"We are Sarah Sylvester and Richard Boughton, the UK importers for Jochum and Nesler, JN Kites. We sell and repair kitesurfing equipment in the UK, take part in competitions and travel the globe kitesurfing. Read all about our adventures here!"

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Norway Snowkiting Haugastol 2008

Whilst sat sweating in an overpriced Cape Verdean internet Cafe, we decided to book something cold. It doesn't get much colder than Norway so we decided to go on the annual snow kite trip organised by Turbulence. After a brief, but wine-heavy trip to see our mate Tyrstan in North Wales and another slightly drunken mission on the ferry we arrived at Haugastol at arse O'clock in the morning and settled into our very pimp accommodation with new wife swapping potential Sarah and Steve.

Pic: Roger the cabin boy! We are off to Norway.

The wind was flat as a proverbial pancake for the first few days so we amused ourselves by going on the internet, chatting about wallpaper, flower arranging and making novelty breads. We also went to the snow park at Geilo and did some park-rat downhill shredding. There was some pretty good offpiste, some big jumps, and some comical sliders. I used my snowkite board (JN Snowtiger 150cm) which actually went really well down hill, if feeling a bit strange to start with.

Pic: Sarah gets some park rat kicker action.Pic: Other Sarah in slider to the face shocker.
Pic: JN Snowtiger 150 - also works downhill.

So after 3 days of farting about at the snow park, and lengthy discussions on the merits of various tedious topics, a crack splinter group spearheaded by Andy the Vet (he once ate a cat's balls) headed up for a beautiful evening session next to the power lines. Snowkiting turned out to be so easy it was ridiculous, and you can even go uphill.

Pic: In the words of Bernard Matthews: "Boooootiful"
So after a bit of a false start we started getting out pretty much every day and got loads of snow kiting in. The wind was still up and down like a hooker's draws though. Kickers proved great for launching a bit of cheeky wake style and kite loops and unhooked jumps were the order of the day. Blasting off ridges is also incredible as the updrafts lift you huge.

Pic: Snowkitewangtime

Pic: Ridge blasting
All in all it was a good trip. The equipment performed really well as usual, and I think inflatables seem way more practical on snow, unless you want to do proper back country and pack the kite down. The JN Snow Tiger 150cm board felt just like a twin tip kite surfing board and develops similar pop. It feels really familiar to anyone that has been on the water. The Prima Donna 2 seemed the most practical kite for the job, stable, easy relaunch and lightning fast in the turns. Anything you can do on the land or water will transfer over straight away.

We will definitely be doing it again next year, but maybe not in such a big group. It's a great easy access sport in a beautiful place, and the snow park is a great no wind contingency plan. Big thanks to everyone involved.