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February 22, 2008

Kiteskating anyone?

There are some unique snow events this weekend and not all of them involve going downhill.

Kitestorm 2008 will bring together the region’s most dedicated enthusiasts of the growing sport of snowkiting. The fifth annual event takes place Saturday and Sunday at Sand Bar State Park north of Colchester.

It's a chance to see what the buzz is about as skiers and snowboarders launch their kites and speed across frozen Lake Champlain.

But late word from event organizers is the kiting conditions are, well, less than ideal. They advise wearing tailbone protection. They also recommend really sharp edges.

See, there’s no snow on the lake. The thaw-freeze thing just glossed everything over – and it’s not like there is snowmaking or groomers to help the recovery. If no snow falls today, the event will take on a hardcore feel.

From the Stormboarding site:

Snowboarders, this will be tough for you, please wear full padding, sharpen your edges but really you should be on skis.

I’m not sure what the difference is between snowkiting on a board versus skis, but I plan to find out this weekend. Perhaps, though, ice skates should be the mode of choice. Kiteskating. Why not?

Whatever’s on your feet, the sun is forecast to be shining and temps should be moderate, so it will make for a stellar weekend on the lakeshore. And it just may spur some ideas for the kitesurfing season to come.

Sugarbush, which hosted the Today Show this week (I’d link to video of Matt Lauer and Al Roker testing ski patrol taboggans but I don’t want to subject you to the mandatory Honda ad) has its 11th annual Castlerock Extreme contest Saturday – a freeskiing competition down the rocky Castlerock liftline.

Register Saturday morning at the Castlerock Pub. The competition is capped at 50 participants. Snowboarders, skiers and free-heelers are welcome.

Sugarbush also has the Snowrider event Saturday and Sunday. It’s a benefit for the Surfrider Foundation and will bring a flavor of beach, ocean and water-related environmentalism to the hills.

February 22, 2008 at 05:07 AM | Permalink


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