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 Post subject: Splitboarding & Kiting
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 5:07 am
Posts: 620
Location: Montana
I know there's a few around that have kited some & am wondering if you've been combining both. My original interest for snowkiting was possibly faster deeper access to some bc areas. As I'm a total newb to this point I haven't been doing anything beyond just learning to control things & figure out the wind/flying variabilities.

My aggravation with it so far is that the industry seems totally focussed on freestyle kiting or speed riding. When you ask bc access questions to the dedicated kiters they look at you funny & shrug.

Has anyone found a better kite for simple control & just raw pulling power? Anyone set up their split for kiting - I'd think a more centered stance vs. the usual backset would be better? If you're doing bc access with your kite this would be a great spot to share a tale or 2.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:00 pm
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Location: Northern CA
Ozone is the only kite company that makes kites designed specifically for snow applications. Flysurfer, Flexifoil, North and HQ and a few others are making kites that perform for snowkiting as well, but are not as focused for snow as compared to Ozone's kites. http://www.flyozone.com/snowkites/en/

Considering your needs, the kite that comes to mind would be the Ozone Access; however I would go with the Ozone Frenzy. The Access does have more pulling grunt, where as the Frenzy has more lifting power. But the Access is slower turning as compared to the Frenzy. I have flown both kites and I feel the faster turning performance of the Frenzy actually makes it more grunty for both pulling and lift. Good evidence: All of the expeditons involving kites in the last several years have been done with Frenzys.

The trade off is the Access is a lighter weight package and is designed more for freeride applications and backcountry use... hence the name Access, like "access the backcountry". It's also less expensive than the Frenzy and is great for beginner and intermediate snowkiters who are looking for a depowerable kite.

You'll be so stoked on snowkiting for backcountry applications. It's truly a chairlift in your backpack. Use the search function and look up "kite" here on the site... you'll see my few posts (some of which answer your detailed ???s). I've named this merge of the two sports... Splitkiting. :wink:


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 Post subject: Mountaineering kites
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:06 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Norway
Ozone makes very good kites. But many other brands also makes open foil kites suited for snowkiting.
Ozone is mainly famous for the Frenzy, which are controlled whit a bar. It's a very god kite for combining jumping/freerideing and touring.
But after more then 10 years of experience in kite touring. I still believe that handles are superior over a bar-kites (de-power kites) for touring, in particularly for mountaineering. It can be critical to manoeuvre in steep and rocky terrain, and to pack the kite in suddenly overpowering conditions.
No safety system can be as reliable as using handles, and a roller hook harness whit the ability to disconnect an reconnect the kite under way whit out any hesitation. That fact has taken me safely to many wonderful places in the Norwegian mountains.
Another benefit whit handles, are the effortless steering compared to on de-power kites. When kite mountaineering, the kite are often steered in a continues figure-8 pattern. That can be alot more strainous and tiring whit a de-power kite.

A snowboard is compared to skis, not ideal for kiteing in other than smooth terrain, and stable wind.
I'm now waiting for my first splitboard. I'm very exited to see how kiteing in split-mode will work compare to on telemark skis. I suspect that a locked heel, or telemark boots and bindings are the way to go.
Would be very interesting to hear experiences from others...

/Gunnar


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:36 pm 
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Location: Montana
Yoda - So far I've picked up an HQ Apex (7.5) & Montana III (9.5). The Apex seems similar to the Access in design & does seem geared more towards pulling than the Montana III (similar to the Frenzy). I can picture having fun w/the Montana III in fields & on terrain but not really as a bc access type kite - that thing really wants me in the air. Fun for just playing with though. The Apex seems closer but seems kind of luggy & stall-y but I'm sure that has a lot to do with lack of skills at this point for me.

Gunnar - really interesting about using the handles. You see guys landboarding & buggying with handles & a lot of what you're describing makes sense. Is there a lot of learning curve going from only riding with a bar to learning to control with handles? Its not a huge deal to swap out a bar for handles is it?

Thanks for the responses - more info in 2 posts than I've gotten from asking probably like 20 dedicated kiters similar questions

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:19 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:05 pm
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Location: Norway
Basically you have more control with handles. So it's easier to avoid collapse, and easier to pump them out when it happens. After some training its possible to land the kite by reversing pretty accurately. Can be very useful close to trees, houses, rocks….

