Shred It Till Bed, Snowkiting, Uncategorized

“Scary Movie” Podium 2022 – Cortina

The story of the Scary Movie Podium 2022 – Cortina

What a season!

Yep, the snowkiting season for me is over now.  With leaving Norway two weeks ago, the snowkiting season 21´-22´ came to an end.  From new years` eve to France to Lapland to nightshifts to Italy to Norway.  Lot’s of km’s driven, driving the same mountain pass “only” 8 times, mid night repacking, 3 competitions, 5 disciplines, 6 podiums, one big scary flight off a mountain and a lot of fun.

Some amazing mountain tops & views along the way, looooooots of snow, and even more stunning sunrises and sunsets. 55 knots till nothing at all. Sleeping in the van in – 11 without freezing, snowchain days, from – 29 till a sunny 20 degrees……

Unforgettable adventures, new friends met, other doors opened.

 It has been an unexpected, fun and strange year. Ages ago that we had competitions in the first place. 2 years ago for the last snowkiting session. With all the “things”  happening in the world we don`t understand. The whole Covid situation on one hand, on the other hand the war between Russia and Ukraine. It all seems unreal. Competing together with the all nationalities, the Russian and Ukrainian, the other moment…. Just after they got home from the World Cup in Roccaraso: pictures of bombs, shelters and explosions around our friends and their homes.. Seems like another planet that this is happening. While the world and life continues.

We all live together and we have to make it work together. Just like we do during the sporting events.  If it is the rules depending on the Covid situation or a war….

With that said. The season ended. Because of the things going one in the world, The IKA Snowkite World tour of 2022 had only three stops, two of them in the racing and long distance discipline – with a choice between ski or snowboard. One event dedicated to big air and freestyle in both, skiing and snowboarding. Although my first race and long distance battle of the season was the International snowkite open – Lago Di Resia. There I decided to continue the world tour snowkiting, because it was so much fun again! And I did missed the snow.

The racing and long distance stop in Charkov I missed, and a lot among me, because of the political situation already at that moment. The next stop was Roccaraso – Italy. And after the freestyle & big Air stop in Cortina – Italy.

With winning the International Snowkite Open in Long Distance & Course race at Lago Di Resia, I had a good start of the season. And made my promise of three years ago through. Read More Here.

After this the next stop was the IKA Snowkite Worldcup Long Distance & Course Race ( & GPS) in Rocarasso. Where I managed to get the world title in course race! And win the course race with the lowest amount of points, 1-1-1-1 and the 2nd I could discard. I became 2nd in the long distance. And 1st in the GPS.  Read More Here.

The next and last snowkiting competition was the IKA Snowkite World Championship Big Air & Freestyle in Cortina. Finally some freestyle and big air again. At least that is what I thought. I really enjoy this discipline at the water and while freeriding in the snow, I mean I like racing but sometimes, I have to lose my energy in something else and just go crazy! With a new format, including more slopestyle, kickers, sliders.. it looked very promising and fun. The only thing that didn’t looked promising was the wind… the wind actually never showed up for real. The only official heat finished is the one of big air ski men. We ( the woman) started our heat right after but the wind dropped, and the scoring became hard so our heat couldn`t be scored properly and had to be redone. I have to be honest, I missed out on the complete heat.. I choose the 15m over the 11m and met one really big gust (in between no wind at all – probably the only gust of the weekend) on my way down the hill into the competition field. And that is the start story of the “Scary Movie Podium”.

Let me present to you: The Story of the Ika SnowKite WorldCup & the Cortina Snowkite Contest 2022 – Passo Giau:

  “Scary Movie” Podium

Go BiG OR go Ho.. take the Risk and FLY. I did a loooot of things in my life that scared me and the onces around. But for this one I was not really prepared- no one I think. This competition I made the longest and highest flight of a mountain with a kite in my hands – sofar! Now this one can officially added to my “scariest jumps of my life” list! Thanks for the car ride back up the hill.  ….After this feeling, I am more than excited for some better & bigger flights next year!

Too bad we couldnt finish the complete competition, but with a lot of sunny days and fun – no complains.  Congratz to the other podium finishers and the girls who actually stayed in the competition area and didn’t flew out of it and made it to some tricks, pops and hops.

That flight made me win the scary movie podium. With the most scary move of the competition. I have never flown like that, backwards soaring off a biggg mountain before.. it was my own fault, because I will always take the risk, the big kite instead of safe and small. In fact I was just hanging on there. I would be lying if I didn`t say that I had some flashbacks ovet how it could end, but quickly I realized I had to keep the kite straight. There was one moment I pulled the bar and got even higher, which made me realize if I want to land push the bar… And that’s how it went, with a soft landing in a no wind area down the hill. I made my first ever flight from a mountain. And survived.

Thanks to the IKA & al partners for organizing the events! Altough the wind was not always in our favour, we tried, we had funad we raced. See you next year – with some more wind & even bigger flights!  And a big High 5 to all sponsors and support I got to compete here!

I can only say: What a season!

