What’s kitesurfing?

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Kitesurfing is a water sport where a surfer is pushed by a kite using the power of the wind. It became popular in the late 1990s with the release of the Wipika design. Kitesurfing can be dangerous and requires basic lessons to learn fundamentals. It allows for majestic tricks and complex moves due to the extended amount of time the surfer can stay airborne.

Kitesurfing is a sport that takes place on the surface of the water, on boards with a similar design to wakeboards, with the surfer pushed by a kite that uses the power of the wind. Kitesurfing has grown in popularity, although it is quite difficult to master and can be dangerous if not given due care. Kitesurfing uses the same equipment as kiteboarding, but is generally more suited to riding waves, rather than smaller lakes or other placid bodies of water.

The first experiments in carrying kites took place in the 19th century and at the dawn of the 20th century Samuel Cody crossed the English Channel using kites and a small boat. Kitesurfing itself, however, didn’t really come into being until the late 1919s. Beginning in that decade, more people became involved in using kites for personal transportation and sport. Kite technology itself advanced tremendously during the 1920s, with kites becoming much more controllable, and lines made of materials like Spectra® and Kevlar® being lighter and stronger than heavy kite strings.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, several kite systems were developed for water. People started using kites in tandem with water skis, surfboards and surfboards. This first kitesurf was pretty random, but innovators have continued to develop technology to make it easier to control and safer. In 1994 the KiteSki became commercially available, combining a kite with water skis. In the late 1990s kite surfing was becoming popular off the coast of Maui, off the coast of France and around the world.

In 1997, Dominique and Bruno Legainoux, two Frenchmen who had been instrumental in the early days of kitesurfing and had a patent on an inflatable design, released the Wipika design. This inflatable kite system was built specifically for kite surfing, and was formulated to make relaunching from the water much easier. This helped propel kitesurfing into the mainstream, and a year later it was a widely adopted sport, with a number of other commercial kitesurfing kits available.

Due to the high speeds and inherent dangers of kite strings which can snag or be blown away in high winds, it is generally recommended that aspiring kitesurfers take at least a few basic lessons to learn the fundamentals. It is important to have systems where the kite lines can be detached and an emergency knife to cut the lines if necessary. After a fall the kite can potentially be blown off and drag the surfer underwater at high speed, possibly slamming them into physical objects.

One of the main attractions of kite surfing is the potential for majestic tricks. The kite allows the surfer to experience huge leaps, flying vast distances through the air before hitting the water in a controlled manner. Like skateboarding, kite surfing uses a series of holds on the board, with complex tricks possible due to the extended amount of time the surfer can stay airborne.

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