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Posts tagged ‘snowkite’


2012 Episode 3 by Joe Irons

Here is Joes final instalment of his trilogy of Montana kitning, enjoy.


Where Have we Been Again 3: The Georgetown Lake Open (GTO)

This weekend Frances and I traveled just 2 hours down Interstate 90 to the GTO.  Cole Russell put on a wonderful event with course racing, speed and distance trials and a freestyle competition.

There are experiences or events that I experience where the sum is truly greater than the parts and this weekend was one of those happy and great take aways.  On Saturday morning I got out of bed and started organizing for the weekend at 5:00 AM.  I was hoping that Frances and I could have a 6:30 departure for Georgetown Lake and the Georgetown Open, affectingly called the GTO.  This was the final snowkite event for this season, put together by Cole Russell.  Cole has worked hard to put this event on for the past six years as he has diligently built his snowkite business, Underground Kitesports, in Phillipsburg, Montana.

Read more »


Predicting the Future by Packy

I am driving the Toy-ot-ta, not the Vee-dub-youa, the transmission of the Vee-dub-youa made a horrible noise when two very large bolts fell on the ground after an oil change.  Packy got to ride in a Bow-wing to Hawaii, he headed there to help his parents start making the transition for a move to San Francisco, or at least that is what he says to his parents, I think he is planning on kiting as much as he can, he took three kites and bought a surfboard. Read more »


2012 Episode 2 by Joe Irons

Here is episode 2 of Joe’s 2012 triology.  Thanks Joe for another great video!  As some of you may have noticed Joe is a semi-regular contributor to this blog and he has given permision to display his work on these blog posts.




2012 Episode 1 by Joe Irons

Joe just sent me this link of the first in a video trilogy he is putting together of the 2012 kite season.  Joe has featured some of the Montana Snowkite Crew having a great time in our corner of the world.  Joe does an amazing job of editing, and self filming; see if you can spot the clips he filmed of himself or others remotely.  Thanks Joe for your contribution!


Upcoming Snowkite Events

This is a reminder of some upcoming events in the snowkite community in the Northwestern US.

  •  2012 Dillon SnowKite Open, February 9th – 12th 201, Lake Dillon, Co
  • Superfly Open, Feb. 17- 19, 2012, location to be announced.
  • 9th Annual Montana Snowkite Rodeo, February 16-18, 2012, Jackson Hot Springs, MT
  • Kite Soldiers, February 23-26, 2012, Fairfield, ID
  • 5th Annual Georgetown Lake Open (GTO V), Thursday, March 1 to4, 2012, Georgetown Lake, MT Read more »

Congratulations to Luke and Frances!

Ken (Ninjafly) just posted the following on the NAST page naming Luke Orton and Frances Cronin the riders of the week, voted by the majority of pro riders in Jackson:

“After a really great week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming; 2 individuals have been awarded prizes from the BigMt SnowKite FreeRide. They have been offered their pick of great prizes from Pistil hats, CW-X tights, Superfeet insoles, Kleen Kanteen water bottles, and Dakine. The 2 individuals are: Frances Cronin and Luke Orton.

Frances displayed a huge amount of composure during difficult snowkite conditions. This young athlete showed many of the older snowkiters how to keep it together when the going gets tough. Luke displayed an incredible amount of progression with his snowkiting skills. Read more »


Electric Kite Pumps – Pump Envy and the no Stroke Stoke

OK, if you are offended by puns of a pumping nature please do not read this post.  I make many irreverent puns in this post and you may not like it or you may laugh, it all depends. *

So for the past two years I have had this major fantasy about kite inflation.  As immature as it sounds every time one of  our rinky-dink black plastic, stock pumps gets fussy I want  to shove it up someone’s dark and scary place.  I realize this can’t be done as the pump is way too large to fit there and  I really have no idea who this someone is, it’s an abstract concept that, never-the-less, helps deflate my pump frustrations. Read more »


Young Girl, Big Air!

I think there comes a day, in most parents lives, when the inevitable happens, their child does something so amazing it both scares and thrills them beyond belief.  This was yesterday at Mount Haggin, MT for Packy and me.  The day started with the kids amped to kite, they got out of bed early and packed their own gear, it was amazing.  We rolled down US I-90, toward Butte, enjoying a friendly discussion on ethics, morality and politic, yes we are a bit geeky and after Rocker Packy declared we could only talk about kiting until we pulled into Haggin so the conversation went kitey, it was fun. Read more »


El Norte -Snowkiting Powder at Raynolds Pass 1/11/12

I’m feeling pretty luck today. After a super early start and a long drive to Raynold’s Pass it looked like I was in for a skunking.   There was no wind to be found, it had quit with the dawn and I had made the long trip based on what looked like solid information on the National Weather Service website. Not to be put off so easily, Joe Irons and I honed in on a north flow coming down the hill. It was not so much a wind but cold air spilling over the Continental Divide at the top of the pass.  Read more »


Teaching Kids to Kite, Part 1 -I Will do Anything to be With you, Even if I Have to tie you up.

