Could you imagine skiing and flying at the same time? It has a name: Speed Riding
Skiing is already a sport full of adrenaline and excitement, but what if you could fly while skiing? The Andorra Resorts team had the opportunity to practice Speed Riding in Arcalís, a ski resort of Vallnord, and the experience was incredible: Only suitable for the most daring!
But what is Speed Riding? It is an extreme mountain sport that combines skiing and parachuting to enjoy a flight with panoramic views.
Speed riding, unlike Speed flying, is specialized in flights with smaller kites, usually in winter to combine with skiing. On the other hand, speed flying is characterized by flying near the mountain with large kites and without skis so it is more common in summer.
Let’s focus on the winter speed riding since it’s the one that we had the great opportunity to know more closely. The key to this sport is undoubtedly the kite, and the length of this will vary depending on the weight and level of the pilot, the greater experience in this sport implies a smaller kite (approximately 8m2), however, beginners usually fly with 14m2.
Since it is an extreme sport, it is essential that if you are going to ride the kite by yourself you must attend a course with a specialized guide that can last from 1 to 6 days. However, there is also the tandem option in which you fly with the guide so you can enjoy your first attempt. In the case of tandem, the kite is even bigger reaching 18m2, and flying predominates the skiing, as it is quite complicated skiing attached to your guide.
And maybe you are wondering, how fast can you go Speed Riding? The smaller kites, are also the fastest and they can reach 70 km/h, or 40 km/h if you are braking. The importance of the wind is crucial in this sport, a front-facing wind is always more favourable and the days of strong winds are only suitable for advanced levels. Visibility is also of great importance, and on cloudy days this activity won’t be possible. It is very important to recognize the conditions of the environment and the attitude of the skier. The basic cautions are to wear a helmet and listen all advise from the guide during the practice.
But how do I know if I can practice this sport? Any skier over 18 years old who has an intermediate-advanced level of skiing can practice speed riding, a low ability level will limit your progression because although you dominate the kite you will not be able to control your skis. In the case of the tandem, since you will be accompanied by a guide the minimum ski level is elementary parallel.
Before starting the course there is a small test to choose the perfect area for the skier since there are different levels of difficulty. Flights are normally performed off-piste at the flagged boundaries since the use of kites on piste is not allowed. Once you have overcome the three levels of difficulty you will be able to fly on your own without the need for guidance.
Here’s a video of the team giving it a go
If you are coming to Vallnord, dare to fly over the mountains of Arcalís!