Snow Kayaking – extreme sport on snow
If you love riddles you will love this one. What do you get when you mix speed-riding, snow-boarding and kayaking? The answer is snow-speed-yakking of course! Also known as skyaking, this sport, which combines snowboarding, speed-riding and kayaking is rather extreme even for fans of extreme sports.
You may wonder how it is possible to combine three such extreme sports but the person who devised this mad sport, Miles Daisher, seems to think it is simply a short step from kayaking and speed-racing. Mind you Miles, a member of the Red Bull Air Force Team, has never been considered what you might call sane.
Flying Over Snow
The sport in essence involves flying a boat out of a plane and over snow, so how does it work? Mike had already experimented with launching his kayak out of a plane and so decided to take it one step further by trying it out in the mountain. He puts his speed-riding rig on and then jumps down onto the kayak managing to steer the wing with his hands and harness whilst steering the boat with his feet and hips. Of course, it may sound simple but it really is a great feat of both bravery and balance.
Mile’s first attempt was in Pebble Creek Idaho in winter 2014. He hiked up the Red Mountain carrying his boat on his back in a kayak portage pack and then flew down using an 11m speed-riding kayak, He explained that the kayak adds another 20 Kg to the overall weight so it was important to make sure that the wing load was correct. According to Miles, and contrary to what you might expect, the trickiest part is not the landing but the take off, but once he is airborne it is plain sailing – or should that be plain skiing?
The Next Challenge
If this has inspired you to try kayaking make sure you are properly clothed. Wearing moisture-wicking breathable clothes may look cool, but they will not offer much protection against cold winds or water spray. Investing in waterproof and windproof clothes is a sound investment and you will be eternally grateful if you fall in! Modern designs tend to based around a neoprene jersey mix which allows freedom of movement and flexibility whilst maintaining a snug fit.
As for Miles, he has already decided what his next challenge will be. He intends to find a lake where he can snow-speed-yak, skip along the water, and then bounce out to snow again! Rather him than me!