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It has been an interesting journey to Zac and my first snow kiting session. It all started with those far and few in-between posts from around the global of snow kiting and me thinking I’d like to do that. Back in Oz, it was some thing like a six hour drive just to get there, and to start with apart from the kites we did not have the gear. So lot’s of questions to those on the EK that might know thing about Snow kiting (thanks @clive and @goshen), slowly the picture came together. Then came the big move from Australia to New Zealand - South Island - Christchurch, snow kiting would finally become a reality. First step was to pick whether we were to ski or snow board, since we already have experience on landboards, surfboards and skate boards, it was a natural choice … hm at the time … to pick snow boards. We now have 1.75 years experience behind us snow boarding on the steep slopes of New Zealand, just gravity runs. In the mean time I was scouring over reports/stories of snow kiting in New Zealand, to pick suitable places to go and were reasonably close to where we live, and what dangers to look out for. @outlaw gave us some great tips. More scanning on-line topographic maps. We don’t have any avalanche training, and from reading on the subject, unless you are trained, on off piste trails keep below 30degree inclines. More scanning of topographic maps. Then there was the question of at what altitude does the snow begin, rather a challenge here in New Zealand as most of the mountains with snow on them are really steep. So more keeping an eye on weather maps for snow falls and wind.

Finally the planets aligned, our favourite down hill snowboarding field, Mt Hutt was forecast to be shut (aka Mt Shutt) due to high winds, with the weather forecasts indicating strong to gale conditions. So were we going to bite off more than we could chew? More scanning of the weather maps, must say https://www.windy.com proved to be very useful, thanks @plummet. So it was either a 1.5 hr drive Mt Somer with a 400 metre hike to where the snow might begin and 30 knot winds forecast or a 3hr drive to Round Hill in the south where 15 knot winds were forecast with a hop skip and jump from our car to the kite launch spot. Round Hill has some nice low slope inclines before the steep 30 degree inclines begin, but would the snow line be low enough? Found some web cams at the village next to Lake Tekapo, bonzi — looks like the snow line would be low enough and we had two potential sites around the lake, Round Hill and Mt Joseph. Round Hill was it then. It also had a ski field, so if the wind would not play ball we could hit the ski field.

It was going to be an early morning start, waking up at 5am, no different to our usual weekends to Mt Hutt. Great road trip Round Hill, we arrived at 0900 and we were greeted with plenty of snow with not too steep slopes. The wind was very light but with occasional gusts, and the angry clouds building up North West of us, where the 100 to 120 km winds at Mt Hutt were blowing. Cut a long story short, we made a few trips up and down the hill from the car to the kite launching spot to get it right with kite sizes. Here is a video of our kiting session, sorry no fancy go pro videos, just stills and movies from our mobile phones.

By 1530 we were both totally knackered, called it a day and drove back home. Was a great day out, looking forward to the next session.

Norman and Zac.


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Hi mate, new to the Christchurch area myself and in searching for snowkiting in the region came across your posts... Never tried snowkiting although have been kiting for a while & done a fair bit of snowboarding.  Would be very grateful for any local knowledge you may be able to share/pass along, and if you guys are gearing up for the 2018 season - would love to tag along sometime if I'm able! Joined this page in hopes of trying to connect - although it's said I've got to post some 10 content items before I'm allowed to flick ya a private message... Hope to get ahold of you somehow... let it snow, and blow!

Cheers, Matthew

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On 4/19/2018 at 11:33 AM, Beiland said:

Hi mate, new to the Christchurch area myself and in searching for snowkiting in the region came across your posts... Never tried snowkiting although have been kiting for a while & done a fair bit of snowboarding.  Would be very grateful for any local knowledge you may be able to share/pass along, and if you guys are gearing up for the 2018 season - would love to tag along sometime if I'm able! Joined this page in hopes of trying to connect - although it's said I've got to post some 10 content items before I'm allowed to flick ya a private message... Hope to get ahold of you somehow... let it snow, and blow!

Cheers, Matthew

Hi Matthew,

Welcome to Christchurch. It’s a great place to live in, wide scope for outdoor activities. We will post on EK in the meets section the next time we go snow kiting. Usually it is a last minute decision and the endless search for new spots. Challenge is road access without neededing a 4WD and the snow terrain being not that steep that avalanche becomes a risk ... and then the tempatation of just snowboarding at Mt Hutt. So far Round Hill is the best for us, 10 minute walk from the car and just the right goldie locks hill gradient. The valley near Mt Somer looks tempting but it’s getting the right weather conditions so the snow line is low enough, otherwise it is a days hike to get to the snow line. Then the topic of a expensive splitboards or snow shoes. So ya, Round Hill is winning so far, biggest bang for your buck, 3 hr drive from Christchurch. Thinking about the moutains inland from Alexandria, but that means an overnighter and have no clue how far I can get along the access road before my 2WD SUV says no.

