Is snow kiting easier than kite surfing?
It is easy to stand on snow which makes the whole process easier compared to water. This means it is easy to get to grips the kite and the techniques required to ride. It also means you can stop anywhere without sinking!!!
It also takes a lot less wind to drive a board across snow than it does across water. With the snow kite the whole learning experience is lot less daunting as you need much less power and wind to get you moving.
Finally, holding an edge in snow is much easier than in water making up wind progress much easier to master.
Why are open cell parafoils better than inflatables or closed cell marine foils for snow kiting?
In words - Safety and simplicity.
Open cell kites do not require pre-inflation. Instantly that's 15 minutes more fun a day than the inflatable owner is getting. As for all that messing around with frozen valves and numb hands - no thanks! Parafoils are out of the bag and your gone in seconds.
An open cell kite can be stalled in to a lifeless piece of cloth just by pulling the brakes. This is an enormous safety feature when you are in trouble as you can kill all the power in the kite. Inflatables and closed cell foils always maintain their rigid shape and surface area, even on the ground. In strong winds this can be very dangerous as these kites can still produce unwanted power and traction.
Finally, at the end of your day you can pack a parafoil in to a tiny pack and be on your way home in minutes.
Do I want handles or a bar?
Ozone has developed a snow specific kite (the Frenzy) that is designed with a bar and a de-power system. The bar makes it easy to control the kite and the depower brings you a wide usable wind range and security.
It is also possible to use kites like the Little Devil. They can be used with handles or a bar. The only disadvantage is that you do not have a de-power.
Do I want skis or a snowboard?
Whichever you feel more comfortable with. For beginners skis are often better as the ease of movement really helps till you get the hang of it. However, once you're kiting properly then anything that slides works. We've heard reports of sledges, car bonnets 'and even workman's shovels being dragged behind our kites!