Snowkiting: the new trendy winter sport
Haugastöl. Does this name mean anything to you? Probably not, for the good and simple reason that Haugastøl isn't even a village, but just a small stop in central Norway. It is located 275.5 km from Oslo, at an altitude of 988 meters above sea level. If you reach Haugastøl by chance, you will discover a small family hotel a few hundred meters high, opposite a beautiful pond. And if you go there in winter, you will also find hundreds of young people there. why? Because Haugastøl is one of the world capitals for snowboarding.
What is snowboarding?
Snowboarding, also known as kite skating, is a sport that, as its name suggests, is practiced on ice with a large "kite". To practice it, you need a belt, a pair of skis or a snowboard, a kite, a little wind and also a little bit of courage. Yes, bravery, because snowboarding is considered an acrobatic sport, even if it remains within the reach of all those who, of course, will be able to take the necessary precautions. In fact, athletes, only with the force of the wind, are able to stay longer in the air after a jump, which allows them to perform acrobatics sometimes as fully as possible.
the flying Man
The history of this sport is even more fascinating because it was born from a childhood dream. Dieter Strasella himself was still a child when he found himself, for the first time, reading a book called From the Flight of a Bird to the Flight of Man, which he found by chance in his library. In an instant, flying became his obsession, so much so that he fell in love with the ideas and experiences of Otto Lilienthal, the pioneer of flying in ultralight aircraft, also known as "Flying Man". Thanks to Lilienthal's studies, the availability of his sewing mother and the skills of his brother, a NASA employee in the United States for several years, Strazela was able to create this new sport: snowboarding. The idea was as simple as it was innovative: to be dragged by the wind on snow.
What are the conditions for snowboarding?
Unlike windsurfing that requires strong wind conditions, windsurfing can only be done with a light breeze. In the water, constant traction is required for surfing, which requires a sufficiently strong wind and a larger kite.
To navigate a kite, a smaller wing carried by a light breeze is enough. By the way, the "wings" that snow uses are very different from kitesurfing wings. On ice, we often use wings, the structure of which is not rigid and therefore ensures greater safety. Thanks to this system, you can easily lower the wing at any time to escape from the gusts of wind.