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On 4/21/2018 at 9:38 AM, SoutherlyBuster said:

Hi Matthew,

Welcome to Christchurch. It’s a great place to live in, wide scope for outdoor activities. We will post on EK in the meets section the next time we go snow kiting. Usually it is a last minute decision and the endless search for new spots. Challenge is road access without neededing a 4WD and the snow terrain being not that steep that avalanche becomes a risk ... and then the tempatation of just snowboarding at Mt Hutt. So far Round Hill is the best for us, 10 minute walk from the car and just the right goldie locks hill gradient. The valley near Mt Somer looks tempting but it’s getting the right weather conditions so the snow line is low enough, otherwise it is a days hike to get to the snow line. Then the topic of a expensive splitboards or snow shoes. So ya, Round Hill is winning so far, biggest bang for your buck, 3 hr drive from Christchurch. Thinking about the moutains inland from Alexandria, but that means an overnighter and have no clue how far I can get along the access road before my 2WD SUV says no.

Awesome, would greatly appreciate the heads up whenever you go.  I did buy a season pass for Mt Hutt as a backup - at least I'll be able to take advantage of the snow one way or another... I have a 4WD SUV would be happy to drive sometime in return for some guidance on the snow-kiting! :) Here's hoping we get some good weather days this season... Hopefully you managed to get out for a kite Saturday while the wind was on! Cheers, Matthew

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Might turn out as a no snow no show year for snow kiting. Have not had as much snow this year as last year and the snow line has been much higher this year. Have been keeping an eye on the Round Hill snow cam, not enough snow yet.

Any one with eyes on the Old Man Range south of Cromwell? er um cough cough @outlaw  ?

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On 10/29/2018 at 9:11 PM, outlaw said:

People are still kiting old man/woman range.

Which access road do you use, from Cromwell or Alexandria? Also is a 4WD needed, I have a 2WD Dualis with one pair of snow chains.  All might be a mute point, I’m out of work and fuel prices have gone up crazy, and Zac put a crack in his snowboard (hard landing). Was thinking the Cromwell side, drive up as far as possible then kite the rest but the wind may only kick in on the top of the plateau.

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It looks like about 90 miles to the school. So thats a good 2 hour bus ride, I think its a plus to play on Saturday that way the kids dont have to sit in school all day then sit on the bus for 2 hours. Dont know much about Indian Hill other then their record and their opponents. But I will say Waverly has never lost a playoff game to a team from Cincinnati.

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      Another niggle I have had with my pulse is how the deflation zip which is plastic coated metal has begun to rust, it is not obvious however, some orange discoloring has occurred. This is my no means a major problem and I doubt will ever become a major issue.
      Overall I am very impressed with the quality of the kite, the repair kit provided with the kite is second to none they even included spare bridle parts! I am yet to see a company who has the same customer support which flysurfer has both in terms of after service care and quality of product.
      Overall I am happy with my kites both these have by far exceeded my expectations. The Pulse is the perfect kite for anyone who is not an advanced or competition rider. They will suite anyone getting into the sport and anyone simply looking to progress, without having there ass handed to them all the time.
      Every Flysurfer is an advance on the previous design, the pulse however, was a jump from the Speed in both turning speed and de-power.
      All I can say is Flysurfer is showing that they can easily keep up with tube kite design and advance foil kite development. Well done Armin and Team!
      Author : HippyMchop
    • By adamski
      I KNOW what you are thinking about these kites.... "They are cheap so they MUST be a bit poo and of low quality"

      Well read on....

      Cheap is true.... £350 for a 6m depowerable foil is a VERY attractive price.... it made me have a good look!

      We had tried the Flysurfer extacy last year and had been highly impressed but my boy wanted to stick with Arcs as he knew them well and they suit him.... a set of Venoms were purchased and he continues to enjoy them, as do I.

      The only problem is..... If he is up on a Venom and trying new stuff I cant be on one too..... far too long a process to land and run to rescue him!

      I also travel lots and often fly alone (well, without known launch and land capable company) and again here I like to be able to land and launch quickly and by myself no matter what.

      When his sponsoring shop (airbossworld) got a Flysurfer dealership I was at the front of the queue for a 6 and 9 metre Rookie... I got the phone call....

      "They are here!"

      I was in Brighton, the kites were in East leake near Nottingham....it was 2.45 on a Thursday afternoon!

      "Wait for me.... I might be a little later than 5.30!"

      They agreed and I hammered the Laguna of doom between beeps from my "safety" camera alerting device!!

      There was a parking space outside the shop and I was out of the door as the wheels stopped turning!

      there they were, sat on the floor by the counter, two lovely fresh kites!

      They come in decent packs..... NOT a super heavy duty technical backpack capable of supporting you through an arctic adventure...But a well made and spacious rucksack with comfy straps and a good wide opening.

      It has a Flysurfer logo too.... looks nice and works well.

      I was worried that the fabric of the kite wouldn't be up to Flysurfers usual standard, that it would have been cheaply constructed with no attention to detail..... I reached in and pulled the plastic bag out with great trepidation!

      NO worries required!

      We opened it out on the shop floor, fabric felt good, stitching was straight and even, and we were amazed to find.... it SEEMS to be the same fabric the Extacy is made from!

