Need a fun activity to try on Martin Luther King Day? Why not try Kite skiing, which is like kite surfing, but in the mountains. The following video was beautifully and impressively shot by Marshall Miller in Mt. Superior, Utah on December 16, 2010. This new sport may be one of the coolest extreme sports I’ve ever seen. It is, as one Vimeo user said, like what I imagine flying to be like in my dreams.
And as an added bonus, you don’t even have to wait for the chairlift!
Superior, Speed Fly from Marshall Miller on Vimeo.
The song is “Take a Minute” by K’naan.”
And if you’re interested…
To go kiteskiing you need the following equipment:
A traction kite, lines and associated control device. Any land or water kite can be used for kiteskiing. Inflatable kites can also be used for kiteskiing especially the new Flat Inflatable (Flat LEI or bow kites) which can relaunch very easy on snow. For classic inflatable kites, you may want to rig up a 5th line to facilitate relaunch on snow. In very cold days, it is wise to pump up the struts indoor such that you only have to pump up the leading edge outside. Similar to kitesurfing, make sure you have a safety release system that you can depower the kite at any moment. Furthermore, you may want to use a kite that provides good depowering capability such that you don’t have to stop and change to a smaller or larger kite as frequent. Similar to kitesurfing, you would need a number of kites to cover the whole wind range.
A pair of downhill skis. As a rule-of-thumb, shorter skis for ice and longer skis for lots of snow.
If you want to go fast, select a pair of long, stiff down hill skis around as long as you can reach with your arm fully extended.
A pair of downhill ski boots.
A kitesurfing or windsurfing harness (waist or seat harness is fine).
A helmet (a must on ice or hard pack as you don’t want to test the “rigidity” of your skull when it hits the ice).
If you do a lot of jumping on hard pack or ice, protect your body with a wakeboard impact vest with elbow and knee pads or simply use the same protection equipment that a hockey player uses
Warm clothing. You normally need less warm clothing kiteskiing than skiing. It’s best to use layers such that you can take off some layers when it gets too warm.
A good pair of thin yet warm mitten. Don’t use glove as your fingers can get cold rapidly. You may want to use a pair of thin inner gloves in case you have to use your hand to work on the lines.