This past spring I listed 2 small kites, a 3.5m and 5m, on  These kites were the Cabrinha Converts that my husband and I purchased and used to teach our children how to kite.  When I listed them I got 2 types of inquires, the first were from men who thought they would like to have a tiny kite just in case a hurricane whipped thru their favorite spot and the other was well meaning parents eager to get Jr. kiting.  I know it is not fair business practices but I quickly dismissed the over confident men with death wishes and responded to the parents, after all I have a soft spot in my heart for anyone who wants to share the stoke with their kids.  I became an email “pal” with two different fathers, as not only were they interested in the tiny kites but also advice on how to teach their kids. Read more »


This is Snowkiting (Something Stronger)

A little something to get us all excited for the winter.


Attempted Kite Murder and how to Correctly Clean up the Crime Scene.

Up until I started kiting I was blissfully ignorant of the dark side of my husband’s kiting personality.  As a frugal shopper who bought used kites and an ardent subscriber to the “braver than smart” life theory he has had lots of issues with maintaining kite health.  My husband may even deserve the nick-name I teasingly call him: “Kite Beater”, he has ripped, torn, had bridles pop off, run over lines with skis, cars, bikes, had dogs pounce, wrestled with cactus… (I think you get the picture).

In my first winter kiting I won a Best Waroo at the Snowkite Soldier Event  that Jacob Buzianis, an amazing pro snowkiter out of Utah, had donated, it was my first new kite and it was great.

So here is where things got a little tricky, I was the possessor of the nicest kite in our quiver and my husband couldn’t help himself, he “borrowed” the kite as soon as my back was turned and things didn’t go well on his three hour tour. The following is an approximation of an emotional conversation that took place, off and on, over several days as a result of borrowing the kite:

Husband:  I used your kite today and when I landed it, it got a small tear.  It is NO BIG DEAL.

Me: Oh, can I see it?

Husband: No, I already mailed it to Airtime to get fixed, I didn’t want you to miss any days when we are in Hood River next week.  It is NO BIG DEAL.

Me: Oh, thanks for taking care of the problem.

Little Birdie (a wife of one of our kite friends who was at the scene of the crime):  Oh my GAAWD, are you so bummed or what!?  I can’t believe what your husband did to your kite.

Me:  Really Little Birdie, it is NO BIG DEAL, it has already been mailed to Oregon for repair and I will not miss any kite days while we are there.

Me:  Honey, why is Little Birdie telling me you ruined my kite?

Husband:  It is NO BIG DEAL; the kite will be fine

Me (when I take the kite out of its bag in Hood River after picking it up from Airtime. You are free to imagine Hiroshima at this point):  NO F@%$! BIG DEAL!?

The kite did fly pretty well considering it had open-heart surgery. Two days latter, however, the kite blew up again (not related to the 1st repair) when my husband was el captain again.. On this second “NO BIG DEAL” there was a bit of poetic justice involved in the form of a swim across the Columbia River and a two-mile barefoot walk back to the van (I couldn’t find the key, really!), tail tucked and ego checked.

Back to Airtime the yellow kite went.  If this story read like a Visa add it would go like this:

Kite: Free1st kite repair: $150

Husband fibbing about kite damage: 1lb. of flesh

The look on Airtime’s sewer’s face when the kite is returned for more repairs: priceless

Ultimately the point of this whole sordid story is; yes, damaging your kite is a huge bummer but there are some amazing services to help with the big “NO BIG DEALS” and some field 1st aid that you can do that can save the life of the kite in a pinch.

Help with the big “NO BIG DEALS”:

Airtime, an Oregon based one stop kite and sail repair biz in Hood River, Oregon.  They have all sorts of goodies such as bladders and sail tape.

 Windfire Designs out of Florida, looks like they do amazing repair work.  Windfire also builds art kites, which are very fun to look at too..

Kitefix is a great site to help any kilter put together their kite 1st aide kit .

 Kite Gear Box also has sail tape in many colors sold by the foot and tonics and ointments to extend your kite’s life.


Dees Eesz Sheet! –What Natasha (of Boris and Natasha) the Russian Kite Instructor had to say About my Kite Skills.

My husband really wanted to learn how to kiteboard and I was pretty much clueless about this desire and the sport. In my husband’s way of thinking if I learned at the same time, well, I would understand. Understand what I am not sure, perhaps he was hoping I would understand some irrational wind chasing compulsion (irrational because we live in Montana) and the meaning of all things about him and what made his manliness tick, if I too learned to kite. Well for one thing hat’s pretty damned naive, it is my job as a 40 something woman to make him struggle for my understanding of the male cosmic forces and an ego crushing, kite lesson in gusty wind, on Kite Beach, Maui with my two children, said husband and three dear and extremely hunky male friends all watching from and uncomfortably close position wasn’t going to improve my agreeableness and amiability.

Needless to say I hung up the hat on kiting for several years, after all someone needed to watch the kids on the beach, to sprint after tumbling kites photo graph my husband and land and launch the kiting husband. Fast forward several years my husband had new motivation, like any good junkie it would serve his purposes to get me hooked too and this my friends is how my husband became the family kite pusher. As pusher he has done the job well there are for of who’s eyes glaze and twitch with withdrawals and get disagreeable if the wind doesn’t blow. In the solid tradition of all junkies I now am becoming a pusher and bring you FLYKITESPORTS.COM

Housefly (Mel.)