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Night Kiting

For most of us, during winter, the days are too short and the sky normally gets dark around 4 or 5 PM making it seems impossible to kite after work.

Fortunately, the combination of white snow, city lights (and the cloud that bounce them back) or the moon or star lights makes it possible to kite in the evening or at night.

Powder snow, moon, star lights and kites, what a combinations!
Photo by Brent

The Condition

To kite, one needs light to see the kite.  Fortunately, the white snow reflects much of the lights it encounters such that it is often sufficient to kite at night on snow.  The following conditions are best for night kiting:

  1. An overcast night near or inside the city

  2. A clear, full moon night

  3. A snowy night near or inside the city

That's said, kiters have known to night-kite no problem in other less than ideal lighting conditions.

The Equipment

You can go night kiting on snow using snowboards, skis, snowblades or telemarkskis.  The techniques are the same; the only difference is that you have less light and your eyes need to adjust to the low light level.

"Go for the moon; if you miss it, you will be among the stars"
Photo by Paul

If you go night kiting with a number of other night-kiters, each one of you may want to have some headlights or some reflecting band on your helmet to avoid collision in the dark.  This headlight can also be useful when you need to sort out the lines or look for the equipment in the dark.

Headlight for night kiting (red or white lights)

The technique

Toe-down night kiting
Photo by Brent

Except for the lighting condition night kiting techniques are similar to those of day kiting.  The main difference is actually in landing.  As you don't see the "ground" well when landing, it is not easy to land big jumps.


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