About the Original Switchblade kit

The Switchblade was designed by Kiteboarder Todd Hanson in central Minnesota in the early 2000's. This was during the initial boom of kiteboarding in Minnesota as well as the world. When Todd discovered Kiteboarding, this really caught his eye, coming from a professional water ski background this new sport was right up his alley. Todd quickly noticed a window of downtime when he could not kiteboard practically, this was early and late winter when the lakes are frozen over but lack a snow base for traction behind a kite. There is no telling how long you might wait before the snow will fall, and when it does fall will the conditions be right for it to bond to the ice creating a solid base. Sure ice skates are an option but Todd, like many kiteboarders out there, wanted to ride a board!

Todd got to work testing different designs, having an engineering background aided his ability to be resourceful and take it from an idea to a tangible piece of equipment. Initially mounting an actual ice skate blade to his snowboard with angled aluminum, a short time later The Switchblade Version 1 was born.

It worked! The proof of concept was there and then it was R&D till he found the optimal design and material to make it not only perform but also last a lifetime. Choosing durable materials resistant to corrosion all while keeping the total weight to a minimum. Todd landed on version 3.0 and started producing and distributing The Original Switchblade Kit locally as well as across the Norther Hemisphere.

The Switchblade Kit V3 comes ready to mount and retrofits to any snowboard making it ready to ride on Ice. Kiteboarding on ice with the Switchblade is a smooth ride that feels very similar to kiting on snow or water. Having control and traction while ice kiting makes these conditions much more manageable. The blade is a great tool for filling the gap between the summer and winter seasons, riding through mild winters and getting out in very light wind, all allowing more kite-able days per year as well as creating a whole new discipline of Kiteboarding offering a unique and exhilarating way to ride behind a power kite.

Todd has since retired from his business ventures but you can still find him out kiteboarding, hydrofoiling or even icekiting on his very own designed product to this day.

Switchblade How-to Videos

How to rig, launch and ride on ice:

How to mount, sharpen and maintain Switchblade kit:

Switchblade Kiteboarding Videos



More Switchblade Kiteboarding Videos


Toeside riding

Mount a second blade to your board. Having a toeside blade allows fluid rail to rail carves and transitions

Switchblade Icekite Toeside

Made in the USA

The original Switchblade Kit is 100% made in house here in central Minnesota. Developing, machining, testing, distribution and marketing are all done in the back end of our XMN workshop. Using our Hytek Tools high precision CNC fiber lasers and routers.


Straight from our factory to you we ship our products across the Globe.

Apply for distribution here

Worldwide Switchblade riders 2018-Present:


"Ice conditions are always dicey with a snowboard. I invested in a Switchblade years ago and it's a huge session saver. Was out today and had a blast."

John D

"The feel of riding the Switchblade came instinctively and quick. It handled the transition from ice to snow very well regardless of what speed you hit it. This is a great device."

Mike B

"I'm on my first winter with a Switchblade after using a regular snowboard on frozen lakes. It has opened up my riding options beyond good snow cover."

Dee E

"The Switchblade works wonders, I’ve been using it for many years. A very usable piece of workmanship for snowboard kiting on winter ice. Easy to install and user friendly in all conditions. Under the perfect conditions there is very little more exciting and exhilarating."

Roland R

"I put a Switchblade on my board and it's awesome! Never lose an edge when you hit the icy spots! I haven't used the sharpener and the blade has plenty of edge after 2 seasons."

Scott B


  • Snowboard Selection?
The Switchblade comes ready to mount to any snowboard. A shorter board gives you more maneuverability while still having traction on ice, while a longer board offers more stability at higher speeds. We recommend going with standard camber. Often times any old board laying around works fine.
  • Recommended Settings?
See the mounting how to video above.
Start with a 3/8th Inch gap between the blade and your snowboard edge. Using your sharpener as a guide is a great way to get to 3/8th Inch.
Now put your blade 1/16th" Above snowboard edge (with snowboard right side up) 
Having adjustment up and down allows you to make small changes if needed. Lowering the blade relative to the board will allow more "bite" through snow or choppy conditions.
  • Kite Size?

Having such little resistance allows kiting in very low wind speed. Going faster relative to the wind gives your kite more apparent wind. We suggest rigging a couple square meters smaller than you would while snowkiting or kitesurfing.

  • Wind Speed?

Similar to a Hydrofoil on water very little power is needed to ride on ice. If you can keep your kite in the air you can ride the Switchblade. Once you get yourself moving across the wind you will be able to lean into your harness and ride upwind properly.

  • Upwind riding?

The Switchblade allows very steep upwind angles giving you more area to ride and more potential for speed. It is important to bring your shoulders back when going upwind. The Switchblade allows you to trust your edge when a normal snowboard would slip out.

  • Board starts?

Starting is the same as on snow or water. Start sitting with your board downwind of you. With your kite at 12 O'clock dive it in the direction you'd like to go. Roll up and point downwind with your front foot like you would on snow or water. As you get to a desired speed you can park your kite at about 45 degrees or higher and let the bar out a bit, now start leaning back as you point upwind.

  • How do I stop?

Slowing down is the same as on snow with a snowboard, or on water with a twin tip. Lean more into your heel edge and point further upwind. Keep the bar out while you are steering the kite slowly to 12. Point your board straight into the wind to stop your forward movement as your kite hits 12. Once you stop you will be able to either sit down or transition.

  • Transitions?

First work on coming to a complete stop with your board pointing upwind and the kite hitting 12 right when you stop. It is important not to dive the kite the other way too early so start slow and do a lot of reps. You will be pointed downwind with your new front foot and that is how you will gain speed in other direction. Start to edge as you gain speed and finally park the kite again. There are a million different ways to transition so try new things and make it happen!

  • Toeside riding?

Mount a second blade to your board for toeside riding. Having another blade gives you more options for heel to toe or toe to heel transitions and carves. Going toeside can also ease the pressure on your legs while doing endurance races.

  • Can I jump?

Jumping is the same as on snow or water. Start at a moderate speed with your kite at about 45 degrees. Start sending the kite up but keep the bar out as much as you can, this allows you to keep a solid edge while the kite gains speed upward. Now that your kite is over your head finally sheet all the way in and edge further upwind to get the maximum tension when leaving the Ice. Once in the air keep the bar in while pulling slightly more on your front hand. Tuck in your knees to stay steady throughout the jump. Point the board more downwind before landing and dive the kite for speed before edging upwind again. 

  • Racing?

Be prepared for all conditions on competition day. The Ice kiting kit has seen multiple wins at snowkite races and competitions across North America. Set personal speed records. Track your session with gps trackers to push your top speeds. Get more early season days on the ice to work on speed and endurance.


Switchblade assisted Contest/Race Results

- 2004 Redbull Kitefreeze
   - 1st Place - Justin Specht
- 2016 Mille Lacs Kite X-ing
   - 1st Place - Justin Specht
   - 1st Jr. - Peter Nierenhausen
- 2020 Sturgeon Stampede
   - 1st Place - Jeremy Jones
- 2020 Mille Lacs Kite X-ing
   - 1st Place - Jeremy Jones