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Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

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SoFarSoGood
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Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby SoFarSoGood » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:49 pm

Hello all,

I'm looking to expand my windsport options since good paragliding conditions are few and far between during the North American winter months. My ultimate goal is to progress to the point where I can pull a tow a pulk loaded with winter camping gear. I'm an experienced downhill skier, and I'm assuming there's at least a little positive transfer from my paragliding skill set, but otherwise I know very little. So I'm looking for suggestions on how to go about learning and progressing towards my stated goal, and what type of gear I should start with.

A few questions:

- Is this a sport I can safely learn on my own?

- Is a 4-line depower open cell kite with a waist harness what i should be starting with?

Thank you for any and all suggestions/info.

Joel

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby Janus » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:20 pm

Hi Joel,
Since you are familiar to the power of foils due to your PG experience I would say it is possible to learn on your own with the right gear.
Take a look at the Peak4 from Flysurfer (Skywalk)
For harness I would use a Seat. (Or small climbing harnass)
I personally don’t understand the flying around in the snow with “water” gear.. so many failure points.
But for towing yourself up the mountain safely on your own I strongly suggest the Peak4 with B-stall safety line. Safe gear and the small package won’t hinder you in a freeride down.

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby Breze » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:27 pm

When reading ,"paraglider wants to snowkite" i thought you want to use your PG to kite...

As said above, with your background yes with a good spot ( space is your friend)
have a look



Agree , look for the Peak, size depends on snow conditions, windspeed, your weight

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby SoFarSoGood » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:04 am

Excellent. Thank you both for the info.

Are there any particular websites that are good for finding used gear? Any other forums to check?

I have a climbing harness I can use at least initially. So I just need a bar and a kite?

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby Herman » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:34 am

It is not a sport you can learn in complete safety. There will always be risks. I taught myself to kitesurf and landboard back in the day. An aviation, engineering, sailing and windsurfing background was useful enabling me to identify and mitigate the risks. Really it is an unfair question unless it is to somebody who has intimate knowledge of your aptitude and abilities, but I suspect you already know that! There is enough info on the net if you have the ability. Talk to your local riders.


If you can’t get enough time on snow you could consider landboarding or the safer option kite buggying to provide more opportunity to learn kite skills. They are a lot more fun than static flying imho. Obviously all depends on the local opportunities available.

PS. It is relatively easy to couple climbing and waist harnesses and you will find that this can bring advantages which can make the extra rigging worthwhile.
Last edited by Herman on Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:31 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby Janus » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:29 am

SoFarSoGood wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:04 am
.. So I just need a bar and a kite?
sort of.. I would stick to the Flysurfer Peak4 and the FS COnnect control bar (made for the Peak4), get it new and you're set. Take a look at the Flysurfer page for additional Peak4 info. ( https://flysurfer.com/project/peak4/ )
Decide which size(s) you need and get it new, it will be hard to find used but you can be lucky..

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby Bille » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:56 pm

Seriously here :
Nobody asked what wind-range, you expect to be kiting in, and what
your weight is ; so that should be a bit of a clue , as to what ...

Dude -- i bin paragliding since 1989 , and kiteboarding since 2003 ; the
two sports are COMPLETELY Different (.)

OK -- what is your PG rating , and how long have ya bin doing it ?
The answer will tell me about your survival instincts.


Bille
Last edited by Bille on Fri Jan 01, 2021 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby fernmanus » Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:25 am

Why is that so many newbies think because they are proficient in a slightly related sport (paragliding, snowboarding, skiing, wakeboarding, surfing) or just that hey are young and in good shape that they don’t need lessons. If I was proficient driving a car would you lend me a dump truck?

Let me just point out that one ER trip is going to cost more than the best kiteboarding lessons. Even, if you don’t manage to injure yourself, why waste time screwing around clueless for months on end. Be smart, the best money you will ever spend kiting is on proper instruction.

I am not an instructor. I have been kiting for 20 years. I have seen so many new to the sport get injured or flail about because they refused to take lessons.

