Learning To Kite Ski with The Gear Junkie

Kite skiing is an activity that has begun to gain in popularity in recent years, as more people discover the sport. In a nutshell, the skier is pulled across country by a large para-sail or kite that floats up in the air and catches the wind. Kite skiing has more in common with cross country skiing than it does the downhill variety, and the use of the kite allows someone to pick up some impressive speeds, that is if the wind is strong enough to lend a hand.

In today’s Daily Dose, the Gear Junkie learns how to kite ski himself, heading out to White Bear Lake near Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the wide open expanses and blustery winter winds make for excellent kiting conditions.

The Gear Junkie discovered that kite skiing is actually quite simple to lear how to do, with most people picking up the activity with a solid day of training. Having just gone through that training himself, we can get some insights on how the process works. GJ says that it feels a little unnatural at first, but it’s easy to pick up the intricacies after a brief orientation. That “orientation” can be kind of painful though as you are tugged around by an out of control kite and end up crashing on the hard snow and ice.

Kite skiing has become one of the more popular methods for polar explorers to travel across wide open expanses in relatively short periods of time. They’ve been used to travel to both the North and South Poles as well as across places like Greenland and Siberia. Comparatively speaking they require a lot less energy as the wind pulls you along, but of course the downside is that if you have no wind, you don’t make very good time.

I haven’t had the chance to try kite skiing yet, but it looks like a blast. I’d love to be able to visit one of the Poles in this way, as it seems like it would be a blast to jet across those wide open ice plains. Anyone given it a go?

Kraig Becker

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