Snow Kiting Instruction
Lake Dillon, Frisco, Colorado
What is Snowkiting?
Snowkiting is the fastest growing winter sport, and with good reason, it is so much fun!
Have you ever dreamed of cruising up a hill, instead of down it? Ever wanted to ride all day long never stopping to ride a chairlift? Have you looked across flat powder fields and thought to yourself, “what a waste of snow”?
Snowkiting answers all of these questions and even opens up more opportunities to explore. All you need is a good breeze of wind and an Ozone Power Kite and you’l be ready. If the wind is blowing between 5-45 mph, all you need to do is pick the appropriate size kite and the fun will begin.
Many people start on a 2-3 meter size kite, learning to fly and steer the kite on light wind days. When the wind picks up, these sizes of kites will be enough to pull you on a snowboard or skis. As the wind gets stronger the kite will pull you with more force, going faster across flat ground, and building enough power to ski up-hill. If the wind is not strong enough, you will need to fly a larger sized kite to generate the power and speed you are looking for to ride up-hill.
Most people can learn to Snowkite within one day, with many learning to go upwind as well as downwind directions. After a few days of practicing your kite-flying skills, you will be ready to ride up hill using the kite to pull you.
Snowkites have been used by mountaineers on arctic expeditions for years. They use the kites to easily pull the rider and gear sleds across miles of frozen tundra. Distances of 20 miles have been covered in less than an hour’s time with Ozone Snowkites. More importantly, Snowkites up open up riding potential right in our backyards. With as little as 6 inches of snow, a soccer field can turn into a freestyle snowpark, ready to be ridden with the aid of a Snowkite.
What do I need to get started?
First you will need a Powerkite, something between a 2-5 meter size should be good. Next, take any snowboard or skis that you have or can find. Of course twin-tips work better, but start from where you are at, because anything will work.
The last piece of equipment is a windsurf or kitesurf style harness, used for hooking into the kites power and resting your arms. This gear is provided when you take a class.
Ski’s or snowboard?
Choose whichever equipment you are more comfortable on. Skis offer the advantage of being able to walk around, letting you walk back to launch your kite. Snowboards can offer simplicity for someone who has never been on the snow before, or is crossing over from kitesurfing.
Where do I go?
Any snow covered area will work. Make sure there are no hidden obstacles below the surface! Grassy parks are nice, but any farm field or frozen lake will work. The ultimate areas are mountain ridge tops, which are above tree line, providing open riding terrain and consistent winds. The Boulder Outdoor Center is building an online guide to the backcountry and including information on where to Kite. Please see our backcountry guide pages.
How long can I ride for?
For as long as the wind blows! Riders have been out non-stop for hours, coming in only to rest and replenish. The beauty of Snowkiting is being in control, going where you want to head, and exploring the world from a new point of view.
Are there many people snowkiting?
There are people snowkiting in nearly every snow covered country around the world. There is a World Championship competition that links the US with the European riders and showcases the leading Freestyle developments.
Is it easy to learn?
Yes, Snowkiting is the easiest form of Powerkiting to master. Most students can grasp all of the skills easily, since the snow allows one to ride with smaller more easily controlled kites. Please start with one of the kiting lessons listed below.
Safety is the primary responsibility of our certified instructors
Safety is the primary responsibility of our certified instructors. Our goal is to make it yours too. Upon completion of a full lesson the student will receive a Level I Pilot Certification (rated for snowkiting). A level 2 certification will enable the student to rent and demo kites from Colorado Kite Force or any other participating kiting facility around world. This rating is free but must be approved by a certified instructor. Let kiteboarding open the door to fun and adventure for you!
All Kite Force instructors Certified by the
Professional Air Sports Association.
What to Bring
Basically you will want to bring the same gear/clothing you would take skiing or snowboarding. If you do both we recommend starting out on skis, it's much easier!
Here are some things we recommend:
Hat, Helmet, Gloves, Goggles, skis or snowboard and boots. Don't forget to bring energy snacks and water or something for hydration! Surprisingly you will sweat a lot. There are no chairlifts to cool down on. We recommend wearing layers that can be removed with a wind proof shell on top. Then when you are all done you will want to change into some dry clothes or put on more layers again. The BOC has a backcountry gear list that may also be helpful and sells all the winter gear that you may need.
