What’s in a Picture

Collections of L.C. Bates Museum / Good Will-Hinckley Homes

Got skis but no hill? Instead of relying on gravity for propulsion, try wind. Snowkiting, as the practice is known, didn’t really catch on until the 1980s, but at least one boy at the Good Will campus for underprivileged youth, in Hinckley, was ahead of the curve, sliding up and down the Kennebec River in the ’50s. Zebulon Jakub, a snowkiting instructor in Conway, New Hampshire, who gives lessons in Maine, says that’s exactly how the niche winter sport got its toehold: imaginative outdoorsy types saying, yeah, why not mix parachuting and skiing? In 2009, Jakub became the first person to summit Mount Washington using only kite power. “New England definitely has some of the most unique mountainous terrain in the U.S. for snowkiting,” he says. Beginners, though, would do well to make like this lad and start on level ground. Maine’s many frozen — and blustery — lakes and ponds are perfect for that.

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