How, when and where did it appear?
What is kite surfing? How long ago has it appeared? Is it different from other sports? What is unique and interesting about it, and what are its prospects? You will find it all out in this article.
Kitesurfing is a sport that is now becoming extremely popular. It is actively spreading and developing all over the world. And for that there are a number of good reasons – this activity is dynamic, beautiful and attracts many people. Nevertheless, though at is becoming popular only now, it is difficult to call this sport young. The first kitesurfers were mentioned in the artifacts of the 13th century. There is a lot of evidence that the first kites appeared as far back as in the 13th century in China. Then they were commonly used in everyday life as pulling power. In fact, a surfing kite is a true large kite. If you pick it up and stand up on the board – you will easily slide on the water. The wind energy will help you to gain the right speed. Who knows, maybe kiteboarding was previously a popular fun for the inhabitants of the ocean coast. Nowadays, kitesurfing is experiencing its second rebirth.
In the 19th century, kitesurfing reached Europe. British admiral George Pocock was trying to find the way of using kites to move loads on water. He was the first one who invented and implemented the four-line system of slings removal. It is this very system that is still used in the sport.
In another hundred years, in the 80s of the last millennium, the kites with a restart system appeared on the market. And ten years later, in the 90’s, kitesurfing came to a new level and began to gain unbelievable popularity. At the time, surfers and wakeboarders hungered for something new and dynamic. It is the end of the last millennium that can be officially considered the time of the kitesurfing sport birth.
Every year kitesurfing is getting more and more modernized: the type of kite, boards, slings, kiting harness – everything is being improved. New details are emerging, new tricks are being developed. There are hundreds of kitesurf camps and schools all over the world, where experienced instructors can train anyone who wants to.
Who is the father of kitesurfing?
It is difficult to say who exactly can be rightfully considered the father-founder of kitesurfing. The fact is that in those days many innovators around the world somehow came to the idea of kitesurfing. For example, at the beginning of the 20th century, Samuel Cody worked on the design of a kite capable of raising a person. Finally, he succeeded and crossed the English Channel using a kite. In 1978, a kite-catamaran was invented. Ian Day managed to develop a speed of 40 km per hour for this vehicle.
However, the first one who officially registered his success and patented the kite was the Dutchman – Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise. In 1977, he received a patent for water transport. It was a device, similar to a boat with a parachute, tied to a trapezium-type belt and a surfboard. His invention at that time did not cause interest in the market and among athletes. But the name Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise went down in history. It was he who became the founding father of kitesurfing as a sport.
Who contributed to the development of the kitesurfing sport
A huge role in the development of kitesurfing was played by such pioneers as Peter Lynn, Bruno Legaignoux and Dominique Legaignoux.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, two brothers from the Atlantic side of France, Bruno Legaignoux and Dominique Legaignoux developed kite prototypes specifically for kitesurfing. They made a breakthrough in 1984, when they received a patent for an inflatable kite.
New Zealander, Peter Lynn, in 1990 started developing and creating the first ground kite buggy. Its development is still used in kitesurfing. Peter Lynn became the first who earned a lot of money in the 90s of the last century. His development became extremely popular with people interested and professional sportsmen.
Another outstanding personality in the history of kitesurfing was Bill Roeseler and his son Cory Roeseler. The enthusiastic American aerodynamics in the early 90’s worked on the idea of Kite-Ski. The kite-skier used a two-line kite-delta style, which could be controlled with a winch / brake. In the late 90’s the son of Roseller, Cory, visited the innovator pioneer from New Zealand – Peter Lynn. This meeting of two inventors and kite developers became crucial for the history of kitesurfing.
And finally, a major wave surfer Laird Hamilton played a decisive role in the development and progress of the sport. In 1996, he joined forces with the pioneer of kite surfing Manu Bertin from the Hawaiian coast of Maui. Together they illustrated the potential of kitesurfing and legalized this sport. This duet made the activity extremely popular and established its nowadays name – kitesurfing. It used to be called – “fly-surfing”.
An important stage in the development of kitesurfing
Innovations in Kitesurfing
In the 2000s, kitesurfing began to swiftly change. For example, in 2006, the design of kitesurfing changed significantly. If initially there used to be C-kites (relative to its form), now Bow and SLE kites entered the market. The new kites immediately became extremely popular. And for that there are a number of reasons. First, they shifted the wings back. This innovation, together with a flatter form and bridle, gives the kite a massive deputation. It became easier to restart them on the water and became much safer. With the advent of new products, the C-kites didn’t disappear, but also underwent changes – that is how appeared hybrid kites.
