Frequently Asked Questions
What is Kitewing?
Kitewing is a wing shaped kite. Many people call it “the wing” for short. You can use a Kitewing with your skis, snowboard, mountainboard, skates or in-line skates etc. Many say it is like a mix of kite surfing and wind surfing. Most riders learn to cruise with the wing in less than half an hour.
Wing sailing is easy and portable. The readily adaptable wing allows for sailing in a very diverse set of parameters. From snow and ice to sand or pavement, there is a place to wing sail.
What is the difference between dacron and monofilm?
Dacron is a non-transparent woven fabric, which is easier to pack, since you can roll the sail around the boom and front tubes when it is time to stow the wing.
Monofilms are usually polyester sheets. Mylar is a trade name most are familiar with.
In my opinion:
Dacron is a more dynamic sail material which is more likely to react to changes in sail or wing trim. It is not as dimensionally stable as a monofilm but that quality is what makes the woven fabric attractive. Dacron is less prone to wrinkle when frame geometry changes under load or from tuning inputs.
Monofilms are often heavier than folks think. My rough rule of thumb is 1 oz per mil thickness to unit comparison. Monofilm sails built for Kitewing were significantly heavier than the counterpart Dacron or scrim sails built by Ezzy Sails.
Monofilms are very pretty. Were it not for the dynamic changes the Kitewing frame makes under load, it would be possible to build a nice monofim sail which would perform well without wrinkles.
Z tears and scratches are quick to dull the shiny plastic monofilms.
Why should I use Kitewing instead of other traction gear?
The Kitewing is easier to learn and handle. It’s also safer to bystanders, since there are no lines. The wing is TOTALLY depowerable. You can let go of it.
Most folks learn to sail a wing quickly compared to windsurfing or kite sailing.
Wings are very maneuverable. It is possible to sail in small spaces.
Can I use a harness?
Yes, almost all kinds of windsurfing or kitesurfing harnesses work well. We offer harness lines that are a bit longer than windsurfing lines and the v-line is something that you can’t get from windsurfing or kitesurfing companies.
Is sailing a Kitewing safe?
Safety is up to you.
Kitewing riding must be taken seriously. Lessons and guidance from experienced riders are recommended. Practice caution when using a Kitewing. Wear a helmet. Use of knee, elbow, and hip pads is advised. On the ice, carry rescue picks worn outside of all clothing.
Take the time to become familiar with your Kitewing. Remember that you are responsible for your own safety—and the safety of others— when using a Kitewing. Ride within your limits.The Kitewing is not intended as a flying device. Kitewing does not recommend jumping or flying with the wing.
Which wing should I buy?
Kitewing would prefer you to buy one of each model. However the most versatile and easy to sail model is the 3.0.
Your choice depends on ability and where or how you plan to sail. Folks comfortable on skis or
skates who can skate backwards and ski with hands over head could sail under a big wing
presuming some sailing or flying experience.
Folks who are complete novices to the winter ice and snow sailing scene should start with a
The Kitewing 3.0 is a powerful wing for its size. On ice in almost any breeze it is
possible to have fun with the 3.0. The caveat is that there has to be enough wind
for the sail to fly its own weight. As the wind picks up the 3.0 is a quick easy
performer. Many experienced sailors including me, favor the 3.0.
The 7.0 is for experienced wing sailors. It is not recommended for a first wing.
As conditions get slippery and wind velocities pick up it takes less wing area to have fun. The
curves cross. It is possible to sail with a SK8 sail on snow with skis if the wind is blowing and
the surface is hard transformed corn. It is also likely that if the conditions are sticky and the
wind is light that you will be unable to sail with the big wing.
I am older now. My favorite all around wing is the 4.6. On ice with blades on my feet I am not
likely to put down my 3.0. Some folks like the 4.8 for all around performance. Some swear by
the 5.5 Dacron. The old 5.5 Pro is the wing most of us cut our teeth on. Kitewing offers two
versions of the 5.5 wing.
The 5.5 Dacron is a great versatile wing which can be used on either the standard frame or the
stiff performance frame which is stock with the 5.5 Speed package. The 5.5 Dacron can be
stowed on the frame. Full batten sets work well with the 5.5 Dacron. Full battens can be
purchased separately from Kitewing.
The 5.5 Speed is a performance package meant for racing. the wing is very light relative to
wing area. The stiffer carbon front tubes promote a quicker response to velocity and control
inputs as well as maintain shape under higher loads. If you consider the Speed you should also
consider a full batten set in addition to the stock battens. Its likely you also possess a soft
standard frame which works great with the Speed sail.
It used to be I would advise folks to buy the biggest wing they could afford. Recent product
development is aimed at lighter higher aspect ratio wings which may prove to be a significant
performance advantage. The lighter the wing is relative to wing area the easier it is to sail in
very light air. It remains to be seen whether or not higher aspect ratios make that much
difference to a Kitewing sailor. Well see.