December 17, 2002 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Are you bored with your basic windsports? Grab a Kitewing, and speed along on your favorite skis, snowboard, or skates at speeds approaching 65MPH. Still too tame? Hold the wing horizontal and you'll go vertical. Just make sure to call your mom from the hospital.
posted by KnitWit (9 comments total)
KiteSurfing is getting more and more popular here in Cape Town thanks to our long beaches as well as the fact we get quite a bit of wind in Spring/Pre-Summer. On Saturday/Sunday afternoon the sky on the north west coast beaches is full of them...
posted by PenDevil at 10:14 AM on December 17, 2002

There doesn't seem to be a price list or a list of stores that stock this thing on the site. Anyone know where one can get a hold of one of these?
posted by toothgnip at 10:30 AM on December 17, 2002

I guess kiteboarding is the same thing, eh, PenDevil, except I've only seen kiteboarding done with a traditional wakeboard. I saw some guys doing it one windy summer day on Lake Ray Hubbard, just ouside of Dallas, while I was playing this disc golf course. It looked like quite a bit of fun.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:36 AM on December 17, 2002

Cool. I was starting to think snowboarding wasn't dangerous enough already. Those soaring jumps are pretty amazing.

But what happens when a big gust hits out of nowhere? Does your Kitewing sail off into the stratosphere? Or - if it's attached somehow - do you?
posted by gottabefunky at 11:53 AM on December 17, 2002

My dad built something like this to use with skates on a frozen Lake Champlain. It was thoroughly impractical. Not only did you need the upper arm strength of a middle linebacker, but it is easy to forget that skating along at 20 miles an hour also implies a 20 MPH wind chill.
posted by machaus at 11:55 AM on December 17, 2002

I was wondering about exhausted arms too, machaus. But aren't you moving with the wind? Like in a hot air balloon?
posted by gottabefunky at 12:07 PM on December 17, 2002

It's just like any other sailing. At some point you'll have to tack back and forth to get home. You are essentially the mast, and it's REALLY hard to stay rigid enough to acheive a proper attack profile into the wind.
posted by machaus at 12:15 PM on December 17, 2002

Ideal if you're living on the tundra and have run out of gas for your snowmobile!

Actually it's probably similar to windsurfing. You can brace yourself and use edge for direction and going upwind, but unlike a windsurfer, you can't harness yourself to the thing and rely on balance to give your arms a break.

Speaking of break, I'd love to see wipeouts when you get tired and that wing catches the snow, while you're doing the 100mph!


I guess we'll have to wait for the warren miller extreme kitewinging movie.
posted by alicesshoe at 2:02 PM on December 17, 2002

gottabefunky: But what happens when a big gust hits out of nowhere?

YMMV, but a buddy of mine broke his collar bone when this happened to him 6 weeks ago, or so. He was a week and a half away from moving to Bali to try to start a Kitesurfing school. He still went to Bali, but he won't be able to Kitesurf again for some time.
posted by syzygy at 4:10 PM on December 17, 2002

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