For now… it is time to leave winter behind and reload summer in the Netherlands, because the road as a kitefoiler will start again from now one 😊 *taking the dust of my foils and twintip….

All Photo Credits go to: Franzin Deven & Arnoud Wareck

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Snowkite World Cup 2022- Roccaraso, Italy

Snowkite World Cup 2022- Roccaraso, Italy

The final stop of the SnowKite World Tour is going down in the mountains of Italy – Roccaraso. Approximately 1900 km from The Netherlands. It could have been nice if I had decided earlier to go there… because  I was literally half way there the week before at the International Snowkite Open on the Reschensee.

So after finishing off the nightshift I  picked up the van and drove 12 hours, back on the road to Lago Di Resia, some nice mounatin passes.. with some snowchain driving made it complete. I slept a bit further in a little quiet village.. in  the degrees of minus 11: #vanlife this week it is. Apparently I had done a quit good job insulating, without heater it wasn`t cold at all – until I opened that door… The next morning I drove anther 12 hours which made me arrive at Roccaraso – right on time to register for the final stop of the world tour. The winners of this one will be crowned World Champion as well. At least I was awake again after the registration in a cosy, busy, partying bar in the small village Roccaraso – A typical warm Italian Welcome 😊

The first day

Skippers meeting down the slopes at Pizzalto. Being told about the three disciplines: Course race, Long Distance, GPS formula – might be all on one day.  GPS? .. I wasn`t really prepared or that one. Just like ging into the skiing lift, the gondola and skiing down with my kites.. 

Anyway I like adventures so: Taking my complete equipment up to the plateau. Into the ski – lift, skiing down a slope halfway and up into the cable car to the top. I never brought my kite down the slopes and into the cable car and totally not three of them at the same time… Meeting up with some Greek, Slovenian, France, Italian, Ukrainian competitors on the way  up and down.

Once up there the view at the plateau into the valley is super nice! As well as the weather, sunny and no wind – unfortunately. I was surprised by the fact how high and steep the mountains to the valley looked like. With the question, can my race kite handle this.. on the short lines I brought… ? No wind – yet so not thinking about that anymore, I will learn along the way – like always

…So we tried out the Italian ski slopes which are connected to the snowkiting spot. Fun to enjoy some skiing again.  On the end of the day we got some wind, actually a lot of something like wind. Up on the mountain side, not down in the valley. Late afternoon we got released, it was getting late to set up a course, all get down and .. no wind yet in the valley, just on the steep mountain hill. After one more round of skiing I finally decided to try some snowkiting here as well. It`s not a lie that I was a bit scared of the gusty wind, the relative strong wind up the hill and my race kite with super short lines.

 “If  I’m scared it makes me excited, I have to do it”

So there we go with the 15m – which was way too big in the end. I did some unexpected flying and spinning, some ski losing, but in the end I had some fun. First time snowkiting on such a steep mountain. Ending after closing time, we were skiing down late (hoping to end up on the right parking lot…), the pistebully`s already came up..

Second Day

Today we had to do everything, according to the wind forecast- this was and is the best day. Just not the right direction for in the valley – that will make it more gusty. On top of the hill and down in the skiing resort of roccaraso was a looooot of wind. The gear stayed up on the plateau so it was an easy run to the top.  I was curious what will be down there.. no wind, a lot, or.. a bit of both. It turned out to be that last one. 

12m short lines, seemed a safe option, cause I didn`t had another choice of lines, except for 24m. The starting line was behind some hills, hidden,  which was already quit an adventure to get to. Starting is a complete other story, the starting line is in between two mountains. Arrived there.. half of the kites were dead, lying in the middle of the track. After some struggling, we did had some wind to start.  I had  a hard time keeping my kite in the air on the short lines – the minutes before the starting line – sorry guys. Starting from port it was, to safe a tack and get some help from the mountain to the upwind mark. Finally we started the first race, which gave us wind and sometimes not, some walking, kite relaunching, skiing, tangling. Until just before the upwind mark the wind completely died. My kite twisted and got stuck. One of the girls was super friendly to help untangle it… After some waiting and trying the wind game back, and it really did I nearly missed the upwind mark because of too much wind and blowing away. Don’t ask how but I did finish this race.  The second race I had to avoid some tangles, but finished 2nd again after two rounds.

The third and fourth race the wind must have heard me praying, he came back and it was wayyyyy more fun for me, no struggles just going! The laylines became more tight and te rounds quicker and quicker. The only challenge was not to tangle and finish first. And that’s what I did. Staying safe and: finishing 1st and 1st

After this we started the long distance, well the same course as the course race, a bit longer. And a downwind mark in a ….. hole between two mountains. Before we even started I know what was going to happen in that hole with me, my short lines and the kite…. Prepare for some walking… and kite relaunching.

