Flying in snowkite

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It snowed all night. More than 30 centimetres from the ground. The wind is a little shy, but it should stand up to 16 h. looking Forward to slipping in the powdery, Dominic Beaulieu follows the evolution of the forecasts. This is the first thing he does every morning and the last every night. Immersion in the extreme sport of snowkiting.

“It becomes necessarily crinqués of weather as soon as you fall in love with the sport. If the conditions are good, I reconfigured my schedule to be on my board. My boss would like to believe more, that I am sick, for days of high winds “, said jokingly Dominic Beaulieu, 30 years.

Snowkiting may be the new winter sport to fashion, it is as old as the world. Since always, man has wanted to use the force of the wind to do its the end of the path. As a recreational sport, kiteboarding (or parasurf) has attracted curious at the end of the 90s, and then in Quebec, in the early 2000s.

“What is particular here is that the majority of people learn first on the snow, and then sometimes choose to continue the summer in kitesurfing,” says Dominic Beaulieu, instructor at the centre Snowkite SADP.

Driving on the snow

The taming of Aeolus in the heart of the winter is also very timely, and the pleasures of the sport of gliding to traction is controlling it then more easily. In the lake, as we share in the supine position, it is necessary to know to capture enough power to pull itself out of the water, while the tractive effort is simplified, both feet planted on a firm surface. “When there are snow accumulations as of today, the challenge is corsica… but it is worth the effort “, adds the bit of powder of Charlemagne.

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The benefit of having a handy winter : the quality of the wind is less critical. According to the specialist, one can find his pleasure as soon as the force of the wind reaches 10 knots. We did not have to worry about it so much of its direction — no chance to see his security compromised in doing so pull off ! “I get to do twice as much kite in the winter as in the summer,” gives the example of Dominic Beaulieu, who has been practicing the sport for six years.

That initiation is easier does not mean that it has to absolutely be framed in order to remain safe. “This is not a kite for children. An error can get us off against our will. It is important to understand what we have between hands. When fighting against mother Nature, no one can come out a winner, ” says Dominic Beaulieu.

An extreme sport

“We talk about the steering. The first two-hour course focuses on learning the handling of a kite training : it is not even yet a question of traction, unless the person has already practiced the sports of sailing, explains the professor of snowkiting. The next step is going by a private training or semi-private for three hours, after which a new follower can consider a practical stand-alone and safe on the snow. “

Without surprise, the windy conditions also influence the dangerousness of the sport.

Short story : a beginner is not size against windy conditions violent.

“It is necessary to further investigate the difference between the speed of the constant wind and the gusts,” says Dominic Beaulieu. A gust of wind of 60 km/h while the driver wisely to 20 km/h requires a mastery of his wing !

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Although one could take his foot to long turns in the quiet of the large tracts of snow isolated, the main attractions of the snowkiting beyond the pleasures of traditional sports.

Skiers and surfers, fans of the kite, are benefiting from the strength of the wind to hover for a few precious seconds to heights of over five metres (or 10, 15, 20 !), or to scroll through at a rapid pace in improvised races. Dominic Beaulieu has already picked up 72 km/h on his meter… and the world record reached 120 km/h. Height and speed : a combo that is not free of risks. And you can raise the challenge a notch by choosing a terrain more rugged…

The extreme of the extreme

“There is not a trip that I do that is not to make kite,” said the father of the family. But I’ve never done kite in the mountains. “

“It takes the skills off hand in hand to ensure that the practice remains safe. The height at which these athletes jump, snowkiting is more like a paraglider… with kites that have not been designed for that “, adds Dominic Beaulieu.

Surf the snow on a flat terrain and clear drastically reduces the risks. Especially technical, snowkiting will then require no physical skills important, provided that people already have the habit to drag in skiing or snowboarding.

“I have already formed a man of 82 years, said the monitor of snowkiting. And the youngest, my daughter, is 7 years old. “

Also young, of course, the child is not the sole master of his wing. “Down to 90 lbs, you can’t make the weight against the wind,” says Dominic Beaulieu.

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Where to learn to snowkite near Montreal

The greater metropolitan area is conducive to the practice of snowkiting, by the presence of large bodies of frozen water (including the lake of Two Mountains) and the abundance of agricultural land on both banks. “In the winter, you take advantage of the waterways and agricultural land are not used. It is important to ask permission from local farmers, ” says Dominic Beaulieu.

As the center official, appointment to Snowkite SADP, which offers a flat land of 5 square kilometers, accessible to a lower fare, where all fans of the region like converge. Training of entry-level or intermediate, the same as the rental, are also available.

Information :

Other schools near Montreal

Kiteforce Montreal


Kite Montreal