Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snowkiting - Kiteboarding in the Snow

summer kiteboarding
photo by Jakub Krupa
Want to be cold, go fast, have near-death experiences and get a real rush? Try hooking your snowboard or skis to a kite, and there you go!

In the summer we're almost getting used to seeing kiteboarders skimming over the surface of lakes, but in the snow? Not so often.

Spring Lake Township's Marc Hoeksma, 38, has been doing both for about seven years. He admits that he prefers the warmer weather, but says it's easier to launch the kite in the winter.

Large open fields and frozen lakes make the best places to snowkite, but at least 4 inches of snow cover is required over dirt. Experienced snowkiters perform tricks, just as kiteboarders do.

Hoeksma recommeds taking lessons if you want to try the sport. He's broken a leg, and "has been involved in some horrific crashes" while snowkiting and kiteboarding. He broke his leg once while attempting to land after a jump. "I probably almost drowned a few times," he said. "I've had plenty of near-death experiences."

from The Muskegon Chronicle, "Kites pull 'surfers' on frozen lakes, too", by Eric Gaertner, Jan 9, 2008
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