowkiting or recreational flying was designed without compromise to deliver you the ultimate all-round traction kite with rock-solid stability. Comes Kite only or ready to fly supplied with your choice of 4-Line handles with Kite Killers or Bar with safety leash, backpack and 25m 180/110 kg Pro-line sets. Sizes: 2.0m / 2.5m / 3.5m / 4.5m / 5.5m / 6.5m Price*: $320 - $550 / €220 - €370


IMP Trainer The IMP Trainer kite is an open cell foil kite designed with ease of use, enjoyment and quality in mind. It is a very stable kite with smooth and easy control characteristics, making it easy to fly. This version comes with a bar control system and can be used by schools and people wanting to learn the basics of kite handling. If the kiter gets into trouble they simply let go the bar and the kite will fall to the ground with no power. Then pick the bar back up and get going again. Sizes: 1.5m / 2.0m / 2.5m / 3.5m Price*: $175 - $250 / €127 - €185

Sensei  2-LineTrainer

The Sensei is the first ever two line relaunchable trainer kite. Just pull one line and the Sensei pops off the ground and easily relaunches. Truly revolutionary, it’s also the smoothest, most stable trainer out there! Named “must-have kite of the year” for 2008, the Sensei is excellent for the beach, park, snow field, or paired with a longboard, skateboard or mountainboard. Comes complete with bag, bar, handle, and lines—Ready-To-Fly! The kite has self-cleaning vents so sand will automatically be dumped out. Strategically positioned internal baffle vents evenly distribute pressure throughout the kite, making it very durable. Sizes: 2m and 3m Colors: Varies from over 12 possible combinations Price*: 2m - $119, 3m - $169 / 2m - €139, 3m - €159 Buy now:

Slingshot Fuel

LEI Kite C shape. Extensive days of testing, pushing the limits, willingness to take the beatings and redefining the words Exteme Power are what describe the Freestyle Collection. The Fuelʼs legacy for innovation, durability and unrivaled high performance are what make the Fuel the freestyle expert weapon of choice. In its 8th year. the Fuel sets the bar even higher. With freestyle global team rider Ruben Lenten as a calculated part of the design process, the Fuel positions itself as the anchor to the Freestyle Collection. Sizes: 5m / 7m / 9m / 11m / 13m Colors: N/A Price*: $1,549 – $1,849 / €1,147 - €1,369 Buy now:


*Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.

Slingshot  Rev2

LEI Kite hybrid shape. Maximum versatility without sacrificing an ounce of performance is the Crossover Collection mantra. The Rev hybrid kite, in its maiden year, gained the attention of advanced surf and flat water enthusiasts alike with its collective qualities. Now, in its second year, the Rev2 continues to deliver and exceed every promise of unmatched stability, range, responsiveness, high performance and ease of use in a hybrid kite. Sizes: 5m / 7m / 9m / 11m / 13m / 15m Colors: N/A Price*: $1,549 – $1,949 / €1,147 - €1,443 Buy now:

Slingshot Turbo3

LEI Kite bow shape. The NEW Slingshot TURBO3 has evolved past traditional bow kites to incorporate our delta style canopy/LE configuration. Riders of all abilities will discover a 4 line bow kite that delivers all the requirements of unmatched range, instant 100% depower, safety and instant re-launch ability. Just ask the insiders that work at Slingshot what they ride. Anyone looking for unmatched flexibility to suit their personal style or preferences needs to fly this kite and find out for themselves why it’s the leading all around performer. The TURBO3 has the finest combination of ease of use and performance. Sizes: 5m / 7m / 9m / 11m / 14m / 17m Colors: N/A Price*: $899 – $1,050 / €665 - €777

Slingshot  Buy now:


The NEW Slingshot Ranger is a 4 line foil designed for the intermediate to advanced snowkiter who values characteristics such as de-power ability, performance, durability and convenience at an affordable price. The Ranger is ideal for snowkiters who desire, predictability, smooth power, quick turning and stability. The control bar includes the Lock-N-Load chicken loop, rear line brake/relaunch webbing, additional safety release on the Quick Release surefire Bungee, colored Firewire kite lines, easy handling leader lines and mega traction bar grip. Sizes: 12m Colors: N/A Price*: $649 / €480 Buy now:

Slingshot B4

The B series is the perfect recreational foil kite for snow and land applications. With the addition of the Ready Relaunch system this compact, lightweight foil kite is safer and easier to fly than ever before. Ready Relaunch offers instant depower and an advanced relaunch system for the traction kiter. Sizes: 4m Colors: N/A Price*: $399 / €295 Buy now: *Currency conversions from the time of publication are approximate.



