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Kiteboarders soar in competition at Powder Mountain



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OGDEN -- The second annual world kiteboarding championships got under way this weekend in Utah. Competitors came from as far away as Norway for a chance at the title.

Kiteboarding is an extreme sport that combines the power of the wind with the thrill of the slopes. Tyler Tate, owner of Utah Urban Surf, explained, "It's thrill seeking. It's breathtaking."

Kiteboarders soar in competition at Powder Mountain

"It started out in the water, and it has kind of developed into a snow sport for different athletes in different climates," he said.

Powder Mountain is the first snow resort in the country with a section specifically designated for it.

Carolyn Daniels, with Powder Mountain's public relations, said, "You need snow. You need a wide open area. And you need wind."

Kiteboarders soar in competition at Powder Mountain

Though there hasn't been much wind in this year's competition, 50 professional and 50 amateur athletes still hit the slopes, hoping to win the title of National Champion.

This sport started reaching new heights about three years ago. Every year it gets bigger.

Tate said, "Last year we had five to 10 different events. This year we've had 30 snow-kite events alone. So it's rapidly growing, and this is the culmination of all the sports. We have athletes from around the world come out and compete."

Kiteboarders soar in competition at Powder Mountain

Daniels said, "We feel very fortunate that we're a pioneer with this sport, and it's been a lot of fun for us."

It takes a board and a parachute to try this sport.

"Any open field that has a little bit of wind without a lot of trees is now your new playground," Tate said.

The competition runs through Sunday. The tricky thing about this sport if there has to be just the right amount of wind. Events were canceled Friday, but winds were perfect for Saturday's events.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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Amanda Butterfield

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