Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool
Take kitesurfing, a sport propelling you across the water on a board using a kite. Replace water with snow – that’s Red Bull Ragnarok, a snow kite endurance race held in Norway this weekend. Kitesurfing’s youngest world champion Gisela Pulido tells us more about an event she’s about to discover.
Located in central Norway, the Hardangervidda plateau offers ideal conditions for kiting. That’s where 350 athletes will ski and snowboard from March 31 to April 3, propelled by a power wing.
Aged 22, Pulido is one of them. A 10-time World Champion, the Spanish kitesurfer explains what the main differences are between water and snow kiting.
Q&A with Gisela Pulido
What are the main differences between kite surf and snow kite?
I haven’t really done much snow kiting in my life, I’ve just tried it twice, but I can say it’s very different from the feeling you get on the water. I felt the main change on the board – it reacts totally differently as the surface is solid. Crashes hurt more, it’s a bit colder, but it’s good fun! It’s an amazing feeling to be able to go up the mountain just by using your kite or even jump from the cliffs.
Did you change your training routine?
From what I’ve heard, Ragnarok is a very physical competition so you need a lot of endurance. These past weeks I’ve done a lot of running and biking. I’m preparing for the Wings For Life World Run this year too and I have to say I’ve completely changed my training. But I kind of love it!
What hurts more – falling on water or on snow?
Definitely on the snow. No doubt about that! On the water you can throw every trick and even if it hurts a bit when you crash, it’s never as bad as on the snow. As a freestyle rider I would never try to learn or land a new trick on the snow.
And what is the more fun?
I think both of them are fun. I wouldn’t compare them! It’s a totally different thing. I love to have a sick session with my friends at my favorite beach with warm weather and sunshine, but it’s also an amazing experience to be able to kite on the snow. I’m super excited and I can’t wait to be there and see the spot. It must be unreal, the landscape is so unique!