The first upwind and downwind until 10 meters before the downwind mark were really good and fun. A little wind and no struggles. I made a gap between the others. The last part I tried to reach the downwind mark from the top of the hill,  but I started to fly… and the last part … my short lines couldn’t make it happen, my kite just back stalled and I relaunched it.. a 100 times until I got to the mark. Here I lost it all. I think this kite has never rounded a mark this slow, but we managed to anyway. With some slalom through the dead kites. (although the guys were already going for a second lap…. Shameeeee).

Walking upwind until I found some wind again.. and the same process. Downwind mark and lose ground and walk up  to the finish line, which I could do riding because of a gust. Finishing third. A bit sad I couldn`t keep my gap, and lost it down in the hole…. but for the equipment and the conditions, and my mountain skills – still a good job – not too many finished this race.

After the Long distance race, we tried to get back to where we started, the wind died and wo got a nice ride back to the slopes from the snow quads.  I am already happy it is snow and not water.. an easy self-rescue. Thanks guys – it was fun! We took all our equipment and skied down to pizzalto.

Oow and yeah, about: the GPS competition… the GPS formula discipline was on today as well. I never ever had the time or made the time to get into this. So I used an app and my phone which off course didn`t work. So no data for me. But nothing to blame I came unprepared. (As you know me, I am not s from the data..) So that night I learned more about it and forgot.. I have a watch to use. Well tomorrow… maybe…..

Third day

…..It looked for me at least on the forecast the second day would be a no wind day, but the locals said different. The plan is to stay down the mountains and wait for the best wind to come. It can be every direction so we need to be a bit lucky.. I tought I used all of my luck the last races and just making it around the windless downwind mark yesterday. So no expectations.

At least we could park at this spot, which was nice and easy. The field looked a bit rough, with sm e bush sticking out, some grass, some rocks. In the middle of the sun and warm weather.. will be slushy on the end of the day.

But guess what?! The wind came. And pretty strong aswell. Finally some wind for the short lines. Overpowered racing fun with the 15m the first two races! Finally we could really race. The third race the wind went down a little, luckily I was didn`t took the 11m and could easily finish the race. The last race I changed for the 18m, hoping that the wind wouldn`t pick up suddenly and I will be blowing away… Right before the start.. the wind completely disappeared. That`s it for today.  Finishing all races first, I made up for the day before.

I clearly needed this day, in racing but also in GPS. Because I didn`t uploaded any files the day before. This day tried it with my watch. And guess what..?! I almost forgot about it, but that worked out. I even managed to upload the GXS files on time (which I never heard of before – shame #2) . GPSFormula is about the speed, the speed coming in, ging out and during tacks and gybes. Actually a nice training program. Where you can compare to different competitors, learn and push each other to the next level. Not only in snowkiting but also in snowkitingand more sports.

Snowkite Stop Roccaraso:

1st Course Race Ski

1st GPS Formula Ski

3rd Long Distance Ski

Over all Snowkite World Tour:

1st Course race Ski – World Champion

3rd Long Distance Ski

After all I had a great time in the mountains, down the valley and on the field. It opened another world of snowkiting and racing. Meeting up and racing together with a lot of different nationalities ; France, Italian, Russia, Ukrainian, Greek, Slovenian (and moreee) made it even more fun. #spreadlove #nowar Thank you all for racing!! And sleeping the whole week in the van again in the snow was perfect!

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Shred It Till Bed, Snowkiting, Uncategorized

International Snowkite Open Reschensee 2022

Next year I win both… I said three years ago..

International Snowkite Open Reschensee 2022

For more than 3 years (!) – also the first time snowkiting competitions for me –  we didn`t have any snowkiting competitions: cancelled, replaced, relocated, political situations…Just like that in this three years, I have been snowkiting just one day when the covid regulations let us escape a day to the neighbours Belgium – with some more snow than we get at home. More chances of snowkiting than this one I didn`t got anymore. After all we all know: The Netherlands is butter flat and … has nothing than a cosmetical layer of snow on a few rare lucky days the past years. (we call it poo grass kiting for the people still snowkiting in .. no snow, sand and grass..).

Launching a foil kite was also a while ago for me.. the last time was in September at the worlds of kitefoiling. There are many reasons why, the most important is that I didn’t quit hydrofoiling as a lot of you might think, no its actually the other way around. Only a bit more efficiency in the money needed for competitions, gear, entrance fee, training – to keep up with the quick developing Olympic Class – with a loooooooot just out of self support…..

“Nobody said it will be easy, but nothing worth having ever is”

Two years ago I won the long distance and became 3rd  in the course race (for a stupid reason) at the Snowkite Worldcup at Lago Di Resia. From that moment I promised myself next time I win both! And so there we go back snowkiting at Lago Di Resia, three years later – 2022:

Last minute decisions are always the best, Sometimes I can be a bit impulsive but hey it keeps life exciting, isn`t it? Just as little as a few days before the reminder of the international snowkiting competition of the Rechensee – we though, what the heck, let’s go! Straight after my nightshift, we drove to the Reschensee. Right on time for an Italian dinner pizza and off to bed. The next  day (Saturday) we had to register early morning.

