Until now I have made every attempt to keep my skis on the snow. I have let the bar out and depowered whenever I felt like lift was coming. Today I was out with a more experienced snowkiter (see Fellow snowkiter found post)  who pushed me to let go of the fear and get some air. He gave me some pointers and I gave it a shot. I started by sitting and practiced getting the feeling of the kite and where the lift was going to come from. I practiced running the kite back and forth to get the feel of it. Once I had a pretty good idea where and when the lift was going to happen I let it take me up a bit. This is similar to what I have been doing when I fall down and am to lazy to stand up on my own. It isn’t really laziness, I knew I needed to work on this since I had trouble with it in the water last summer. But after this exercise it makes a little more sense to me know and I understand it a little better. From the sitting position I got the kite to pop my entire body off the ground. Until now I have held the bar in a position that would allow the kite to pick me up out of the snow but not really lift me off the ground. After I felt somewhat comfortable with doing this from a sitting position I started playing with it while standing. Bringing the kite to the edge of the window and around 2 o’clock I would then steer it back up toward 12 o’clock and beyond. When the kite was coming up around 11:30 I could feel the kite wanting to lift. It just felt like it had more power and wanted to pick me up. The bar shouldn’t be in the full power position as you are bringing it up because you need that extra range on the power for the next step. When you feel the kite powering up pull back on the bar, giving the kite full power. ‘This will give you that pop to get up in the air. Once you get the pop, hang on cause your in for a ride. This is a very cool feeling. It isn’t like jumping while downhill skiing. It is a different feeling. One you will want to do again – I do.

I worked on my upwind skills too. I let myself get further and further downwind as the session went on to practice going upwind. At one time we were about a half mile downwind of the vehicles. The wind was solid and I didn’t really have any trouble getting back upwind. So this was also good practice.

Takeaways:

  • Practice flying the kite back and forth until you get the feeling of when and where the power is going to come from
  • The pop comes on the up swing as the kite is headed towards the top and comes around the turn
  • If there isn’t enough lift try powering up the kite or pulling on the power strap until there is enough power
  • This is a really cool feeling of floating
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