The History of Kitesurfing
Have you ever wondered where kitesurfing originated, who invented the inflatable kite, or how kitesurfing has evolved over time? Kitesurfing is one of the most exciting and dynamic sports in the world. The sport is fast-paced, with crazy high jumps and waves to ride. In this article, you will learn how this adrenaline pumping sport came about.
Invention of Kitesurfing
By the 5th century BC, Chinese philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban had invented the kite, and paper kites were undoubtedly being flown by 549 AD. Then, in the 1800s, George Pocock used kites to propel carts on land and ships on the water, allowing them to sail upwind. In 1903, aviation pioneer Samuel Cody invented "man-lifting kites" and crossed the English Channel in a small collapsible canvas boat powered by a kite. The development of Kevlar and then Spectra flying lines and more controllable and efficient kites In the late 1970s contributed to practical kite traction.
Kitesurfing history gets its wheel with the hands of two brothers from France's Atlantic coast, Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux. They are the kiteboarding pioneers who are credited with inventing the first inflatable kite. They began experimenting with kites in 1984 and demonstrated a Brest International Speed Week prototype in 1985. In November 1984, they patented an inflatable kite design, which companies have since been used to develop their own products.
At the same time, Bill Roeseler, a Boeing aerodynamicist, and his son Cory Roeseler, both from Oregon, USA, invented Kiteski. They patented the "KiteSki" system, which included water skis powered by a two-line delta kite controlled by a bar-mounted combined winch/brake. In 1994, the KiteSki became commercially available.
In 1997, the Legaignoux brothers collaborated with Neil Pryde to produce a limited number of kites, which they then sold under the Wipika brand. The "Wipika" kite was made of preformed inflatable tubes and had a simple bridle system attached to the wingtips. Bruno Legaignoux also continued to improve kite designs, inventing the bow kite a few years ago, which has since been licensed to many kite manufacturers and has become quite popular in modern-day kitesurfing. Don Montague and Robby Naish entered into an agreement with Bruno in 1998, and Don Montague developed software that allowed them to design great kites in a fraction of the time.
Raphael Salles and Laurent Ness created specialized kiteboards. The true pioneers of kitesurfing, such as water sport enthusiasts Laird Hamilton, Manu Bertin, and Raphael Baruch, came to light. Kiteboarding as a mainstream sport truly began in 1998, when Joe Keuhl organized the first kiteboarding event, which took place on Maui in Hawaii and was won by Flash Austin.
How Did It Become a Popular Sport?
Kitesurfing has now become a popular sport. Every year, kites, kiteboards, bar and lines, harnesses, and all the accessories that go with kitesurfing improve! This once dangerous sport is now much safer due to the advancement in technology.
Learning to kitesurf used to be dangerous because there were no instructors or trainers to learn from in addition to how unsafe the gear was. However, kitesurfing has evolved in a variety of directions, which is one of its distinguishing features. Kitesurfing now has nearly limitless options, including inflatable kites and foil kites, twin tip boards and directional surfboards, strapped and unstrapped riding, and the ever-popular foil boards.
Competitions for freestyle, wave riding, long-distance cycling, slalom course racing, and jumping heights are performed around the world. This sport is now known as kitesurfing, kiteboarding, kiting, kite foiling, or foiling. If kitesurfing seems like a sport you want to learn today, contact us!