A dozen kiters from the Front Range, Western Slope and Summit County have been in touch this week, and we're all seeing non-legal locations being promoted by bombastic influencers on facebook.
Pioneering kiters have been snowkiting in CO since the late 90s, back in the wipka days. Full feature-length snowkite DVD movies have been made within the state. Many kiters have moved here recently and don't know what efforts have been made through the years. Which leads to the current situation: a surge of reckless facebook information recently is likely to screw up everything that has been understood by veteran kiters for 20 years. Numerous folks worked their tails off in political meetings to open up Lake Dillon for kiting.
There's a guy that's been using Facebook FOMO methods to try to get himself attention and says he provides lessons and expert supervision, rents gear etc. He isn't authorized to to use these reservoirs (nor does he have the required permits and insurance). The legal penalty and fines for guiding without a license is severe. He's posted locations that are illegal to sailboard (ice or water), yet is recruiting people to come kite at these illegal locations. We're getting in touch with the licensed instructors in CO and utilize the legal process to stop illegal guiding that harms the sport.
The CO facebook page has a lot of discredited info getting passed back and forth. If you're using the internet to rally groups of people to snowkite at the places provided for ice fishing then you're ignorant and may cause all the denver reservoirs to be banned with ticketed enforcement. Lake Dillon measures it's annual snowfall in FEET. Other valley spots get inches. Dillon offers a much better experience than a few inches of wind-jacked snow on top of rock hard ice.
A general CO rule of thumb is that if you can ride a snowmobile in that location then you can snowkite there. Otherwise...
You'll notice there's a lot of obvious other locations that weren't talked about previously and it's for a good reason- they may be marginal in consistency. If you think you're on to a new spot, you're definitely not. There are places with a few inches of snow on ice, but the official regulations are written to only provide sanctioned public use for ice fishing. These spots have rules against wind-powered sports!
Here it is on the facebook page from 2015, naming the areas that are known to be OK to snowkite.
areas and are not recommended for beginner/intermediate kiters. Ride at your own risk and dog help you if you cause one of these spots to be shut down to kiteboarding because the locals experts will unleash their wrath on you.
There are many amazing snowkite spots around Colorado. The most popular spot is at Dillon Reservoir in Summit County, 70 miles west of Denver. Anton R at coloradokiteforce can help with info, gear and lessons. This is a park-and-ride spot with access at both north and south ends. Green Mountain, and Lake Granby are other lake kiting options in northern Colorado. If you are willing to hike/skin/snowshoe and are an expert kiter you can ride at Loveland Pass... If you want open up many more possibilities you need to get a snowmobile because you can go long distances and get to spots with terrain above tree line (10-12,000 feet elevation).
If you are new to the sport take a damn lesson before you hurt yourself or others, trash your expensive gear or get us banned from our limited riding spots.
Feel free to ask any other questions that haven't been answered here and I can update this post. -James Brown