Snowkiting in Switzerland Snowkiting in Switzerland

Travel to Switzerland for Snowkiting

Snowkiting is the last trend sport for winter sports fans, and reresents snowboarding or skiing with a kite. There is nothing more amazing than being propelled across the snow on a ski or snowboard holding on to the strings of a kite. The main elements for practicing this sport are a snowboard or skis,  a steerable kite, a large snow-covered area and a good wind conditions. Snowkiters can travel up and down hills as their kite harnesses wind power to traverse the snowy terrain.
Snowkiting is mainly for advanced skiers and snowboarders. But well coordinated kids as young as seven also can try this exciting sport. There are a special snowkiting schools where children and beginners can take snowkiting lessons taught by qualified instructors. Usually, beginners start off with a small kite, and don't wear any skis or snowboard at this point. They practice just getting the sensation of the power of the wind in the kite, and learning how to move the kite from side to side to keep it afloat. The next step is to a larger kite, then a snowboard or skis are added. After that the beginner can start gliding along, pulled by the wind in the kite. Beginners always should follow the safety rules and instructions, especially the first few times they take the wind's tremendous power to their hands. Snowkiting is easier to learn especially on a flat surface like a frozen lake. You don't even need mountains, an area free from obstructions and with a healthy covering of snow are all you need.
Snowkiting is fun for one and all. Wind may take you to cruise slowly across snow-covered meadows or racing at crazy high speed and doing acrobatics through the air; 5 m high and 10 m long jumps are absolutely no problem. It is hard to describe the feeling of gliding across the snow as if you are completely weightless, that‘s pure adrenaline!
Snowkiting started in the U.S. Midwest and East Coast during the mid 1980s when early snowkiters used a rebridled square parachute to ski across many frozen lakes and fields. As the technology of snowkiting has improved over the years, it is now becoming more and more common in many ski countries worldwide, such as France, Austria, Sweden and Norway.
Switzerland offers a wide variety of terrain for all kind of kiters and levels. There are flat meadows for teaching beginners and mastering the basics, rolling landscapes with drops and wind lips for higher level riders and for the highly experienced steep slopes and good touring possibilities. Most common wind is north but works also on north east and south which are rare. The Upper Engadin with its lake landscape has long been a mecca for snowkite pilots: the sport has been practiced here since 1991.
One of the best places for snowkiting in Switzerland is said to be the Bernina Pass in Graubünden, where you can also take lessons in snowkiting and hire equipment. The ideal flat areas below the Bernina Pass offer kiters the best wind and snow conditions in a unique location. For those who find gliding across the smooth level surfaces too monotonous, it is easy enough to be pulled up the adjacent mountain. A spectacular flight down is guaranteed. On the Bernina Pass, snowkiters can “sail” over frozen Lago Bianco from early December to mid-April.
If you want to see what snowkiting looks like before you try it, the Swiss Snowkite Championship is held at Lake Silvaplana in Switzerland from 3 to 5 March 2011. Silvaplana offers the best location and the best facilities for learning to Snowkite, coupled with great accomodation and stunning scenery. Snowkiting takes place on Silvaplana between mid-January and mid-March, mostly on the Silvaplanersee lake. The Silvaplana Snowkite School has always kept up with the development of the sport and has provided snowkiting courses since 1994. It ranks as one of the world’s major snowkiting schools with a reputation for quality in all areas.
Another great place for practicing snowkiting in Switzerland is the Simplon Pass which offers a wide variety of terrain for snowkiters. At 2005m, the Pass provides a stunning backdrop for all levels of snowkiters. The immediate area has many ski areas, hotels and restaurants for when the wind is lacking and there are three other snowkiting areas nearby for varying wind directions. Beginners can start their first snowkiting lessons at The Snow Kite School which is easily reachable. The snowkiting season starts from middle of December till middle of April, depending on the snow conditions.
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