After my adventure with ice climbing, I spent some more time this week on the extreme side of winter sports with snowkiting.
It’s basically kite boarding: you strap a board or skis to your feet, connect yourself to a kite by thin strings and let the wind sail your kite over open water, but on a frozen, snow-covered body of water.
And more than any other activity I’ve tried in this series, snowkiting is absolutely at the mercy of Mother Nature.
READ MORE: Fitness Served Cold - Cross-Country Skiing
I first contacted Andrei Reounov from iKite at the beginning of the year about learning to snowkite. It took us an entire month to coordinate schedules and the weather forecast, looking for the proper combination of temperature, snow and wind.
We finally narrowed down a two-day window where the temperature was going to be perfect and the wind was going to be right on the threshold of what was needed.
Unfortunately, a system that moved through Ontario a couple of days earlier was more rain than snow — the first time I will curse this relatively mild winter — and covered Cook’s Bay with choppy, brittle ice.
That meant that it would be nearly impossible to navigate such unstable terrain with skis while kiting, plus the ice could do some serious damage to the kites if they fell — almost a certainty with a beginner like myself.
Because this would be my first time snowkiting, and because the learning curve is so steep, Andrei only wanted me to try it in tandem with him. The wind wasn’t strong enough to launch two people.
READ MORE: Fitness Served Cold - Fat Biking
However, we were able to get the training kite out and I was able to fly it to get a sense of what snowkiting actually feels like.
It’s actually a pretty peaceful experience, and I don’t think I’d be using those same words if we were actually able to launch on skis. So I’m glad I left the actual snowkiting demo to Reounov, as he was way more graceful than I could ever hope to be.
I hope you enjoyed watching and reading about this series as much as I enjoyed creating it. And I also hope you’ve learned about different winter activities that can keep you fit, happy and healthy during the coldest months of the year.