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby GDTRFB » Fri Jan 01, 2021 1:52 pm

I'm one of those who managed to figure out snow kiting (with a sailing, windsurfing, skiing background) on my own starting in 2004. Had to as there are STILL basically no kiters in eastern Maine. Started with a 3m little devil on handles in '04 and then got a 7m '04 Frenzy...(happily I now have a quiver that doesn't let me get skunked because of wind all that often these days) I figured it out and never even encountered another kiter until 2012...Would I do it this way again? short answer is HELL NO! I made it through with no injuries but not with out a few really close calls. There are some fine folks out there these days who teach the necessary skills and will make it so much easier to progress...and in the grand scheme of things lessons/instruction is pretty damn cheap considering what you'll spend on kites...and you'll have a lot more fun a whole lot faster.

But since you asked , the single skin kites from Ozone, Flysurfer and Gin are all worth a look. Lots of wind range and pretty user/beginner friendly....Check out Hardwaterkiter's web site...Chris has done some great reviews of these and other kites.

As to the harness, I prefer a seat harness and use an older one from Ozone. I've also used an alpine climbing harness as well as a big wall harness. Overall I prefer the kite specific harness as it's padded in the correct places but then I don't do any gliding or big jumps....

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Re: Paraglider Wants To Snow Kite

Postby Matteo V » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:19 pm

fernmanus wrote:
Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:25 am
Just about everything that a fellow kiter tells you about the dangers of learning snowkiting on your own is true -even when they admit they figured it out on their own without lessons.

On top of that, taking lessons doesn't mean you wont get hurt. I know one, and have heard of many more instructors that have a hard time getting used to the fact that once or twice a season, they have to get medical attention for a paying student who was hurt during their lesson. It seems to be the 2nd most cited reason for giving up being an instructor, just behind the monetary cost vs compensation.

Personally, I gave a father trainer kite lessons and explained multiple times about the dangers of a lighter weight person using a trainer kite in higher winds. He then purchased the same sized trainer kite, took his son out on a day that turned out to be windier than forecasted, and got his son hurt by letting him fly it in winds that the father was getting dragged around at twice the weight of his son, in.

In one other incident, I assisted with student of another teacher. 6 months later, that kiter got lofted while under the supervision of the other teacher, and hurt pretty bad.



Given these common experiences, it is easy (and justified) for us current kiters to give the default recommendation for lessons in the OP's situation. But just for arguements sake, what would it actually take to be safe in learning on your own? My best guess on that is that it takes a minimum of these 3 things:

1. A slightly above average level of intelligence and drive to "learn" via others mistakes to avoid making your own.

2. A high level of conscientiousness and attention to detail, along with an overriding commitment to safety above all.

3. A realistically in check ego that allows you to "go for it" when safe, but pass on it when not, no matter who is watching and no matter how hard you want to show off.


In my self taught experience, I can only honestly claim to have a handle on number 2. My high level in this area has saved me on a number of occasions. But it has not been enough to make up for my lacking in the other areas. I still have been hurt trying to show off, or just when doing something easily avoided with a bit more careful thought. Luckily, none of my injuries have stopped me from being able to kite for more than a few weeks (edit: one of my two landboard injuries was almost 2 months of no kiting - due to me trying to show off my new 12m's jumping capabilities).

But here is the caveat - after lessons, you are on your own anyway. And you still have the potential for your lacking in the above areas to get you hurt. On top of all of this, what are the chances you get a good instructor who takes the time to truly teach you all of the safety considerations you will need?


My advice:

Be your own instructor, AND take professional lessons.
Do this by buying a trainer kite and being safe with it. Get to the point where you can do multiple loops, keep it flying in extremely light winds, and keep it flying above you with one hand while sending a text with the other. Then take professional lessons with full sized kites at a good safe location with a highly recommended instructor.

After you have had some success under a good instructor, then you go back to teaching yourself. That is where I currently am at.


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