      The rookie follows the new Flysurfer trend away from pulleys and on to rings to allow the profile change. This is all good in my opinion, providing you keep an eye on the wear to the bridle lines and replace them as required you rule out the jamming pulley horrors!

      The opening on the leading edge is re-enforced to stay open in lighter wind and gusts a good idea if you fly inland a lot! All the rookies are supplied with 18m lines... this is NOT great if you fly inland, in gusty conditions or like your kite to stay subsonic! I had mine supplied with line extensions.... 24m in total is much more sensible for me.

      Another place they COULD have ruined the kite is at the bar.....again they didn't!

      It ISN'T a super duper carbon bar (it may well be the same one as used on the Spirit, But i am not sure) but it feels good and isn't too long.

      In the UK the 6 & 9M are only available as "gold edition" this is the usual depower set up with rotorleash system and Yellow and blue pull/pull range/power adjuster.

      So there I was stood in the shop being all impressed with the way they looked.... THAT isn't what they are about so Off I went o collect my boy and have a fly.... a quick change out of the suit was required too!!

      Out on the field and the curse of the new kite stuck NO WIND! well, 4-6mph, but that really doesn't qualify as wind!

      We got the 9m out anyway, just to pop the 6m extension lines on and have a proper look.

      Putting the extensions on was no problem, 10 minutes and we were finished.... the kite was starting to sit up in the "wind" though so i wandered back to the bar and hooked in.

      Set to full depower and pull the centre lines to launch.... NOTHING... the kite just sat there, I spent a few minutes like this, I just couldn't understand WHY it wouldn't launch!

      I tried again, this time NOT pulling the safety leash at the same time as the power lines!

      Up she went, straight to the zenith.add a little power at the trimmer and it collapsed into a ball and fell from the sky! Relaunch and up she went, VERY fast turning for the wind conditions BUT turn it too quickly and Collapse! " oh poo!" I thought, "this kite seems to fly like a brick!" I persevered and blamed the very low wind. The depower seemed to have little or no effect either. I played on for half an hour and put it away, slightly frustrated that what had started out so promising had resulted in a major disappointment.

      Chatting later to a flysurfer aficionado called Tone I was told that they DO take a while to bed in and fly well and not to lose heart in the kites JUST yet!

      Listening to him I took it out again, as my next session progressed the kite improved, it got better and better through the two hour session until at the end the depower was working as it should and it had stopped just collapsing and balling up for no reason! This was 7-12mph wind and I was getting some GOOD pull from the kite and getting lifted when i sent the kite back hard.

      The Rookie is really not that aptly named in the 6 & 9M sizes! This is NOT a great static flying kite, even when bedded in it still has a tendency to want to collapse when static flying.....HOWEVER get on a board and everything changes!

      Get moving and you can lock the kite at the edge of the window and it sits there pulling, no collapse, no stall just good power. Start sining the kite and the power increases well and confidence grows in the kite!

      If the wind drops and you fancy a work out OR you are a stunt monkey and want to do the latest tricks try flying the Rookie unhooked... AMAZING! Just set it to full depower, un hook it and you have a 6 or 9m 2line kite on a bar! NO back stalling, no drama, just a lovely easy to fly kite.

      As i have mentioned in earlier reviews I am NOT the greatest boarder, I am getting there now and can do little jumps and stuff BUT I have a tame test monkey in the shape of my boy Sam. I sent him off in 10-15mph winds with the 9m and his new comp6 to see what he could do.

      Remember he LOVES his Arc kites!

      we had the chance to try a new site out also it seemed fine if not as big as our usual haunt.

      First couple of runs and he did some small jumps (3-6foot) and didn't seem too impressed. "You don't seem to be sending it back very hard" I mentioned.... he did the teenage grunt thing and went back out.....

      He picks up speed, sends the kite back hard and WHAMMO!

      Up she goes!

      a good 10 foot jump, the height isn't the thing.... he just floated down wind!

      He landed and I ran towards him, he had just proven that the new site wasn't big enough by clearing the whole thing in one jump! he ran back to give himself clearance and pulled the safety release to drop the kite and remove himself from danger.

      Now.... here is a bit of a downside with bridled foils! If you are used (as we are) to pulling the safety and the kite dropping on to one line and falling powerless from the sky then you MAY be in for a shock!

      Sam is only 6.5 stone, the 9m rookie will still produce enough power to move him downwind for a while once the safety is deployed.

      This isn't a rookie only thing, at a recent kite festival we helped another light rider who was still being dragged by a Sabre which had been released onto the safety system.

      IF I have the opportunity I would rather land the kite on it's nose then pull one of the steering lines until the kite lays flat than use the safety system..... that said, if it's all going wrong fast it gets the kite out of the air and most of the power gone! This is REALLY only an issue if you are flying MASSIVELY overpowered or are very light. I did think it only fair to mention it though.

      If you are in the market for a bridled depowerable kite for land use I would have to advise you to at least look the Rookie very seriously. They are highly cost effective, work really well and are great fun to play with!

      If you are anywhere near Nottingham and want a test fly just phone Gary at Airbossworld and arrange a play on mine..... you wont be sorry AND they have decent coffee too!
      By : adamski
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