Beginner Snowkiting Lesson
Lessons will start at 12:00pm at the Dillon Resevoir unless otherwise discussed. Our instructors clearly explain for everyone the fundementals of kiting and what we call the "wind window". It's not just sailing or flying! We inform our student on as much background information as possible and show how snowkiting relates to kiteboarding on the water, because many do, and will have an interest to take their new sport to the beach. Once all questions have been answered we get out on the snow. We start of with a small kite (One that is not big enough to lift you off the ground, so don't worry!) The student will have the full ability to depower and land the kite safely, as well as self launch almost right away. Once comfortable they may step into skiis (we recommend skis rather then a snowboard for the first time). But if you don't ski or have any we understand. From this point it is up to the student on how much instructon they want or need. Many take right off and use the rest of the time as a Kite demo or rental. Others may need the instructors assistance for the remainder of the day. And thats what we're there for to make sure you're you safe, informed and having a great time. Don't worry their is no written test at the end! Hope to see you out there. Safety Tips
Remember Kiting can be a dangerous sport. It is already prohibited in many locations around the world. Every Kiter must be safe and responsible for themselves and others. If you see someone being unsafe please speak up! No one wants to get hurt, or hurt anyone else, and in many cases there are people out there that just don't know. It is up to all of us the keep this sport safe so it can be enjoyed by all.
Here are some safety tips we should all practice
Use launch area only for setup and take down.
Do not use skis as stakes to secure kites (this creates a hazard for other kites landing in the area).
No self launching of inflatable kites in the launch area (Use assisted launch when possible). Launch and land your kite with no solid objects at least 100 yards downwind.
Do a pre-flight check on all your gear.
Walk down and slide your lines through your fingers. Feel for nicks, cuts or knots. (If your lines get run over they will get damaged from a board or skis.)
When not in use your kite strings should be rolled up and stored on the kite.
Your kite should be weighted with a sandbag or a stake, to keep it secure.
All kites must have a safety leash, and quick release systems. Know your specific systems and test them regularly.
Beginners should launch and learn downwind from other kiters (This includes the flying of trainer kites) .
Use experienced kiters to help launch and land your kite. Not Spectators!
Never let a line wrap around any part of your body!
The signal for launch is "thumbs up" by both parties!
The signal for an assisted landing is to "pat your head".
No jumps or tricks in the launching area, or within 200 yards from the parking lot.
Down wind (leeward) has right of way.
Right of way-Right hand forward kiter has right of way and shall maintain course.
Left hand forward kiter must give way and alter course
Up wind kiter should raise kite for passing.
Down wind kiter should lower kite for passing.
When using terrain features jumps, kickers and rails follow the same rotation and direction as other kiters as to not cause conflicts.
Use your safety tools: Lessons, Kite leash, Quick releases, knife, Helmet, impact vest, pads, Sandbags or ground stake.
|Snow Kiting Lessons*||Class Length||Fee|
|Beginner snowkiting lesson||4 hours||$399|
|Private/advanced instruction||1/2 hour||$55|
|Private/advanced instruction||1 hour||$99|
*15% of your Snowkiting lesson may be applied toward purchase of a snowkite at the Boulder Outdoor Center. You must have booked your class through the BOC and purchase a kite within 30 days of your lesson.
The prices above may not be current.
We no longer offer reservations for this adventure.
Please contact: Colorado Kiteforce at 970-485-3300
You can also contact them by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can search all the trips that we offer:
You can use our Google Maps on the right side of this page for directions and drive times or these directions:
Classes meet at the Kite Zone for the class.
Directions to Kite Zone
From Vail (West)
Take 1st Frisco exit 201 to Main St.
Right at HWY 9 / Summit Blvd.
Left on Swan Mt. Rd.
Immediate left into reservoir From Denver (East)
Directions to Kite Zone traveling West on I-70
Take 1st Frisco Exit 203
Hwy 9 South
Left on Swan Mt. Rd.
Immediate left into reservoir