Friday, March 25, 2011

Kite Skiing: 636 km in 24 Hours

Eduard from Omsk, Russia has done it:

I have no words to say. If you have - show me the proof like one above.
The previous record was 595 km in 24 hours.

Details will follow.

My respect is beyond the limits.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Source of Photos, 2011

Here is the Facebook link to WISSA 2011 gallery of photos, definitely worth checking out!

2011 Photos by Tommi Sareskivi

Ystävällisin terveisin / with best regards,

Tommi Sareskivi


MyCashflow eCommerce Professional

Pakkaustarvikkeet helposti verkkokaupasta -
Kasvata yrityksesi myyntiä tulospohjaisesti -

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

XII Saint Petersburg Open

April 2..3, 2011, St.Petersburg, Russia
Race Notice

Organizer: Kiting Federation of St.Petersburg, Baltiets Yacht Club
Class: kite
Race Dates: April 2..3, 2011
Reserved dates: April 26..27, 2011

Race site: Baltiets Yacht Club, St.Petersburg, Petergofskoye shosse 75, k.2
Driving directions

View Baltiets Yacht Club in a larger map

Race Program: course race, minimum 3 races, maximum 8 races.

  1. General - all racers
  2. Serious Seniors - racers over 50 years old as of 2.04.2011
  3. Women - female racers
  4. Juniors - racers under 18 years old as of 2.04.2011

  1. Open - all kites
  2. Class 8 - kites with 8m wingspan
  3. Class 10 - kites with 10m wingspan

Definition of Divisions: a kite belongs to division "8" or "10" if its span on the flat surface is less than 8m or 10m correspondently. Participant is considered in a division when in addition to qualifications as general, women or seniors is registered in division "8" or "10" and thus obliged to use kites in that division. A racer cannot change the division during races and has to obey the limitation until the end of the competitions.

Division registration is declarational. Participants are expected to follow Definitions of Divisions in bona fide. The actual measurement is to be done by participants before registration. Race Committee will perform measurements only by request in case of dispute and reasonable doubt. In that case the kite has to be provided for measuring.

Gliding equipment:
  1. Skis
  2. Snowboard

Race track: Trapeze, triangle, loop or their combination detailed in Race Instructions and laid out on the scheme.

Sat. 2.04.201110:00 - 11:00Registration
Sat. 2.04.201111:00Briefing
Sat. 2.04.201112:00 - 16:00Course-race, 4 races
Sat. 2.04.201117:00End of races
Sun. 3.04.201110:00 - 11:00Registration
Sun. 3.04.201112:00 - 16:00Course-race, 4 races
Sun. 3.04.201117:00End of races
Sun. 3.04.201117:30Awards

Three best racers are awarded in each qualification, division and gliding equipment if there is five or more competitors in the group. Otherwise racers are attributed to general qualification.

Everyone who accepts this race notice can register in the race office:
2.04.201110:00 - 11:00
3.04.201110:00 - 11:00
Organizers reserve the right to extend registration time.
Anyone under 18 years old must bring a copy of this Race Notice with permission for participation signed by their parents/guardians.

Registration fee:
Registration fee is 500Rb is paid at the registration time and is not refundable.
Bib deposit is another 500Rb and is refundable when bib is returned.

All participants must register and sign "Declaration of personal liability".
Everyone assumes full responsibility for participating in the competition.

By registering all participants take a voluntary obligation to obey this Notice of Race and Rules listed in it, respect decisions of organizers and judges.

Organizers do not assume neither collective nor personal liability for any material or moral damage of participants or third parties before, during or after the competition.

Every participant is expected to do best in providing safety to themselves and anyone around.

Every participant has to wear a helmet during the race.

Every participant has to have valid life and accident insurance for the period of races. The policy is not required for registration.

Race Instructions: will be provided to the racers before the competitions begin.

The competitions are performed according to Race Instructions, Notice of Race and Rules of Russian Kiters Association 2004/06 in priority sequence as listed.

Changes in Rules:
Not applicable: Part 1, §4, definitions of "Finish", "Dangerous Zone".
Not applicable: Part 1, §20.1, §21.5, §25.2 and §25.4.
Not applicable: Part 2, §31.8.в, §31.8.г.1.

Changes to the Race Instructions may be applied during briefings before or between races. All participants will receive announcement of changes before the race start.

Penalties and Excuses:
According to Race Instructions a system of points penalties will be applied.

