History


20TH CENTURY

Kiteskiers began kiteskiing on many frozen lakes and fields in the US midwest and east coast. Lee Sedgwick and a group of kiteskiers in Erie, PA were early ice/snow kiteskiers. In 1982 Wolf Beringer started developing his shortline Parawing system for skiing and sailing. This was used by several polar expeditions to kite-ski with sleds, sometimes covering large distances.

Ted Dougherty began manufacturing ‘foils’ for kiteskiing and Steve Shapson of Force 10 Foils also began manufacturing ‘foils’ using two handles to easily control the kite. In the mid 1980′s Shapson, while icesailing, took out an old two line kite and tried to ski upwind on a local frozen lake in Wisconsin.

Shapson demonstrated the sport of ‘kiteskiing’ in Poland, Germany, Switzerland and Finland. He also used grass skis to kiteski on grassy fields. Early European kiteskiers were Keith Stewart and Theo Schmidt, who also was among the first to waterski with kites. American Cory Roeseler together with his father William developed a Kiteski system for waterskiing and began winning in windsurf races featuring high following winds, such as in the gorge of the Columbia river.

The following terms describe the sport of ‘Traction Kiting’ or some refer to as ‘Power Kiting’: Kite buggying, kite skiing, kitesurfing, kiteboarding and Kite landboarding.

In the mid 1980s e.g. some alpine skiers used a rebridled square parachute to ski upwind on a frozen bay in Erie, PA. In the late 1990s small groups of French and North American riders started pushing the boundaries of modern freestyle snowkiting.

The Semnoz crew from France began hosting events at the Col du Lautaret and other European sites where the mountainous terrain lent itself to “paragliding” down the hills. In North America, riders were mainly riding snow-covered lakes and fields where tricks were being done on the flat ground, jumps, rails and sliders.

 

21TH CENTURY

The 2000s have seen a giant leap forward in snowkite-specific technologies, skill levels and participants in every possible snow-covered country. The development of snowkite specific, de-powerable, foil kites have allowed snowkiters to explore further and push the limits of windpowered expeditions. Recent crossings in record times of large snowfields and even Greenland have been accomplished through the use of snowkites.

On the forefront of extreme kiting, dedicated snowkiting communities from Utah to Norway are pushing the freestyle envelope and documenting their efforts through films like Something Stronger and Dimensions by SnowkiteFilm.com and Drift Snowkite Magazine which is available as a digital magazine.

The extreme envelope of snowkiting is being pushed by Chasta, a French kiter sponsored by Ozone Kites now based in New Zealand.
Better equipment, safety practices, community know-how and qualified instructors are readily available in many areas, allowing people to learn properly and safely through different means than trial and error.

The sport is currently being enjoyed by kiters of all ages and in a wide variety of activities ranging from mellow jaunts on a lake, to kitercross events, from multi-day expeditions, to flying off mountains, from freestyle jib tricks, to huge cliff jumps.

Source: Wikipedia & Strasilla