Saturday and Sunday are planned to be competition days. Anyhow, Saturday looks really good, Sunday a bit difficult with a huge snow cloud coming in and different wind forecasts. I was a bit scared, not knowing what to expect and.. knowing I didn`t train any snowkiting. But isn`t it always like this..?

Picture: July Brunner

Saturday we started off with the long distance, which took us around two hours. It was fun to finally do some racing on the snow again with skies and a foil kite. Perfect conditions for the 18m. I made my first tacks and gybes again in the middle of the race after three years. Which was so much fun! After the start I had some trouble finding the downwind mark and remembering which side to pass it, not used to be up front.  That made me doing some gybes too much, but rounding everything the right way, behind the first guys. The whole race I focused at myself and the people in front, to catch some of them and to be as quick as possible – without losing to much ground. When finally finishing with shaking legs I know maybe next time I need a little practise before… I didn`t know where I ended, on which place but the only thing I did know that I had a big smile! – I missed this –

After the long distance race, we started straight with the course races, because we never know what is going to happen on Sunday. The wind already became difficult. We started the first race in enough wind for the big kites.. 18m… and only the first 5 that were quick enough finished. I surprisingly finished as 4th.  Some others finished the race running, walking and skating – respect!  😉

After a bit of waiting the next races were up, same story wind, no wind, wind, a lot of wind. And a turning direction, of the wind which made it fun, interesting and more tactical for some exciting port starts and not needed to gybe and rounding the mark in one straight line. Now you could see the differences in tactics.  I even came first around the downwind mark from all competitors after a really good start. One race I specially screwed up for the discard.. I tried to gain some more high on the side of the lake which was a little steeper. When I tacked I did it way to quick and flew the wrong direction, my kite crashed ad tangled  and turned and turned again. After all the dancing, pulling ropes and collapsing I could relaunch it and finish not last. After all it was nice racing, difficult and sometimes a bit of walking & skating. Hard to get speed and for me hard to pass the downwind mark sometimes, and even the finish mark, the other raced I crashed right on top of it in a time of no wind… sorry guys 😊 … after 5 races the day is over.

Sunday we played the waiting game, (which I secretly enjoyed, nice weather, nice view and still happy with the nice day we had yesterday – best day of the season already) the wind kept teasing us with going up and down and turning direction to direction. Almost on the end of the day the AP came up and we were supposed to start racing. Standing on the lake .. the wind disappeared again. Despite some people trying really hard, it didn`t work and finally we were released to the price giving & apple ceremony.

Finished the Long distance 1st and 8th overall.

Finished the course race 1st and 11th  overall.

Picture: July Brunner

Thank you all for the fun racing again, and organizing the event which made it possible for everyone to race again!!

Now we are off to the next adventure: Rocarasso! Which will be the final stop of the world snowkite tour in long distance, racing and gps – winners will be the World Campions toooo. But first home for some night shifts and study.

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Snowkiting in Norway: SPOTS & WIND & TIPS!

Snowkiting in Norway > The Hardangervidda: SPOTS & WIND & TIPS 

Were back, back in Norway for some snowkiting action. And I can tell you :  After 4 times the Hardangervidda is still as awesome and nice as usual, always full  of snow and plenty of  wind (for sure this time). It really never gets boring here!! I will explain some of the snowkiting spots along the Hardangervidda in Norway to help you to never miss out on an awesome snowkite session! Or be catch on the other side of the road 


Season

In Haugastøl usually, the Snowkite season starts around mid-October and ends somewhere in May. In general October to January is regarded as the low season with less snow and generally more stormy weather than later in the season. We have been here only in March & April.  In Norway and in general, in December the days are shorter, so less time to enjoy the snow.  February to May is the so said high season. More lighter wind days, but don’t worry – still enough for your tube kite to fly easily  And there will be still some storms passing through. Especially this year, more than 50 knots two days a week.. It used to be more sunny in this period on The Hardangervidda and it tends to be more busy with snowkiters coming to explore the biggest mountain plateau in Northern Europe. But that isn’t a problem, it NEVER gets crowded! The Hardangervidda is endless, endless mountains and endless Snowkite possibilities, with around 3422km2 ridable terrain!

Wind

Finding wind is not about skills, it’s about the right timing and reading the wind and weather forecasts (oke and sometimes it’s all about luck) :

  • The most important one is that when the wind is coming from the east there will almost always be more wind the further west that you go. It is not uncommon that there is no wind at Ørteren, Halne and Skulevika. But when you get to Skiftesjøen the wind starts picking up. If there is 5 m/s (18km/h) at Skiftesjøen you will often experience 7-10 m/s (25-35km/h) at Dyranut which is only 2 km away.
  • When the wind is coming from the west you have a similar effect. (more wind on the east side of the Hardangervidda plateau).
  • Winds from the north tend to be colder and stronger in the morning. So don’t sleep in when the forecast is northerly.
  • Winds from the south tend to give snowy weather, so bring good goggles to make the most out of low light conditions. And out of experience I can tell you, you can find sun somewhere, I am sure 

