Cal students pulled into new sport
Caledonia Secondary students got a chance to try an interesting version of kite surfing earlier this month.
The students took part in snow kiting, instructed by kite boarder Aaron Hanson, at the Thornhill field Jan. 11 -12.
“It's basically the idea of using traction kites, which are steerable kits, which can self-launch,” Hanson said.
The students used a rubber raft, and eventually a sled, to ride across the snow, pulled by the kite.
The students held on to Hanson, who steered the kite for them. They unable to go alone because of the power of the 14 square meter kite they were using.
“It's the equivalent of a sail boat for power,” said Hanson.
Hanson had been to Caledonia the week before to explain kite surfing and snowing to the students as well as provide a safety demonstration.
Ben Mattheis is the teacher of the two leisure and recreational fitness class that participated.
“The ones that tried it were amazed by the power of the kite,” Mattheis said.
He is planning on giving his students another try later this spring, this time at Lakelse Lake.
Both Mattheis and Hanson are hoping to have a training kite by that time. Training kites are substantially smaller and would be safer for students to use unassisted.
Hanson, who is originally from Terrace, started one of the first kite boarding schools in 2001, in Sonora Bay, Mexico.
He believes the snow version of the sport will be something that will take off big in the area in the long run.
“Hopefully (we) will get a new generation of kids into it,” said Hanson.