Despite the appearance of new designs of kites, many experienced athletes still prefer C-kites. The fact is that the classical model possessed a number of unsurpassed advantages. Namely – quick reactive turning, direct response and powerful turns. Although, in comparison with the types of bow and SLE-kite, they have harder relaunch and less depower.
A small board, a large board?
Small boards in kitesurfing are designed to be used by experienced athletes. Beginners will need a bigger board. A surfboard with a kite is called twin tips. These boards are very similar to surfboards. The larger the surface area of the board, the less energy is required for its preparation and water planning. As you progress, smaller boards are to be used. Because of the large depower on newer kites and the style of wakeboarding tricks, tiny boards are no longer used. The size of the board is usually 125-150 cm in length and 38-45 cm in width. In kite boarding for beginners, longer boards and a bow / SLE design kites are used.
Advantages of kitesurfing
Although kitesurfing has much in common with windsurfing, kite riding has a cardinal advantage. It is that even a small wind is perfect for kitesurfing. So, basically, it is much easier to find perfect conditions for riding a kite then for windsurfing. That is the advantage which explains why was windsurfing replaced by kiteboarding in Olympic Games. This sport is easier, and can be practiced in many places all over the world.
How is it different from other similar sports?
Kitesurfing is a sport that took and integrated all the best things from other similar sports. In particular, it took much from wakeboarding, powerkiting, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing and paragliding. A lot of tricks in all these sports are quite similar. This means that if you are experienced in one of those sports, then it will be much easier for you to master kitesurfing. However, there is a weak point as well. Although the tricks are similar, they have important differences. So, you will probably omit mistakes confusing tricks. For example, you will have a harder time landing, because you will do it out of habit. If you already know how to ride on the wakeboard, then you are guaranteed to perform the tricks in kite surfing in a bit wrong way. In order to get a hand and practice in kite management, be sure to visit a good kitesurfing school. The fact is that even if you are an experienced athlete and do some water sports, you still need theory and practice. Don’t be stubborn and presumptuous, as it is an extreme activity.
The great advantage of kite surfing
If you have never practiced any kind of water sports, then kitesurfing is your best choice. This sport is much easier to learn than anything else (amongst the watersports)! Already after three classes you will be quite ready to try riding the waves! In kitesurfing, your physical condition, weight, ability, and age is almost not important. Children and adults both progress fast, as well as women. What is an important thing, it is that kitesurfing equipment is not so heavy and will fit into a backpack. The board is also quite small, which means you do not need a bus for transportation.
Surfing the kite affects the body and health positively
Riding on a kite can greatly improve your appearance and health. And most importantly, it will be fun! No boring gyms and grueling workouts. You will not even notice how you lose weight and come in shape. After all, you will just have fun and burn calories at the same time. In just a few weeks you will look fit and sporty.
Is it an expensive sport?
Water sports are rightfully considered elite. Kitesurfing cannot be called a cheap sport. At least you have to buy a ticket to a warm country where there is a coast. An ideal option for you might become colorful and friendly Mexico. The plane ticket to Mexico is quite cheap. Also, there you will find delicious food and good accommodation at very low prices! Please note that in Mexico there are many unsurpassed beaches with excellent conditions for kiting and perfect weather.
The wind in Mexico is free. Is not it an economy? In Mexico and in any other country, you can easily find many kite surfing schools, kitesurf lessons for beginners and kiteboarding rental. Taking kitesurfing equipment for rent is much easier and cheaper than taking it with you or buying. Nevertheless, if you decide to devote yourself to kitesurfing, or at least practice it regularly, you should buy your own equipment. As already mentioned above, the equipment does not take up too much space.
Where to go in Mexico?
Mexico often becomes a member of the top-5 of the best places for water sports. In 2017, Mexico entered the rating of the best spots for kitesurfing! The best places for kiting in Mexico are:
Keep in mind, that all of these spots have advantages and some nuances, depending on the budget and wishes you have. In Baja California you will find excellent conditions and service, at the same time the price will be higher than in other places. Check the prices for equipment rental, kitesurf lessons and accommodation beforehand. Hurry up! The season is from October to May you will find in Mexico perfect weather conditions and excellent wind.