SUMMIT COUNTY " Anton Rainold has experienced practically every water sport " from surfing to sailing around the world as a private yacht captain. When he decided to settle in Summit County, he found that snow can be just as much fun.
Rainold, who owns Kite Force kiteboarding company in Silverthorne, got into the sport about six years ago through a friend.
"Water sports were my thing. I was into wakeboarding, wind surfing, sailing, surfing.
and I ran into a guy who was a really good friend of mine and happened to be a pro snowboarder," Rainold said.
"He said you've got to try kiteboarding; it's all of the sports you love rolled into one, and here I am six years later running my own shop."
Rainold spent more then 10 years living on beaches and oceans around the world only to start a family in a place many of miles away from any shoreline.
"Summit County really provides a totally different expereince for me. Ten years plus of being on the water is definitely a lifetimes worth," said Rainold. "I'm happy being here in the mountains and the snow and everything that it has to offer. I've got another lifetime full of stuff to do."
Rainold says the best part of kiteboarding on snow is the freedom and addictiveness of the sport.
"You don't have to rely on going to the mountain, paying for parking, standing in lift lines and riding up the chair. The most suprising thing I find about the sport is that once your doing it, you don't take a break; you're just totally addicted for that whole session and you are absolutely sweating no matter how cold it is," said Rainold.
Rainold was the first to open a snow kiteboarding company and school in the country.
"That's a big staple for us here. We're trying to grow the sport obviously here in Summit County, but also nationally. I get people that fly in from all over the country who want to learn the sport and they know this is the best place to do it," Rainold said.
Though kiteboarders are normally seen on the Dillon Reservior at Farmer's Korner, the sport can be done anywhere as long as there's open space and wind.
"The advanced kiters go up above the treeline flying literally off the tops going for minutes of hang-time," said Rainold.
Each year Rainold and his company host an event called Therapy Sessions on the Dillon Reservoir, where beginners can come and learn about the sport.
"It's a really good introductory environment for people to get involved in the sport of snow kiting. We do free demos, trainer kites and people just get a little bit of a taste for what the sport is actually about," he said.
This year you can catch Rainold at Therapy Sessions March 7-9.