Useful links and tips

to be the perfect weather expert of The Hardangervidda:

  • First of all, download the app. It makes your live way easier around the Hardangervidda. It will send you push messages when the road is closed, when its driving in convoy, also when the road is open in the morning and closed during the day.
  • It will also show the weather measurements, to choose the right spot.
  • That’s not all, it also gives you links to the webcams, to see if someone already launches his kite or.. how the view is up there. 
  • Windguru can give you a kind of good direction in what to expect, wind, snow and temperature.
  • Always ask the locals having any doubt.
  • Thank the Right diesel, as you might know it can be ery cold (-35 degrees) on the plateau. Make sure you thank the right Petrol (Diesel). The German Petrol is not resistance enough for the cold, in Norway the add some extra to make sure its not freezing. – Just to let you know 
  • You can go snowkiting before the R7 , not in the mountains. A little tip when it I s too windy, snowy and the road is closed. On stormy days the road over the mountain can close due to to much snow and poor visibility.
  • Being flexible to move around the the best spot of the day will greatly improve your chances of epic snowkite days during your holiday. So come with a car or rent one. Make sure to take a shovel and snowchains, you might need them.

Spots: The Highway 7

So now the important part: the Snowkite spots! There is just one important road you need to know: The Highway 7. That is the only (accessible) road that stretches from Haugastøl over the biggest mountain plateau in Northern Europe, the Hardangervidda in Norway. The drive from Haugastøl, starting on the east side of the plateau to Maurseth on the west side is around 42 km long.  35 km of the 42km  offer world class snowkiting spots. It’s hard to miss any.

From haugastol to the end of the hardanggervidda starting with the spots just before the R7 goes into the mountains:

*Slødtfjorden

It is the lake 25 kms away from the hotel: Slødtfjorden. (the lake levels are controlled by the hydro company). The ice will be good from December – April. You can go here with South, South East, East and North East. But it will be gusty because of the mountains surrounding the spot. 

*Lillevann

1km north of Haugastøl towards the Hallingskarvet national park you will find Lillevann. The lake is about 2 square kilometres, so there is plenty of space for many kiters.

The flat lake is perfect for beginners,  more experienced riders can explore the terrain towards the Hallingskarvet.. TIP: The walk to Lillevan is about 15 min, but if you are a guest at Haugastøl and the road is closed you can get a free shuttle by snowmobile.

Some private cabins are around the lake, which are not intended to be used as kickers/rails. All wind directions work here except South.

*Nygårdsvann

A big lake which is really nice with Westerly and Easterly winds. Nygårdsvannet is located 1 km west of Haugastøl along the Rallarvegen. The only point is that this spot is NOT accessible by car. You can get there by skiing/walking (about 20 mins) or by snowmobile. This spot is often used as a side way when Highway 7 is closed.

*These three spots are a good option if the R7 is closed.

The following spots are just after the R7 goes into the mountains, from Haugastol:

Ørterdalen

Told to be a secret spot, but almost on the road….. Hard to keep it a secret, I think. Named Ørterdalen, the spot that “always” has wind, even though there is nothing anywhere else in southern Norway, here you will have wind. But, it’s a small spot on a hill/valley and some electricity cables on the bottom. The spot is pretty small (I was actually surprised they called it a “spot”) coming down from Ørteren and down to Slødtfjorden at Haugastøl. You can kite here with East and west winds, the falling winds from the valley. Parking is on the other side of the road. If I had to kite here.. I rather skip and do something else J

Ørteren

Probably the most used and best spot (not in my opinion though), might be because it’s on the beginning of the R7 so easy to get to. (Also the only option to stop if you have to drive in convoy with the snowplow – and the hotels offcourse).  It has a flat lake and a hill, you can go far away into the mountains or stay close.  Ørteren is labeled as the best snowkite spot in Norway. Might be because the Norwegian championships, World Championships and the Redbull Ragnarok have all been held here. At this Kitespot all the wind directions work, generally there is a lot of snow here and the biggest parking spot. You can kite here with all wind directions. And its suitable for beginners and more advanced. Easy to access the terrain behind.

You can expect some water around the edges of the lake or cracks with ice rocks because, the level of the lake is controlled. It is lowered after the lake has frozen.  The part that is unsafe is marked with a fence around so, it’s not a problem to see it (although it’s always really small). It might be a good idea to stay away from this…

Lægreid

Lægreid and Ørteren are are split by the road on the end of the spot. The water level of  Lægreid’s is not controlled and a a lot shallower than Ørteren (so it will be one of the first to freeze in the autumn). It’s a bit smaller than Ørteren, but has room enough.

The other side of the road:  Lægreid is a great place to start if you want to do longer trips to Tuva, Ustaoset or Geilo. Here the Redbull Ragnarok is held three times behind each other. You can kite here with all wind directions. Parking on the other side of the road.

