Photo of the Day03 Nov 2006
|Snowkite Photo of the Day: Nov. 3, 2006|
|Snowkite Photo of the Day: Nov. 3, 2006|
Click here to watch Ozone's New Instructional Video on '07 Kites. Courtesy of Windzup.com.
Click here to watch Slingshot's B2 Trainer Kite Video. Courtesy of sskiteboarding.com.
I got the first chance to preview new film from New Zealand, taken this summer. It's high definition and the video highlights New Zealand’s great snowkite features. The film is one segment of a multiple part movie that will come out in the fall of 2007.
The main athlete is Jamson Smith, a US citizen who has been living in New Zealand for the last year. Having lived in Hawaii & Africa as a kitsurf instructor; Jamson combined his passion for kiting with his love of snowboarding when he moved to New Zealand.
I spoke with Chris Nestor, who is part of a snowkite video production crew that traveled to New Zealand this summer to get a jump start on their footage.
"I was supposed to be the film's kiteskier, but I screwed up my leg in New Zealand." said Chris. He explained that it was ok, "because I had wanted to finish my kiteskiing parts early and focus on the video portion. I was able to just start filming from the beginning. I actually had to tie a ski-pole to my foot and use it to pull my leg up the hill."
When asked about the project name, Chris let on that it's still in development.
"We're playing with the name Surface Hoar," says Chris,” Hoar is a certain type of snow. But we're kind of playing on the double meaning. We'll see if we can get away with it."
Chris and his comrades plan to put out a snowkite film every year.
"We hope to keep it fresh. Not rehashing snowboard and ski movies. There's a formula, and we're trying to follow it, but always with new footage." says Chris.
Chris has done a lot of traveling in his life, and used to spend 10 months out of the year skiing.
"This was a good excuse to travel back to New Zealand," quoted Chris,"it's a lot easier to justify if you're going to make a film."
Look forward to seeing the finished film in the fall of 2007.
Feast your eyes on the PDF links below >> Our latest beauties, one year in the making, designed with passion, dedication and our legendary attention to detail.
Don’t settle for fakes, your life can depend on it! From the start of our involvement with kiting we have been committed to developing the very best kites to allow us to Free-ride wherever we want to with a feeling of safety. Chasta has been with us since the start, his input and the hundreds of hours he rides per year has helped us once again to push the limits of the designs. This ensures our kites remain at the forefront of kite development, allowing Chasta and our Team to go where they want to go with peace of mind, knowing full well the kites will back them up 100%. This dedication to kite design and our talented team consistently proving to be the top players in the snowkite world helps give us the ability to design what is needed, so you can choose your ideal kite no matter what your level.
The 2007 range have benefited from the widest range of kiters, from novices in schools, to the instructors, kids, grandpas, everyday riders and pro’s. Along with our design Team that live and breathe kiting, we’ve listened to all this feedback and have made the changes to make these kites un-beatable
If you’re new to the sport choose the Access2, our entry level de-powerable foil. But don’t be put off by the term entry level, just look at its clean perfection of design and this year its higher performance design with major improvements to the bar system. Download the Access 2 Flyer
The Frenzy 07 remains the king of open-cell depower foils. The 07 has far higher stability than the 06 model and the smoothest power delivery yet with increased power and pop, perfect for the freestyle/wakestyler. Download the Frenzy Flyer
The Manta is Chasta’s baby; raw power and finesse blended together make this Chasta’s favorite for those high flying, cruising days. Just look at that kite and it makes you drool! Just wait until you see Chasta’s video that will be released on our new “coming soon” website!Download the Manta Flyer
Once again we are organizing a Free-Ride demo Tour where our riders and distributors will be putting on a demo weekend near you throughout the winter season. So make sure you keep checking back for more info or contact your local shop or Ozone distributor to ask for a demo
This winter we feel will be huge for snowkiting with more and more snowkite schools opening every passing season.
Pray for early season snow
There are a growing number of snowkite specific boards being advertised. Here's a list of companies that are developing snowkite boards:
Snowkite-specific boards are being created because downhill snowboards are not designed with snowkiting in mind... and thus they don't suit snowkiters' needs very well.
Snowkiting is different from downhill snowboarding in the following ways (there are more, but these are a few things relating to snowboards):
Weight & Leaning:
In downhill, you'll find your weight distributed further forward (depending on snow depth and terrain steepness). With a snowkite, your weight is more likely to be distributed back toward your trailing foot. This becomes more pronounced the softer and deeper the snow layer gets. For example, if you're on ice, you don't have to worry about the snowboard tip dipping below the snow (because there is no snow). If you're in some deep powder however, you need to lean on your back foot and use all your apparent weight (your true weight minus the kite's vertical lift) to keep the back tip of the board down and the forward tip above the snow. Although this is true for down-hill, leaning on your trailing foot becomes much more important with a kite.
Heel-Side Edge Lean:
In downhill you'll use your toe-side edge often. On the flip side, you'll use your heel-side edge most of the time while you're snowkiting. This is because you'll need to lean back against the pull of the kite while snowkiting and use your heel-side edge to maintain a direction perpendicular to the kite's pull. As you build experience, you'll use your toe-side edge for transitions and more. But you'll still spend most of the time on your heel-edge.
Board stiffness needs to be greater on a snowboard used for snowkiting. Here's a metaphor: imagine a sailboat. A sailboat's keel is used to keep the boat's course despite the wind pushing from other directions. The keel is strong & stiff which allows the sailboat to maintain direction. If the keel was flexible, the wind and water currents would force it to change shape and the boat wouldn't be able to cut straight through the water. The same is true in snowkiting. A stiff board maintains shape and allows the snowkiter to cut across the snow in the desired direction---like a keel. Wind doesn't affect a downhill snowboarder like it does a snowkiter, so stiffness can be decreased to improve other areas of performance.
Since a snowkiter uses his/her edge to travel in a straight line (again, to move perpendicular to the pull of the kite), he/she doesn't normally want that edge to force a turn. Traditional snowboards are designed with an hour-glass shape so that the combined flex and shape of the board will assist in turning. Snowboard that are better for snowkiting will normally have less sidecut. Some people hold different oppinions on this issue.
Snowkiters tend to use both tips of the snowboard more often than downhill snowboarders do. Snowkiters are normally facing downwind and moving left or right, remaining on the heel-side edge and switching which tip leads. (For snowkiting, set your bindings so that you feel equally comfortable traveling in both directions.)
Although some people might add-to, subtract-from, or disagree-with some of the above ideas, they generally outline the difference between downhill snowboarding and snowkiting. Hopefully this gives you a better understanding of the factors influencing snowkite-specific snowboard designs.
All said, you can use a downhill snowboard to snowkite. I recommend a stiff, twin-tip board. Set the bindings to "ducky" style. Less side cut is better, but you don't need a perfectly straight edge.