What do sailors do during the winter? In our never-ending quest to have fun on Lake Mendota, the Hoofer Sailing Club has a full fleet of Snowkiting equipment.
Never heard of snowkiting?
When the lake freezes over, we head out on to the ice with skis or a snowboard. You attach yourself to a small parachute, throw your skis or board on, and take off on the lake. Speeds up to 60 mph and jumps of 20 feet are common.
We have the kites, instructors, and helmets; you just have to supply your own skis or board.
Check out the videos below for a good introduction into the sport of snow kiting:
Ozone 3-line trainer video
Slingshot B2/B3 Trainer Kite Instructional Video
As we do our kiting on a frozen lake, it's important to understand what to do if the ice were to break. The most important thing to remember if you should go through the ice is not to panic. After that you need to be able to get safely back out of the water.
For a quick course on how to do both check out the videos below:
Keeping control in cold water
How to get back onto the ice
We also recommend having an understanding of how ice will behave on the lake. For general information on ice conditions click here.