SNOWKITE DIRECTORY The first world-wide directory of snowkite

riding locations, shops & schools is coming soon to





Drift is FREE to downlo a and dona tions would d, re be apprec iated to he ally lp keep bring ing you gre to at snowkite c ontent. HELP Than ks to friend s

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Resorts Embrace Snowkiting By Ken Lucas


sa life-long skier and a snowboarder, whenever I thought of riding on snow I always pictured ski resorts. Which resort got the good snow, had the highspeed lifts, terrain parks, Ken Lukas nightlife, PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege etc. In the early days of snowkiting we decided to try it at Timberline Resort at Mt. Hood in Oregon. We rode

That didn’t stop us from continuing the process of working with resorts to incorporate this new winter activity into their programs. We wanted to ride the open terrain they offered, and they wanted to stay in business by selling lift tickets and lodging. So the motivation was there, but the necessary evil of insurance came up. Resorts are used to fighting law suits many times a year and they obviously must protect their business. Understanding the reality of the issues they deal with has been important. In 2003 we were doing backcountry ski clinics with at various resorts around the country and most of our staff were also snowkiters. We started approaching the resorts to allow us to teach snowkiting along with our backcountry ski

On the bright side, some resorts are already working on special snowkite programs. The best example is Powder Mountain in Utah. Lucky for them, they actually use private land and don’t have to deal with the National Forest permit. Early on there was still the issue of liability which could be covered if snowkiters purchased a lift ticket, but their Insurance Risk Manager needed to learn more about the sport and accept the fact that snowkiters were not going to hurt anyone. We were at the point of giving up when along came Utah local, Les Vierra of, who wanted to teach snowkiting at the resort. Once they

You get the best of both worlds at a resort. If there is wind you can snowkite. If not, you can ride the lifts and still have a good time.

freely inside and outside of the ski area boundary. Some days we bought tickets to ride within the ski area and other days we hiked up to get to the wind. One of the early snowkite companies ran a catchy ad in one of the kitesurfing magazines that showed snowkiting at the resort and had the caption “We don’t need no stinking lift tickets”. It was a great ad but it caused quite a stir at the national ski resort industry annual meeting. In hindsight, it was a setback for snowkiting.

clinics. Two resorts that had great snowkiting terrain and were interested in allowing snowkiting were Kirkwood in California and Powder Mountain in Utah. Kirkwood has a great set-up with a large meadow at the base which is good for beginners and two areas up on the mountain which are great for experienced snowkiters. After two years of talks and meetings we ran out of steam trying to solve some of the issues. Like many resorts, they lease public land and need all activities approved or risk losing their permit with the National Forest Service. Just like

Into the great wide open. PHOTO: Chris Nester


the sport of snowboarding, familiarity with snowkiting by resorts, National Forest Service and insurance companies will eventually change that status.

had two separate businesses wanting to work with them, they saw the light. Money! Living locally allowed Les to work with them to fine tune a special discounted snowkitearea access ticket that generated money and protected the resort. Kiteboarding brand, Best, sponsored a full-blown snowkiting event at the resort last season, drawing top-level competitors from as far away as Norway. If your local ski resort has good snowkite terrain then approach them with their

Snowcats make beautiful kickers. PHOTO: Chris Nester

Big business for resorts—Big bonus for snowkiters interests in mind—selling lift tickets and lodging. Negotiate a special discount snowkite ticket to gain access to the terrain and inform yourself about their insurance and permit issues. It can be done. Powder Mountain has paved the way for other resorts to add snowkiting to their programs. As our numbers grow more resorts will see the light. Some Colorado resorts with good snowkiting terrain have already given permission to anyone with a lift ticket, but they have yet to openly market it to snowkiters. Years ago I used to snowboard at the only resort in the country that allowed it, Snow Valley in Vermont. When the ski resorts saw that we were not a danger to everyone and that they could sell us lift tickets, not only did they allow it, they actively promoted snowboarding. The same trend is taking hold with snowkiting and it’s an exciting time.

Chasta makes a guest appearance at Powder Mountain Resort in Utah. PHOTO: Lance Koudele

Many resorts have good snowkiting terrain above treeline that is not ideal for other resort users because it is exposed to wind and isn’t steep. Since that is what we want, they simply need to officially post those areas for snowkiting like any other terrain park. Many of us have stopped going to resorts with our friends and families because all we want to do is snowkite and the back country has been our only option. You get the best of both worlds at a resort. If there is wind you can snowkite. If there is no wind you can ride the lifts and still have a good time. Your friends and family can stop by to watch the action and then meet later at the lodge or condo to swap stories about how much fun you had doing what you love.

Resort-quality rails are a bonus. PHOTO: Chris Nester



The Triangle Lounge makes your head spin. PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege

Sending it during a sunset session. PHOTO: Noah Poritz

Red Bull gives Tamatoa Gillot wings. PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege

Jeff Howard is bringing sexy back. PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege

Join the Kite Brigade! Send your photos to We will post our favorites in the magazine or to the website. Plus you can win free swag or points!


Border crossing in the Yukon Territories. PHOTO: KiteYukon

When Dimitri was packing his bags, he thought that Eclipse was sending him home to Greece. PHOTO: Gustav Schmiege

Brian “Shaka” Schenck hangin’ loose in Valdez, Alaska. PHOTO: Heather Schenck97


Drift Snowkite Magazine Issue 1  
Drift Snowkite Magazine Issue 1  

The premier snowkiting magazine.