Are you thinking of taking up kitesurfing in the winter?
It can be a thrilling and invigorating experience, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into. From choosing the right gear to preparing for cold weather conditions, snow kiting or kiteboarding on snow requires careful planning and preparation.
Our 14 essential tips will help ensure your safety and comfort while making sure you have an enjoyable time out on the water!
So whether this is your first time trying winter kitesurfing or you’re looking for ways to improve your existing skills, read on for our best advice about keeping safe and having fun during cold-weather sports.
Best Tips for Kitesurfing in Cold Weather
When going out to kite in cold weather conditions, safety should always be your first priority. It is important to let someone know where you are going, as well as when you expect to return so that they can raise the alarm if necessary.
Before heading out make sure your gear is properly maintained and in good working order. Check that your harness knife is both accessible and sharp, so it can be used quickly and easily if needed.
Whenever possible, try to go kiting with a friend or group of friends; this will not only help ensure safety but also provide more fun for everyone involved!
Additionally, make sure you carry a whistle and wear clothing in bright colors which will make it easier for others to spot you from a distance in case of an emergency.
Quality Over Quantity
When kitesurfing in cold weather, it is important to be selective about the sessions you choose. Look for forecasts that are predicting decent wind and sunny conditions. Even though the number of sessions may be fewer than usual, the quality of your session will make up for it.
Taking the time to carefully select good days to go out on your kiteboard can make all the difference in how enjoyable a session is.
Additionally, if you pick days with steady winds and calm waters, you’ll have better control over your board and more chances at success when attempting tricks or difficult maneuvers.
Know the Conditions and Avoid Below Freezing Temperatures
Before you head out to the water, make sure to check weather forecasts and local conditions. Cold weather kiting can be enjoyable and rewarding but it requires special caution and preparation.
Avoid attempting kiting when temperatures drop below freezing as this could cause ice to form on your gear which could lead to serious problems such as decreased performance or even equipment damage.
Freshwater freezes at 0°C while saltwater is more resilient, with a freezing point of -1.8°C. Make sure that you are aware of these temperature thresholds so that you can keep yourself safe during cold weather kiting activities.
Wear a Dry Suit or 6.5 mm Wetsuit
Dry suits are a great way to stay warm and comfortable in cold weather kiting. They offer the ability to layer your clothing underneath, allowing you to customize and optimize your warmth level while still maintaining the flexibility of movement.
Hooded front zip 6.5 mm wetsuits also provide better insulation than back zip 5 mm suits, allowing for longer sessions on the water with less risk of hypothermia or frostbite. While drysuits may be more expensive initially, they can save money in the long run by helping one avoid costly medical bills due to exposure-related illnesses or injuries.
Additionally, investing in quality gear that is designed specifically for cold weather conditions will greatly improve comfort levels as well as safety when out on the water during colder months.
Opt for a Smaller Kite
When selecting a kite size for cold weather kiting, it is important to consider the fact that cold air is denser and winter conditions tend to be gustier. This affects the amount of power your kite will generate in different wind conditions.
As such, it’s always best to opt for a smaller kite than you might normally use in warmer temperatures – this will reduce the risk of being overpowered and provide an extra level of safety when flying your kite. It is vital that safety remains paramount when making gear choices as accidents can occur if proper precautions are not taken.
Invest in High-Quality Gear
Kiteboarding in cold weather, can be a thrilling experience, but you need to make sure that you are properly equipped in order to stay warm and comfortable.
Investing in high-quality gear is essential; neoprene hoodies and gloves should be the first items on your list. Neoprene materials are great for cold temperatures because they provide an extra layer of insulation while still allowing a full range of motion.
It also helps keep moisture away from your body so that you don’t get too cold. Make sure to select a size that fits snugly without being restrictive, as this will further enhance the insulation properties of these garments.
Layering your clothing is essential for winter kiting. Wearing multiple layers provides flexibility to adjust your temperature as needed throughout the day. A good base layer should be made of a breathable fabric that wicks away moisture from the body and allows excess heat to escape.
A mid-layer provides insulation and warmth, while a top layer helps block out wind chill and protects against rain or snow.
Don’t forget to cover up vulnerable areas such as your head, ears, and neck – these areas can quickly become exposed when kiteboarding in cold temperatures. Investing in quality winter wear will ensure optimal comfort during all of your activities on the water!
Bring a Change of Clothes
Bringing a change of clothes can be especially important when kiting in cold weather. Even if you’re not expecting to get wet, it’s always wise to have a dry set of clothes on hand just in case.
This is because getting wet and then being exposed to the cold winter air can quickly lead to hypothermia, which is why it’s essential that you stay warm and dry as much as possible during your kite session.
Having a spare set of clothes will ensure that even if you do end up getting wet, you’ll still be able to keep yourself comfortable until you get back home or somewhere warm where you can properly change out of your damp clothing.
Pack Hot Beverages and Snacks
Hot drinks and high-energy snacks like granola bars, trail mix, or jerky are essential for kitesurfing in winter. They will help keep your energy levels up so that you can make the most of your time on the slopes.
Consider bringing a small portable stove to heat up soup or oatmeal for an extra dose of warmth and comfort. This is especially helpful if you plan to stay out for more than one day as it gives you a way to prepare home-cooked meals without needing an outdoor grill.
Furthermore, hot beverages such as tea, coffee, or cocoa provide extra calories and hydration while also warming up your body from the inside out.
Keep Your Kite Gear Dry
It is essential to take good care of your kite gear when you are out in cold weather conditions. Wet gear can freeze and make it hard to control the kite, so it is important to dry off your equipment as much as possible before packing it away.
Investing in a good quality gear bag with built-in pockets designed specifically for keeping things dry will also help protect your equipment from getting wet or frozen.
These bags usually have waterproof material on the outside and breathable material on the inside that allows moisture to escape yet keeps water out, ensuring that all of your belongings stay nice and dry no matter what kind of weather you are facing!
When kiting in cold weather, it is important to take a break every hour or so. During this time, you should warm up your hands and face with gloves and a balaclava, as well as have a hot drink like tea or coffee.
Not only will this help keep your body temperature regulated, but it will also help prevent you from becoming too cold during extended periods of outdoor activity.
Taking regular breaks throughout the day when kitesurfing can make all the difference between feeling comfortable and risking hypothermia.
Staying active is essential to staying warm during cold-weather kitesurfing sessions. When you’re not actually kiting, try doing some light stretching or calisthenics to keep your body temperature up and help stay limber for when you do get out there.
Once you are out in the wind, make sure that you engage your core muscles and use proper body positioning while riding – this will help maximize your efficiency while also keeping you warm.
Be Prepared for the Worst
It is essential to be prepared for the worst when cold weather kiting. Have a plan in case something goes wrong; this may include knowing how to get back to safety and having contact information for emergency services at hand.
In addition, it is important to carry a repair kit and first aid kit with you so that any potential issues can be addressed immediately.
If you are planning on heading into more remote areas, consider bringing a satellite phone or personal locator beacon (PLB) so that your location can easily be found if there is an emergency situation. This could potentially save lives in extreme circumstances.
Cold weather kiting can be a thrilling experience, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with pushing yourself to conquer the elements is unbeatable. When you’re out there in cold weather conditions, it’s important to remember to have fun.
Enjoying your time on the water and making the most of your sessions will make for an unforgettable experience. But don’t forget about safety! Being prepared and taking all necessary precautions are essential when kiting in colder temperatures.
So stay safe, have fun, and make lifelong memories with every session!