CHANCES are you’ve seen kite-surfing before, but kite-skiing? It’s a craze sweeping the world, and Hirafu’s Base Lodge manager Steve Roth is flying the… well… kite for Niseko.
On the right day, Steve can be spotted floating through Kutchan’s farmlands with his skis and kite – a pastime he’s enjoyed here for the past three winters.
“I love kite-surfing back home and skiing here, so the two go perfectly together for me,” he says, adding that he’d like to take it further in the future.
“Kiting is getting very big everywhere now – whether it’s on waves, land, ice or snow. Snow-kiting is getting quite popular around the world, but I am the only one I know of who is kite-skiing in Niseko.”
All you need to kite-ski is similar equipment to kite-surfing – lines and a parachute – then all that’s left is for the weather conditions to be just right.
“The wind can’t be too strong, or too light, and unlike skiing and boarding, the snow should ideally not be too deep!"