The Roca Snowkiting Review by John Arne Askeland
John Arne Askland our team rider from Norway had such a blast using our Roca during his snowkite session a few weeks ago, that he couldn't resist to share his amazing experience with all of us. This are his words:
One gotta start with something, so let's start with the bag: To practice snow kiting, one sometimes needs to hike to the top of a mountain or to take a ski-lift to the spot; this is the reason why I appreciate the large and padded shoulder straps on the bag, providing a good comfort when carried. Moreover, the bag is roomy and can fit two kites - very practical when one has to walk to the spot and carry multiple kites for differing conditions. Lastly it feels solid and protective.
Wind conditions can often be gusty in the mountains. This is the reason I love that the Roca's depower and wind range are huge and remarkably better than most of the kites I have flown and known. For example: there have been moments when I thought to be too overpowered, but soon realized I still had plenty of depower and was in complete control. Even when the wind is very light and most other kites fall out of the sky, the kite flew perfectly and proved easy to maneuver and generate power.
In light wind conditions, I normally chose a 17m kite; however, I had no problem using the 14m Roca because the kite is very responsive (such is helpful in light wind conditions). The kite is exceptionally fun to fly: playfulness and quick turns when I slice a powder turn, do transitions on fun obstacles, or boost in the air!
While I usually use the TS and GP, the Roca on snow has the right balance of power and depower, and is forgiving enough to accommodate for sometimes less than perfect snow conditions. In my 12 years of snow kiting, the Roca is the most enjoyable and stable kite I have used! The kite does what it is supposed to do; is comfortable with good power; and is obviously a high performance kite.
Most snow kiters are freeriders who love airtime. The Roca gave me a huge lift, keeping me in the air longer than usual - and since the Roca is so easy to maneuver, landings were smooth!
I love freestyle and in my opinion, the Roca is the tool needed to preform perfectly on the snow. Even with regards to its ‘playful’ dimension: the kite is very reactive on bar input; however is very stable in the air. In general, reactive kites move around too easily -- but not the Roca: it just parks wherever you want.
The majority of my snow kite sessions involves a self-launch and land. I’ve found the Roca to be well manufactured and helpful for such maneuvers – it’s easy to put up, and to land by pulling either back or frontline.
During snow kitting sessions, it is possible to encounter black ice that can potentially damage a kite. That said, after using Best for so many years, I can confirm that I haven’t experienced one single broken Best kite on snow.
With regards to the Roca: the new details of the protective material covering the seam on the leading edge are good features for snow kiters. Top class! The bar is effective even in extremely cold conditions (-25C) and the depower is easy to adjust even with thick gloves.
Conclusion on this snowkite experience
In my opinion, the Roca is the perfect snow kite. It has accessible depower and provides a huge wind range, which is a big advantage in the mountains. The kite is a big booster, as well offers fun cruising sessions. I would recommend the Roca as the number 1 kite on snow!