Fagerheim / Lappestein

Next stop is a great freestyle place between Lappestein and Fagerheim.  The best kite spots are found on the lakes ‘Little’ and ‘Store’ Krækkjavann or around the weather station at Lappestein.  All directions work, but North west and south west are the best, since the wind will come through the valley. Usually there are three parking areas along the road. A lot of people start here  cross-country skiing to their cabins or for  a trip with the dogsleds.

Båtstjørn

Båtstjørn is a lake 1 km west of Fagerheim . You can kite here with any wind direction and with all skill levels,. From beginners on the lake and more experienced on the surrounding terrain.

Halne

Halne can be a great spot when the wind is right. That means North West, West , South West, Soputh , South East, East. On the south side of the road the spot consists of the lake (Halnefjorden) and on the other side of the road, the north side some  great terrain riding. You can park along the road and at Halne Fjellstue (the lodge), but make sure to ask for permission first. Big mountains on the north side, which tend to make many of the wind directions gusty. Not an easy spot.

Skulevika

A great spot for all kiters, Skulevika is located in a small valley, going east from Skiftesjøen towards Haugastøl. Skulevika is also a great place to start if you want to do trips going south on the plateau. All wind directions are fine. Although the valley is South West – North East so that are the most used  wind directions here. Parking directly on the spot. You can also set up on the other side of the road, where some great mountains await you.

Skiftesjøen

In my opinion one of the best! And perfect for beginners on the lake and for the more experienced riders there is a mountain and some terrain around. At Skiftesjøen the lake is shallow, so the ice freezes early, and the rolling hills surrounding the lake are perfect for snowkiting. When the winds are from the east, the wind speed tends to be stronger here and in Dyranut compared to Ørteren and the other spots on the east side of the plateau. You can kite here with all of the wind directions J  And the mountain is nice to fly off! J Parking is directly on the spot.

Dyranut

Although you can go with all wind directions to Dyranut, wind coming from the east is really good! This spot looks like Skiftesjøen, also with few rocks around. On the south side of the road there is a small lake perfect for beginners. The north side of the trerrain is more for the experienced riders. There tends to be wind on the ridges in the north than on the lake to the south. If the tourist cabin is open you have to ask for permission to park on the parking spot there. Otherwise park, but completely off the road… the snow trucks are big…  Or the village, not in winter time before is a small parking which is more flat and easy to start. You can kite straight down in the valley. (make sure you have enough wind to come back again  )

After Dyranut

After Dyranut the terrain starts falling towards Eidfjord and the Hardangerfjord.  Makes it perfect for some falling wind coming from the east. Along this spots/ places are not to many (or somedays none) parking spaces. There also tends to be less snow than higher up in the mountains/plateau, and a few more rocks sticking out. On a light wind or now wind day it’s definitely  worth a drive to look for wind or just to enjoy the scenery!

Have fun and enjoy your snowkiting on the Hardangervidda in Norway!! Hope you guys will have some great days overthere. 

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Shred It Till Bed, Snowkiting, Uncategorized

Amarok Snowkite Worldcup Resia -2019: Back at it.

Amarok Snowkite Worldcup Resia -2019: Back at it.

Back at it? It was your first time? Yes indeed. But the skies…. I can manage for a long time  . And finally found a way to have fun with skies again. Combined with a kite is guaranteed for a smile and adventure. For all who know me, I like a challenge and if there is no progression, there is no fun. So, since I do like racing , but freestyle has always been a part of me, just like competing. I always look for ways to combine everything.  That’s why I ended up on the Amarok Snowkite Worldcup at the  Reschensee / Lago Di Resia 2019.  And that’s why we can say back at it.  Frozen water instead of liquid, competing together with my skies.

We did went a few days earlier to have some fun and to discover the Snowkite spot and the slopes around!  Which you can readin another blog soon. The rest of this story is about my experience in the first Snowkite Worldcup I ever did:

First day:  Registration & Long Distance

This day was all about the long distance race, which I decided to do on skies. 90 minutes and one track of around 3.8 km long, downwind and upwind.  Making as many KM in the 90 minutes as you can, that is  the challenge. After 90 minutes the finish flag will be displayed, which means the end of your rounds. The round you started without finishing flag, you could still finish if it is within 60 minutes – a very reasonable time.


Photo Credits: Oskar Verant Fotografie

There we go:

The start was a bit busy,  because we had North wind, which is coming from the top of the lake, so the course would be starting with going downwind. (Top of the lake: the first side you reach coming from the Reschenpass). But to give everyone a fair start, we started with a short tack upwind. With around 80 snowkiters…. that’s busy – at least for me. My goal wasn’t to have a fast start, but to stay out of trouble. On the way completing the rounds would be enough time to catch up, hopefully. 

On the starting area there was quiet some wind, down more towards the downwind mark, some less wind, but when riding upwind it became more (offcourse because of the speed you make). Along the mountain it was more wind for some reason. I took the 11m and 17m lines. The snow was on some places ice and on some places slush.  If you have a good memory you could remember this spots…….  I didn’t think about it. I just had one goal, many rounds and fast.

