Kitewinging it in New Hampshire
January 20, 2011
Looking for a way to stay “on” the water this winter? The Kitewing can help. The Kitewing is a lightweight device that resembles a mini hang glider. It folds up and fits into a ski bag for travel. When assembled, the wing allows skiers to use the wind to travel over large, flat, open areas, such as frozen ponds. Think of it as a sustainable way to get your turns, without the expense and hassles of downhill skiing.
I recently had the chance to demo the Kitewing on Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire. There were 17 “wings” on the lake, and conditions were perfect. The speed, motion, and carving sensations were as thrilling as any downhill skiing experience. During a typical day, a winger can cover 20 to 40 miles and reach speeds varying from the 20s to as high as 60 miles per hour.
Learning to use the Kitewing is easy, and a great way to enjoy the outdoors in winter without the cost of a lift ticket at a crowded ski area. Sunapee is an extraordinary venue for wing and kite sailing, but it can be done almost anywhere.
Organizers from the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association [WISSA] are eyeing Sunapee as a possible venue for a World Championship event. The WISSA World Championships is the longest running international competition in the sports of windsurfing (ironic given that windsurfing is a water sport), wing sailing, and kite racing.
This year’s championship is in being held in Finland. The possibility that the event may one day come to New England will be directly related to the level of community support. In the meantime, Sunapee will be a great venue for wing and kite sailors from around the region.
Are you thinking about getting on the frozen water with a Kitewing?
Let us know what you think in the space below.