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Winter and ice sailing categories: Hand held sails

In this W.I.S.S.A.* race class the sailor stands on any type of sled, skis, skates or a snowboard to control a hand-held sail (such as a skate sail, Kitewing (skimbat), wingsail, etc.). Control lines are not allowed. This class is also called the Free-Sail Class.

Kitewing skimbat sail The Kitewing sails are ultralight sails designed for sailing on ice and snow with normal downhill skis, a snowboard or skates. The symmetrical wing acts as a flying rig and is kept freely by the surfer in both hands.

Special attention has been paid in the development to making the rig light, strong and durable. The sail cloth is made of light polyester (dacron) or a combination of monofilm and reinforced K-ply film, which lets you wingsail at temperatures below -30 C. The sails are manufactured by Neil Pryde Ltd.

Required wind velocity for wingsurfing is 3 m/s on ice and 5 m/s on packed snow. Ideal wind speed for wingsurfing is 6-12 m/s. A skilled sailor can handle the wing in 15-20 m/s winds and can reach speeds of 70-100 km/h (44-62 mph). Because of the wing's aerodynamic properties, a skilled sailor can make jumps with the wing.

The International World Ice and Snow sailing Association (WISSA) awarded the Kitewing its "Best Design"award in 1994. Homepage: Kitewing

Wing skate sail
Skate sailing

Wing skate sail
The wing skate sail is a fast skate sail. The sailor stands inside the wing with skates on his feet. The skatesail hangs on his shoulders and he leans into the wind to balance the the force of the wind. These skate sails move up to six times faster than the wind.

Skate sailing is easy to learn as long as you can skate!Top speed is around 120 km/h (75 mph). The wing skate sail is a racing class in Sweden and around 75 wing skate sails have been built in Sweden. Homepage: Wing skate sail

* World Ice and Snow Sailing Association