Sunday, March 2, 2008

Kite skiing

Dan cruises down the frozen Tanana River in Fairbanks

Industrious young Dan decided he wanted to build a kite for skiing. So he found a design online, ordered the materials, bought a sewing machine, taught himself how to use the darn thing - and voila! he made a kite! Since there was a little bit of wind today - Dan, Ted and I headed down to the Tanana River to get some practice flying the kite. After a few attempts I began to get the feel for how to control the big green wing. We were able to zig-zag down the river using a method similar to tacking a sailboat into the wind.

From the field test today it appears that a steady breeze around 10 mph is sufficient for this size kite. If the wind gets much stronger it is difficult to control...anything less will get the kite airborne but there will not be enough force to pull you forward. Dan plans on making several different sized kites so he can go out in a variety of wind conditions.

Dan concentrates as he maneuvers the kite down the river. We spent a lot of time trying to spin it around to get it untangled.

Well...kite skiing isn't as easy as it appears.

Check out this video of the kite in action


Anonymous said...

That's hysterical. It's amazing the amount of work people will do so they don't have to work. Although, that looks like a lot work!
Twisted Sister

Anonymous said...

Man that's ALOT of work - and then when he skis towards it - it loses altitude. Lots of practice needed with that sport. :) Skijorring is more fun??? :) My old house is close to the Tanana!

Stef said...

It looks like that kite dominated Dan...poor guy.

Anonymous said...