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The Snowkiting Forum - View topic - Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
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 Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:21 am
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Post Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
Ok, I think this will be an interesting thread.

Which is safer: snowkiting or kitesurfing?

I say that snowkiting can be more dangerous if you're not carefull, but can be much, much safer if you are cautious... In other words, snowkiting has a wider 'safety range'. Kitesurfing, on the other hand, always involves the possiblity of drowning and the necessity to be 'powered up'... two elements that raise its safety threshold several notches higher than snowkiting's lowest 'safety point'... (think open field, two feet of snow, 15 mph winds, and a 4 meter kite).

What are your thoughts?


Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:49 pm
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Post Re: Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
I'd say snowkiting is safer, but it depends where you're riding, frozen lake with crust on top, deep mountain snowpack, rocks. If you get lofted where I snowkite and get piled driven into the snow, usually you can walk a way with powder covered smile. The only hazards seem to be trees, but If I were to have a kitemare and get drug into the trees, my kite would probably get tangled before I would. Rocks usually arent an issue.

Frozen lakes arent that forgiving.

Kiteboarding on water, there are usually so many other obstacles and hazards near the launch. If something goes wrong, it could easily go seriously wrong quick. And the dirt isnt much more forgiving than ice. Also the idea of getting tangled and drowning, is a real hazard.

I feel much safer in the snow.


Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:38 am
Post Re: Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
I'd say Snowkiting in most ways... It was easier for me to get my 12yr old Son into Snow. Look how mild it can be. You just don't need as much power to do it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lPijS0tcYA

And then he was asking for more power but still it would be less than needed for kiteboarding.


Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:38 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:31 pm
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Location: Canada
Post Re: Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
I'd say Snowkiting in most ways... It was easier for me to get my 12yr old Son into Snow. Look how mild it can be. You just don't need as much power to do it.

This is when you have room without crazy gusty winds and a depower foil for this vid. He's on a 4m Access and I'm on a 12m Frenzy.

The mild side of Snowkiting:


And then he was asking for more power but still it would be less than needed for kiteboarding.


Last edited by pbkiteboarding.com on Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:00 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:27 pm
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Post Re: Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
I have to agree that snowkiting is safer, but I also want to throw out the opposite scenario, the most mild water riding conditions. What about a steady side shore is shallower water, you can go out underpowered on a big board. Here, there definitely still is an opportunity for drowning, but with a riding buddy and proper safety systems it can be a pretty safe scenario.


Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:34 pm
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Post Re: Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
You have a point Hunter... we need to compare Apples to Apples here.

I think the fact that you start on a small kite (approx. 4-6 M foil) while snowkiting, but need a larger kite (9+ M bow or hybrid) to start actually kitesurfing on water shows the difference... Snowkiting has 'training wheels,' kitesurfing doesn't.

On the 'upper end' of snowkiting, it definitely can be more dangerous. If you put yourself in a bad situation, you're exposed to a lot of hostile objects:



Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:54 pm
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Post Re: Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
Cool videos. Those guys should get respect for all the abuse they take trying to push whats possible in with snowkiting.

All the deep powder whipeouts in the snowkitefilm were at my local riding area Powder Mountain. So I'm sticking with snowkiting being safer, in deep snow anyways. We'll remi trying to kill the tree is at pow mow too, but that's his choice. We try to leave the trees alone.

Here is another pic of one of them hotshots.


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Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:00 pm
Post Re: Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
I think that snowkiting is probably generally safer for three reasons already mentioned:

1. Less power needed.

2. No drowning. Your body can take a lot of physical abuse so if you're wearing a helmet you could probably get dragged for a mile or two and live, but you can't last too long without oxygen.

3. Safer gear. I don't think there is a safer kite than an open cell foil on land. On the water many people fly tubes and from the kitemares that I've read the "death spirals" sound like one of the most hazardous situations that a kiter could face.


Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:23 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Canada
Post Re: Which is Safer? Snowkiting or Kitesurfing
That's some great powder for wipeouts...
I have to stay lower for some tricks to stay safer, but try to work on timing. But less snow gives us the chance to kite more days with lighter winds...

Like this 6mph day... posted in other spot too... lower is safer... when falling. In winter, basically all of us use helmets as compared to summer most don't. So that can help make Snow safer as well.



Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:25 pm
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