Inspired by their grandfather H W Smith Jr's original Ski-Klipper ski kite line from the 1960s, fellow Mill Valley residents, Nick and Billy Smith, decided to make similar kites for use in all downhill sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding and skiing.
In 2006, the two brothers put together some garage-based modifications to their grandfather's design and began sewing and field testing various prototypes for different downhill sports. They finally converged on the ultimate design, patented the product, and established Sporting Sails by Sukräfte (a combo of Surf + Skate).
By fastening the lower straps around both legs, and top loop straps over both hands, speed can be decreased by standing tall with arms stretched or decreased by drawing arms in and tucking. Through various movements, the Sporting Sails help manage speed, increase stability and the bright colored nylon helps the rider be seen better.
Sporting Sails can be ordered online from the website for $99.00.
This video looks like so much fun. That is until you wipeout….. For skilled skateboarders, it would be cool to try on the steep one-way hill of Conzelman Road coming down from the Marin Headlands.