Points system:
First place0
Non-finishing (DNF) receives number of started the race +1
Non-starting (DNS) receives number of registered +2
Disqualified (DSQ) receives number of registered +3

Chief Judge of the competitions: Dmitriy Yarzhembovkiy

Race Area:
Ice of the Gulf of Finland, besides Baltiets Yacht Club

Official Information: - Kiting Federation of St.Petersburg
Dmitriy Yarzhembovkiy,, +7 812 726-8843, +7 911 145-5621

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Swedish Team at WISSA 2011

Sweden sent a team of wonderful sportsmen and women. Not only were they expert sailors, they were friendly and open to all of the other competitors. It was a joy to share the racecourse with these fine folks.
p.s. notice the bread slicers high skates

William Tuthill

WISSA 2011

The winds of change and new energy blew across the WISSA 2011 race courses in Oravi, Finland last week. The 31st annual WISSA Ice and Snow Sailing World Championships was blessed in many ways. Good winds, great people, an excellent organizing team, and a wonderful venue all came together at Oravi in the beautiful Saimaa region of southeastern Finland.
The owners of the holiday resort that served as headquarters run a first class operation. They maintain over 50 km of groomed ice skating trails all winter long. They opened up their facility to racers and families from 15 countries who were there to compete in three classes:
  1. Open Class - All ice and snow sailing sleds powered by windsurfing rigs
  2. Hand Held Class - all sails held by hand
  3. Kite Class - all sails tethered by lines and flying overhead
In addition to those classes, there were three disciplines:
  1. Course Racing: held on the open lake [snow covered] with an upwind downwind format
  2. Kite Cross: a close course for kites, racing on snow
  3. Short Track Slalom [STS] Close quartered racing on plowed ice for windsurfing rigs and wings
The WISSA World Championships has come a long way from its original roots as a winter windsurfing championships. As each new technology emerged, WISSA immediately reached out to embrace the new format. As a result, the WISSA ISSWC is the longest running competition in the history of all of the above classes - ironic given that windsurfing and kite sailing are generally known to be water sports.
This is just an initial report. There is breaking news coming, but details need to be finalized before the final release. For now, results can be found at

Stay tuned. There is a LOT more coming.

William Tuthill/WISSA

Test of the "Best": Taboo-17, snow trials from Siberia

Last autumn a very interesting annotation was found on the Best Kiteboarding site: "For course racing and light-wind conditions, the largest Taboos are the most aerodynamically refined kites we've ever made. Every gram of spare has been trimmed back to deliver maximum light-wind performance and racing advantage."
Later some blurb from Andrei Fishinsky the official Best representative in Russia was heard: "There is someone somewhere in the summer course-race winning on Taboo..." Andrei is a complete free-styler, it is hard to ask for more details from him.

Of course I wanted to try this new queer animal - the race Taboo in 17 sq.m. And today the package has arrived. Rush to the ice immediately - the wind is perfect, 6-8 kt!

2011-03-05 First impressions. LOW WINDS

Some numbers to start. For me those are important.

- Dry kite without lines and bar weighs 4.9 kg, very impressive for inflatable of such size.
- Wing span - 9.4 m!!!
- Aspect ratio is about 5.2, very modest if compared to the modern race-class parafoils.
- Struts - extremely thin, 5 pieces.
- Leading edge is not too thin in the middle but diminishes very fast to the wing tips.
- Very interesting design which is not very common for the recent years - no pulleys under the wing! You may forget about sand clogging the pulleys and regular worn tie replacement.

When I was lifting up the kite at the steady 6-8 kt I did not expect any miracles. Folk lore is certain that "any inflatable bigger than 13 sq.m. is nonsense".

First surprise - the kite steers very lively (25 m lines). You did not get it. Not just lively, I would say it steers excessively fast! If you push the kite from neutral into the kite-loop it makes the full turn loosing just half of the elevation. While skiing in any turns with kite-loop and down-loop it flies through all rotations correctly, loosing no power, moving along smooth arch with no stumbling or spinning around the wing center. You can make the turn in down-loop even when the lines are below 40° to the horizon!

This behavior is unexpected, at first I have to get used to it. I even touched the snow with the wing tip once when got distracted. In about half-hour such liveliness in turns feels not as just the matter of comfort but as the vital necessity! In light winds it allows for dynamic pumping better than with a kite on handles as well as jumping. I even managed to swing this huge wing fast enough to do a front-roll with my 2.15 m skis. The importance of such maneuverability in the real races cannot be overestimated.

Kite-skiing at 6-8 kt is very comfortable. Going quite fast, upwind easily draws 90° between ski trails - just as "the real" race parafoils-"sausages"! Moving to the Boomerang site where the wind is usually lower at SE. Things slow down, the power diminishes but the kite is still pulling me half-wind. I am flying the kite almost over the snow to make clean experiment and exclude the influence of the faster wind at the higher altitude. Stopping down to take measurement: 3.2-3.6 kt - unbelievable! Any other inflatable I have tried before would certainly fall down in such wind. The Taboo is very clingy, holds the air till the very minimum! And yet it still can do turns without hanging or playing dummy near the ice. It is hard to believe that there is almost 5 kg of "stuff" flying in the air. Such winds is the prey territory of specially designed "light wind" parafoils.

I was right: there is a few inflatables out by the Boomerang besides fresh-built ski-jump. Nobody is excited enough to try lifting them in the air. I feel that the wind is dropping to 3 kt and this is the limit, so I do not stop passing by.