The first round was really easy and fast downwind. The first tack upwind… I realized I couldn`t reach the bar when spinning it back after a turn ( and letting go of it).. after this I also discovered that reaching the depower was another challenge…. I need some inspector gadget arms the next time, I use a kite for the first time  .   With this knowledge  I thought I would lose a lot of time… and even more after losing my ski on the way… (never think youre racing boots are the same size as your freeride boots after not testing it).  Upwind there  was enough wind and downwind for half of the track,  but during the other rounds, the wind got less and less closer to the downwind mark.  The last round I made, a lot of foilkites where lying around the downwind mark.  I couldn’t even spot the mark. But in the past rounds I learned to go downwind a little less and keep the pressure in the kite. And even a little upwind to the downwind mark to find it and to keep the kite flying. Less fast but safe. Think I had the advantage to have a smaller kite but a real race kite, which was fast and light.

In the end I was able to make 5 rounds. Just after the finish flag went up I passed the finish line. Next year a bit faster – than I can make 6 rounds. During the race I didn`t saw the other girls and just the man. Which really motivated me to go faster and faster and pushed me to do as many as possible and not to watch the other girls.

I had clearly no idea and hoped I did enough to be on the podium, because it was the first time and I didn’t know the level at all.  I really enjoyed this challenge using the 11m, unless the results. The winner of the long-distance would be European champion as well as world champion of the stop Resia 2019.

Results overall, Long Distance. All disciplines and times together on one list.

Long distance Woman

Second day: Course Race/Freestyle  

The second day is reserved  for course race and freestyle.  We started with course racing. The wind was less than the day before, so I decided to go with the 15m. Since this kite is a little less race than the 11m I used the day before… I didn’t got that fast downwind, it didn’t downlooped that fast  that I was used to and if I made a turn it took some time to get speed again. I always fly smaller kites and for that reason I am not so used to the big slow kites. During the second round I got stuck in no wind, after surviving that, someone crashed his kite in my kite from behind…Getting out of this I finally made it upwind… to the finish line. That was one race.

 I didn’t  really enjoyed the start, the snowboarders first and then all the skiers.. too many (big) foilkites at the same place and time. I was latterly stuck in the group going from left to right through the upwind start.  

Try to get the tangles out of the kite, which didn’t worked and with launching it again … someone  crashed his kite in my kite – again.  Since they said at the registration that we could do freestyle (as a girl) and race together I thought leave the last race (after already missing two) and go for freestyle. But since we (as girls) already started the race, we had to stick to racing……………well that’s it. I surprisingly found out that despite all the struggles I won the first race. And got not surprisingly 3 DNC (and 1 discard). Which put me in a third place of course racing this day.   

Course Race

Photo Credits: Oskar Verant Fotografie

Third day: Course Race/Freestye & Price Giving  

No wind, but super nice weather , warm and sunny.  The oposite of what I hoped for. No chance to get it right and to make up for the missed races yesterday. 

After all: still happy with my 1st  place on the world & European championships Long distance- ski. And a little bit less happy with my 3rd place  on the  European & world championship in course race –ski.

BUT  more important I had  a lot of fun at this stop of the Snowkite WorldCup Resia 2019! And gained some more trust in racing with skies again   Course race and Mariska is always a little bit of a hate-love relationship.  Well let’s see next year! Maybe participate some more stops…?

More about this competition and the complete story – here.

Found this in our mailbox from the host of the apartment we stayed in. The finaly saw the real reason we didn`t visited that church are nice village around the corner. 
https://www.nu.nl/263874/video/sneeuwkiters-razen-over-bevroren-italiaans-meer.html?fbclid=IwAR3b-fKhPKWHz9SFMlqovsuCdxR_jorSq9ceOjqxgt4ndA7L_gS-_7oFKU8&jwsource=cl
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Shred It Till Bed, Snowkiting, Uncategorized

You know the story of the #redbullragnarok2017?

The Redbull Ragnarok is supposed to be a tuff one, I can tell you it is (depending on which year you participate of course). The wind conditions at the Hardangervidda are always a big surprise. It can be really windy on one side while having lack of wind on the other. The challenge this year was a little of both; not to get blown of the mountain in the storm and not to get stuck in the valley without wind.   Last year I was walking through some checkpoints, snowboarding downhill, dragging my kite to the next checkpoint, relaunching my kite a hundred times … This year, this year, you want believe it, prepared for everything.  I was literally flying trough (over) the checkpoints… with a 5m (!).  From zero knots up until more than 40 on top of the mountains.

