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Georgetown snowkite rodeo brings attention to new sport
Thursday, 19 February 2004
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The first Montana Snowkite Rodeo showed off professionals' skills and earned a few converts to the sport Saturday and Sunday.

"This is the coolest new sport I've ever seen," said Dan Gavere, who helped organize the event and owns Board of Missoula, a board-sport shop.

"I think that Montana is tailor-made for the sport because there are wide-open places with wind and snow," Gavere added.

<noscript /></td></td /></tr></tbody></table><noscript /></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Snowkiters attach a kite to their waist and let it pull them along on snowboards or skis as they use controls to adjust their speed and direction. Many riders wear helmets and pads, release mechanisms keep riders from being dragged helplessly along out of control. </p><p>About 30 professionals from around the globe competed Saturday, showing off their skills to an estimated 100 spectators. The better riders flew about 15 feet through the air while performing aerial stunts. Given the right conditions, it's common for them to soar over 50 feet. </p><p>While the pros made it look easy, beginners struggled on the sidelines with smaller kites. Many hadn't worked their way up to using the kite to pull them; they were merely flying the kites, getting the hang of the controls. </p><p>Dave Parker, 55, drove from Great Falls to give the sport a try. </p><p>&quot;It's hard to coordinate the kite and snowboard at the same time,&quot; Parker said. &quot;It's kind of like learning how to snowboard all over again.&quot; </p><p>Just beyond Parker, 7-year-old Bethany Williams, from Rockford, Wash., puttered along confidently, maneuvering the kite in figure eights while her dad, Scott, proudly cheered her on. </p><p>&quot;She has the finesse not to over correct,&quot; Scott said. </p><p>&quot;The sport can be extreme or it can be totally mellow,&quot; said organizer Keith Kallio of Helena. &quot;It all depends on what type of kite you put up. If you are a good snowboarder, it's a matter of learning how to fly a kite.&quot; </p><p>Several product distributors were on hand Saturday. Among them was Jeff Logosz, owner of Slingshot kites out of White Salmon, Wash. He explained the kites can have many functions - they can also be used in water with wakeboards, on dirt with mountain boards or any other combination. </p><p>&quot;Water has been the emphasis,&quot; Logosz said, &quot;but now the winter scene is really taking off.&quot; </p><br><br> </div> <!-- vozmediv end --> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> </td> </tr> </table> <span class="article_seperator">&nbsp;</span> <span class="kdb-dsc-no-comments-a">No Comments.</span><br />You need to <a href="http://www.0-21.co.uk/index.php?option=com_login">login</a> or <a href="http://www.0-21.co.uk/index.php/User-List/Create-an-account.html">register</a> to post comments.<br /><span class="kdb-full-page"><a href="javascript:document.getElementById('first501').submit();"><img src="http://www.0-21.co.uk/mambots/content/kdiscussbot/images/discuss.png" border="0" alt="Discuss..." title="Discuss this item on the forums. 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