I see Vladimir Kovalenko on Paraavis VX-Light and Farid Saiffulin on some Elf kite coming out. Well, there is no miracles and by the shore with 3-4 kt wind the VX-Light flies away from me very fast. But as soon as the wind gets stronger in the sea up to 6-8 kt the difference with Taboo diminishes. I am practically on par with VX going upwind. But still even if Vladimir is faster then just by a little bit! I am surprised even more. I feel that in the summer this kite will be stellar. I ski another couple hours around the islands enjoying the process.

Any cons? Yes, there is problems restarting. It is virtually impossible to lift Taboo-17 fallen at 4-6 kt over the ice. It requires to be turned over for "Russian start". But then it can start up with virtually no wind at all. At 6-8 kt there is no problems starting normally.

A very interesting thought is bugging me. Of course, in winter low winds Taboo cannot really compete with huge open class 17-20 sq.m. sausage-like parafoils with aspect ratio of 7-8. However with the tendency of the racers community to have "National Class" kite limited in size by the next year this unusual inflatable machine designed specifically for races can make a real difference! I even have a huge suspition that Taboo-15 would adequately compete with race parafoils of the same size. Taboo-17 would beat 14-15 sq.m. parafoils for sure.

If you take in account fair price this kite becomes even more interesting as te universal race machine for winter and summer.

The inconvenience of restart in the marginal winds can be solved by the old method which worked even for the C-kites - the 5th line to the trailing edge.

2011-03-06 AVERAGE WINDS

Today we had 10-14 kt by the shore and up to 16 kt in the sea.

A note about pumping up of such "huge" kite. I fill up leading edge of my Waroo-13 to the working pressure in 80-90 strokes (it has separate struts). The front bladder of Taboo-17 (with filled and closed struts) takes 100-110 strokes to pressurize. Not a "huge" difference at all.

In 10-12 kt self-start and restart in normal position is no problem! In 16 kt - no signs of over powering, everything is smooth and comfortable.

Pulled trimmer a little bit - just to make the bar closer. No flatter on the leading edge, the wing flies normally.

In the morning had a race at the Boomerang. There was a photographer from who's credit is for the next photo:

The race was around the square of 300-400m. The main courses are mostly half-wind. Need to make several rounds in the given time. I was the third or fourth. It was very important in such dense crowd to avoid dumps and make turns fast. I was skiing with great reserve avoiding trouble and did not rush. The kite gratified with its behavior on the turns. Its maneuverability was beyond the excellence! Lots of people fell and tangled on the turns.

Later me with Ivan on Flysurfer Speed-19 and Stepan on Paraavis VX-17 made a little marathon race, around 15 km: Boomerang - Taiwan Isl. - Khrenovyj Isl. - Boomerang.

All of my yesterday's conclusions stand true: VX is faster but not bu much. In 6 km of sharp upwind tacking only there was only 300-400m gain. Speed-19 was on par. Everything is approximate of course, it all depends on the skis, friction and spacers between skis and kite as well... But the overall Taboo-17 is very competitive.

Wind of 14-16 kt for this kite is perfect, everything is under control, no sign of overpower.

According to GPS in two hours I made 75 km with 52 km/h max. Stepan on VX-17 showed max 56 km/h. He had an advantage but it was negligible.

2011-03-08 TOP WINDS

Today we had 20-22 kt and Slava said they have seen 24 kt at the Hydro Station. The only brave who dared to try the kite was Artur. Thanks to him I managed to take some pictures.

How does Taboo-17 feel in such wind? Well, there is still no overpower per se. If the kite is up in neutral, trimmer - down, bar - up, you can stand picking your nose with no worries. No pulls, no lift-offs. Everything is under control.

Going up-wind is not very pleasant. Most of the wing flatters, vibration is forwarded on the bar and you go on with clear idea that a smaller kite would fly faster.

Going half- and down-wind is superb! You can release trimmer all the way, the speed is great. I did not have my GPS with me today but it felt way faster than yesterday's 70 km/h on a seven-meter kite.

The top limit for this kite claimed as 20 kt has a lot of reserve. You can survive in bigger winds if needed. But if you like pleasant riding, you should not use it above 20 kt.


Everything above is written considering Taboo-17 in application to races. But it won't be true to say that this kite is of interest for sportmen only! This is a great free-ride kite for anyone who is not going to compete and yet refuses to sit ashore in our slow winds in winter or summer.

The Best kites utilize the best materials for the cold temperatures. This can be confirmed by two recent "not so warm" winters (Dib: this is all about Siberian winters!) when we used kites of this brand. At least, down to -15°C - no problems whatsoever. On the first day I was inflating-deflating the kite at -10°C and all valves worked like in the summer.

Vladimir Zakharov

The following reviews are in Russian but have some good pictures:
VX-17 Light Review
VX-14 Review

Translated by Dibutil Ftalat