The only disadvantage are that it takes a bit more training to handle the lines when packing in and out n handles, then on a bar. But as long as the lines are laid up tight and smooth on the handles, and you change winding direction 1 or 2 times, you wont have any problem. (I think this is a big reason handles got bad reputation)

The trick to kill a kite on handles in really strong wind, is to put one of the brake lines behind a leg, or behind your back. That makes the kit lay sideways in the wind, and make minimal resistance when the lines are winded in again. Very usefull when you get to the top, and don't have anyone to help holding the kite.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:01 am 
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Location: Montana
Gunner - I think heel lock-downs will be critical for kite access on a split unless the terrain is open enough for riding in board-mode.
Will??? Will???

It sounds like you've done most of your kiteing so far on ski's? When you're packing for a kite-mountaineering trip how many kites do you take & what sizes? Do you have a particular kite you prefer?

What would you say is the steepest terrain you've kited up so far? I hope I'm not being too much of a pain w/all the questions but finally getting to discuss this w/ someone w/real experience has got me pretty fired up.

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 Post subject: "Kiteneering"
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:05 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Norway
I think the new NTN telemark interface will be perfect for splitkiting. And I will get NTN gear for patrol work, as soon as the have solved all the problems..
I have read discussions about the possibility to loch the heel down splitbindings. Have it been done?

Most of the time I use Jojo ET's: 1,5. 2,5. 4.0. 5,5kvm. For light wind I use Jojo RF 6,5. 8,0 and Jojo Rage kvm 10,0 (A closed cell foil. But I have removed the valves. And have hanged the bar for handles on the main lines..)

For a daytrip I take up to 2-4 kites in a large backpack depending on how changing the terrain are.
For multi day trips I have taken 5-6 I have always used a sled to carry tent. food. wine.... Much better then carry the weight!

I believe I have made it up short slops/steps around 45-50 degrees. But that's a bit sketchy...(whit the 360degree stability you get on skis!) It's often going: 3meters forward--- 2 backwards---4 forward and so on… when doing the figure-8 patern to generate more power. Can easily transform to hangliding backwards if you miss, and let the kite go overhead!! Be very careful!!!

So far, Im just happy to answer your questions!
/GunnAr


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:38 pm 
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Location: Montana
Jojo's must be mainly sold Europe....no supersized americanized overhype on their website. That's a lot of kites to pack but I guess it only makes sense if you're going backcountry kiting you almost have to have a gear sled anyway so why not plenty of kites for all the possibilities.

In looking at Will's Spark binders there's that nice slot on the back of the binding that looks like it could accomodate some simple heel lockdown pretty easy. Tricky part would be placing the latching hardware so it doesn't interfere with the binding when you slide it on the pucks to go to board-mode. Time to start perusing the hardware aisles.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I don't know anything about kiting, but I was in the store and noticed that Kiteboarding magazine had an article on snow kiting.

Couple random links that came up:
http://www.kiteutah.com/
http://snowkitemasters.com/

Dumb noob question. If you use a kite with handles as opposed to a bar, does that mean you have to be holding both handles all the time? If so, then how do you get into the classic toeside turn with one hand on the snow while the other is holding the kite? :)

lewmt I was thinking the same thing about heel lockdown with the Sparks. Post pics if you come up with something...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:05 pm
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Location: Norway
As long as you have a good roller hook on the harnes whit low friction, its no problem to stear whit one handle only.
But if you want best "freeriding " performance (as opposed to touring and mountaineering), a depowerkite are a better choice. Take a look at Castas videos at http://www.chasta.info/ (Ozone team rider) To see som posibilitys. But please don't go soaring of mountains at once! Its soo much more difficoult and dangerous then paragliding..!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:50 am 
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Location: Montana
Quote:
Can easily transform to hangliding backwards if you miss, and let the kite go overhead!! Be very careful!!!


I bet that gets really interesting if you have a sled full of gear pushing you downhill also....All kinds of pictures in my head on that thought.

Chasta just pisses me off :wink: :lol: He makes the most difficult stuff look like its childsplay & I'm just struggling to learn good directional control up & downwind. Its coming though.

Has anyone seen these kites that Andrew McLean is using....has like 2 side lobes & a bigger center lobe? He did a presentation at Powder Mountain 2 weeks ago about some of his kite exploits(Superfly Open). I'm curious if there's some mountaineering tech advantage to the design?

Jimw - newb questions is pretty much all I have so ask away.

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