Snowkiting at Achensee lake, © Achensee Tourismus
Snowkiting at Achensee lake, © Achensee Tourismus

Snowkiting in Tirol

The pioneers of snowkiting started out with a simple idea: if kiting is fun on water, then why not on snow? This new trend has established itself in Tirol in recent years, with a few regions specialising in this thrilling sport combining power and precision.

There are few feelings like harnessing the power of nature and letting yourself be dragged across snow or ice by the force of the wind. In recent years, snowkiting has grown to become one of the most popular modern snowsports. The principle is the same as on water: a large kite attached to a harness is used to catch the wind and pull the rider, who wears either skis or a snowboard, across the snow. The best spots in Tirol for experienced snowkiters or those who want to try out this sport for the first time are Achensee lake and the Nößlachjoch ridge near the Brenner pass connecting Austria and Italy. While the frozen lake is a good place for beginners to start out, the deep powder snow of the Nößlachjoch is popular with more experienced riders. On days with strong wind you can even let yourself be pulled back up the mountain by Mother Nature!

A handful of kite schools in Tirol offer taster courses and lessons. It is essential that those with little or no experience only try this sport with a trained instructor. That way they will stay safe, learn more – and have fun.

Achensee Lake: 13,000 Square Metres of Smooth Ice

The "Sea of Tirol", as the Achensee lake is playfully referred to by locals, is the ideal playground for snowkiters in winter. The Snowkite Achensee kite school in Achenkirch – the oldest kite school in Tirol –  offers couses between late December and mid-March. Equipment can be hired from the school. An area of 13,000 square metres is smoothed over using a piste groomer to ensure that skiers and snowboarders enjoy optiomal conditions as they race over the lake. The lake's location between steep mountain chains means that wind conditions are usually good.

Reschensee Lake: Snowkiting between Austria, Switzerland and Italy

Lake Reschensee, © Ferienregion Reschenpass - Oskar Verant

In winter, the Reschensee lake south of Nauders is a popular meeting point for snowkiters. The area, which is actually over the Austrian-Italian border in South Tirol, has plenty of wide open spaces ideal for this high-speed sport. At the same time, its altitude of 1500m ensures good snow conditions throughout the winter. The lake itself, frozen during the winter months, is an excellent place for beginners to take their first turns. The experts from the Kiteboarding Reschen kite school in Graun offer multi-day courses, private lessons and taster sessions for beginners. Equipment can be hired.

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