“Welcome to the Redbull Ragnarok 2017”

DSC09095.JPG

Because of last year (2016) we (and I think a lot of other people) were prepared for a no wind, a climbing and walking race. Practicing your relaunch skills, your endurance, patient and snowboarding skills with a kite behind you. The forecast was the whole week changing and a little strange. From 50 knots to 0 knots, rain, sun, we have had it all the week before the event. I even practiced looping up and flying off the hill with the 15m Diablo. But also some powered runs with my 5m. I put some effort to become friends with the no wind valley and the big foil kites (with all that lines!), because of last year. I always have a little love-hate relationship with foil kites, sometimes they just do their own thing, I will never understand! The first time on skies and I must say even with zero wind you can go… BUT, with more wind a snowboard would be way more convenient instead of the skies. Well, we did subscribe for the skiing category this year. The first year back on race skies, a bit unsecure and with not that much preparation, because the whole winter I was kitesurfing in the Philippines… Lets go:

At the tourist center Haugastøl we had the race meeting the 1st of April. Unfortunately,  it wasn`t a joke we really had to race this stormy day! Noooowayy!  Down there we didn`t felt like there would be any wind up the mountains, but from out of experience and seeing the forecast it will be … windy, really windy!!!! A little scared what we would see up there in the mountains, we stepped in the bus  heading to the competition area. Actually the wind wasn`t that strong (YET!) at the moment we arrived, just 5 minutes before the start the wind picked up and I was overpowered with my 7m. Not enjoying it at all.. the wind was just lifting me up and … I knew I wasn’t going to survive with a 7m (if it was more windy up in the mountains). Through all the 350 kites I made my slalom back and changed for the 5m. Even though the race was starting already.. I didn`t care. I followed the starting fleed into the valley trying to find the first checkpoint.

Due to that much wind we actually ended up….way to far upwind for the first checkpoint and we already met (the famous) checkpoint three once. Where it was really really (!) windy. In the famous pizza point and with a depowered 5m I slide downhill to find checkpoint 1.  They warned us for the moss, actually there was almost no snow left at that mountain of checkpoint 1, it was pretty well hidden somewhere around the corner between the moss. The mountain was filled with kites everywhere crashing , dragging, flying, tangling… but I made my way through checkpoint 1. Pffiew, some more space.  Checkpoint 2 was straight on the next mountain some km away. Slaloming trough the stones, made it to checkpoint two, an easy one.  There it was soooooo windy as well and then … a surprise looking down a really steep slope. Trying to reach the depower, which was not working, someone popped up, saved me and pulled it for me (thanks). But we had to go down there? Uhh? Looks like it.. Looking a bit further down a saw all the released kites.. and then someone passing with 60 km /hour… how?(realizing he was on his second lap!!! – the winner of 2017)  Before I noticed I already dropped myself down and with some speed I flew on to the next mountain…The famous checkpoint three again (!). Knowing it was really windy over there..

…There was even more wind now. Going uphill an being so overpowered… the snow and Ice were flying all over the place, I had to sit down a couple of times to wait and control my kite. To actually see something. Than the madness started, checkpoint 3 on that windy hill. Even more windy than the hour before we were there already. Slowly I came closer, seeing people sitting, releasing their kites, walking with their kites, giving up. I couldn`t go downwind, otherwise I was flying, and went more and more upwind, almost hitting the poles, cameraman and measuring material of checkpoint 3. With a lot of effort I made it through the checkpoint. Suddenly two other kiters loop through each other, just in front of me. I had two choices, sending my kite trough them as well, or steering my kite up. I had quiet some speed and I must say my kite was the boss not me. So I put it to 12…maybe not the best choice but at least no trouble with other people, just an adventure for myself. I was picked up by a gust and trough my skies uphill, braking I went spinning around under my kite, flying of the mountain.. off course I looped my kite by accident as well by not trying to hit the other two. Luckily I was saved by some camera and crew guys holding my legs and pulling me down while I was releasing my kite (which unfortunately was under my competition lycra!). They managed to get my skies of and get me back to earth. Still dragging behind my kite with some people on my feeds… and one faceplant later and I won the fight with my 5m & lycra thanks to all the help.

Normally I should have skied down to try to finish at least one round, since I like strong winds (and testing the limits). Now I think about it,  have never been scared with a kite in my hands, but that time…I really hate it to give up on something if other people can finish.  After flying around there I was too scared and the wind only seemed to be stronger and stronger. Still thinking about it, seeing other people coming up with a 8m.. I should have managed to go down as well.. My 46 kg couldn`t handle the 5m. Respect for the people who managed to complete the 5 rounds (or made it to checkpoint 3). Still thinking about going down and set up down in the valley again, if I give up now, why did I started at first?

Then I saw the orange 7m Enduro coming up the hill,  so my mind said wait for him (I might have to help him). And that was the best of the whole day meeting each other there again! Having someone asking me why? Why do you have to go again, you don`t need to proof anything to anybody. Just be safe and have a really nice ride back, behind the snow scooter. That’s also a lifetime experience, thanks guys! 

Phot Credits: Raik Richters / Kite events
Phot Credits: Raik Richters / Kite events
Phot Credits: Raik Richters / Kite events

“Do you know the story of the #Redbullragnarok2017? Well that ended at checkpoint three.  That doesn`t mean the game is over, it means come back with more experience see you next year #RedBullRagnarok2018! And checkpoint 3… can you be a bit nicer for us next time?”

Stort of the redbullragnarok2016?https://www.youtube.com/embed/co_XZa45zho?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

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