Cosu winter 2012 spotlight wind board ftsygh

Image: Greg Nells

Wind. To harness it is one of the ultimate highs for adrenaline junkies. Snowkiting hits the spot, and Lake Dillon delivers the perfect playground for doers and watchers. Maybe you’ve spotted Dillon’s air force out of the corner of your eye while driving around the lake—a person, first pulled across the ice by a kite, finds wings and gracefully sets aloft. 

As with any kite, the wind calls the shots here, and sailing twenty feet off the ground before descending like an airplane onto an icy runway can take your breath away, even if you’re just looking on. But if all you’ve ever done so far is spectate, it’s time to get into the game. Although some participants fly to extremes, anyone can grab the reins for a taste, says Anton Rainold of Colorado Kite Force, which rents and sells the specialized kites. “People look at kiting and all they see is people jumping off mountains and doing all this crazy stuff,” says Rainold. “It’s actually very user-friendly. The feeling you end up with is like someone hanging onto your ski poles and pulling you through the flats.”

If you’re looking to get out of the car and into the pilot’s seat, Rainold’s shop has kites of all sizes, for adults and kids 8 and up, and offers workshops on both flying the kite and flying the kite while strapped into skis or a snowboard. It may take a little practice, but the learning curve will blow you away.

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