Ice-based kite ice skating, also known as kite skating, para-skating, or para ice skating, is a sport in which participants skate across frozen rivers, lakes, and other frozen surfaces while being propelled by a sizable, controllable kite.
By angling a standard diamond-shaped kite, similar to how a sailboat can adjust its direction and sails for increased speed, it is fairly possible to travel far faster than the wind speed. In fact, it’s extremely simple to go faster than is safe, exhausting one’s legs from absorbing the shock of the uneven ice and making one vulnerable to spectacular crashes.
One spends a lot of time raising the kite in the air parallel to the ice or in the opposite direction from where they are riding to slow down a little bit on a windy winter day. This activity opens up many opportunities for brand-new tricks to be added or created, such as “Double around the world” in the YouTube video “This is Kiteskating.”
As there is no friction or resistance on the ice skates, it is strongly encouraged to wear a helmet, elbow and knee guards, and a much smaller kite than would be appropriate for the same wind conditions on the sea.
Around 1990, kite enthusiasts started Kite Skating (then called Rollerkiting) at events around the eastern US coast. Rollerbladers and four-line controlled parafoil kites were utilized by skaters to give a swift and thrilling ride in huge parking lots.
The kite buggy explosion had just happened at that point. Kite skating was abandoned when buggies entered the kite field. There have been a few attempts to use off-road treadmill skates to accompany kite buggies on multi-terrain surfaces, but they have been clunky and slow.
Until 1992, when Kite Skating pioneer Bob Childs created a pair of off-road inline skates combining Rollerblade boots and scooter wheels and jokingly dubbed the Wheels of Doom, skaters and buggies remained divided due to topography. Since then, Bob has been seen tearing across the deck at kite traction competitions.
While first a strange sight among buggies, kite skates quickly gained acceptance as a member of the kite traction family. At tournaments across the world, kite skaters are now sailing alongside all other types of wind-powered vehicles.
ATB skateboard riders have just joined the ranks of kite skaters. Mountainboards are used by kite skateboarding daredevils to maneuver on multi-terrain surfaces at possibly slower speeds than kite skaters, but kite skateboards are better suited for jump tricks.
How to Kite Skate
It is essential to spend enough time learning to fly power kites before attempting to kite skate so that you can easily focus your attention on the unforeseen events that arise during kite skating. This quick reference assumes that the skater is an experienced power kite pilot.
1. Always use protective gear, kite skate on open fields without barriers to the wind, and take caution when doing so at fast speeds or on uneven terrain. Set the kite up on the ground 45 degrees away from the direction of the downwind wind. Launch the kite by aiming the kite skate wheels directly at the kite.
Launch tips for beginners:
* The kite climbs through the strongest area of the wind window when it first takes off. To avoid being overpowered when launching in strong winds, it is advisable for beginners to sit while launching or have a friend launch the kite.
* Launching while seated allows you to counteract the kite’s force without being thrown off balance. You can be raised to a standing position with just a tiny dip of the kite into the power zone. You can now skate away from that point.
2. As you begin to go forward, fly the kite out to the edge of the wind window and focus on skating a line that is 10 to 20 degrees upwind from where the kite is now located. This will increase the kite’s power and your forward speed. Steer the skates slightly downwind in the direction of the kite if you start to slow down or feel overwhelmed. Steer the skates slightly upwind and away from the kite if you find yourself underpowered and the kite starts to sink. Think about how much is appropriate and how much is excessive.
3. Fly the kite to the top of the wind window to reverse direction, and then slowly slow down by turning the skates upwind. Turn the skates in a downward or “step” motion. Lower the kite in the new direction as you finish the turn and accelerate.
4. Getting to a stop is similar to using a buggy… control the skates upwind while hoisting the kite aloft. The faster you stop, the more abrasive the upwind angle. As long as you are very careful not to get the kite too far behind you, “parachuting” the kite—flying to the opposite side of the flying window—is an effective strategy to manage speed. In this posture, you don’t want the kite to power up. Once more, to stop, you must pull the kite directly overhead and skate upwind.
5. Only after a skater has mastered the fundamentals of kite skating to a very high level should they attempt more difficult maneuvers like big air jumps and jump turns. When performing powerful tricks, exercise extreme caution.
Choosing a good location
The ideal spot to go kite skating is definitely on a frozen lake if you have access to one. There are no trees or other hazards to crash into, the terrain is level and smooth, and the wind is unhindered. Before going out, the most crucial thing to do is to make sure the lake is completely frozen. A person falling through the ice is the fastest way to ruin a pleasant snowy day. Before venturing too far out, make a hole in the ice with an axe and measure the depth of the freeze. A general rule of thumb is to make sure the ice is four inches thick.
A level, vacant field covered in a thick coating of snow might likewise be used in the absence of a lake. Just watch out for electricity lines and make sure there aren’t too many objects you could collide with nearby.
How to choose an appropriate kite size?
The ideal method for choosing without a hit-and-miss approach is to consider a number of aspects that have a significant impact on the decision.
- The weight of a kiter is the first and most important aspect. In general, a heavier kite would be required.
- Another aspect is how a kite is utilized, so what will it be used for? Ice or roller skates of a small size are suitable, but snowkiting requires a larger size.
- Your level of experience is also crucial. Even with a smaller kite, a beginner will enjoy themselves. This is a secure method for getting started quickly and learning new things. An experienced kiter, on the other hand, will want a larger kite so that it can provide enough power for high jumps.
- The location of the kiteboarding and the local wind patterns are additional factors. Both locations with irregularly strong winds and those with a light but consistent breeze exist.
- You need to think about whether kiting is your favorite sport or merely one among many while selecting a new kite. This will let you to decide for yourself how many and what size kites you’ll be using. Of course, smaller for a stronger wind and larger for a lighter one. A disparity in sizes that is neither too large nor too little is crucial here. The number of kites should be determined by the wind range that each model of kite is best suited for. because different kites have different wind ranges.
In addition to being an adventurous sport, kite ice skating or kite skating is a fantastic form of physical and mental fitness. The upper body, arms, and abdomen are particularly toned by it. It is a fantastic way to gain better balance. Your coordination and focus are improved.
Any sport can help you reduce stress, but extreme sports have significantly stronger adrenaline rushes that make you feel lot better. Your immune system is strengthened by raising endorphin levels and lowering your stress levels.