How did kitesurfing/kiteboarding get started?

Kitesurf history

How did kitesurfing/kiteboarding get started?

How did kitesurfing/kiteboarding get started?

Kitesurfing combines the fun of wakeboarding and with the independent feeling that the kite gives you. With kitesurfing you don’t need a boat or other machine – you determine where you want to go and what you do!

The first kites

The first controllable kite was developed by Kevlar, but it was the Dutchman Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise who was the first to patent kitesurfing in 1977. The patent description was as follows: ‘A water sport, where you are pulled forward by a controllable kite on a buoyant board.’

Experimenting with the kite

In the eighties the first ‘kite pioneers’ experimented with combinations of different sports. Kiteboarding with roller skating, canoes, skates, water skis, and sailboats, everything was tried. That’s how Ian Day reached 40 km per hour in his catamaran, pulled by a kite in 1987!

Modern kiteboarding

IIn the 90s, the foundation was laid for modern kiteboarding, and, among other things, the kite ski was patented. This kite ski looked like a wakeboard and is an important precursor to the current twintips.

Inflatable kites

At the end of the 90s, people also started with inflatable kites. A good improvement, because now it’s possible to restart your kite when it is in the water. Also the possibility to ‘depower’ your kite (adjust your kite so that less force of the wind gets in) is a big step forward.

First kite competition

In 1998, early adopter Flash Austin won the first official kite competition in the world. The sport slowly gained in popularity. Kite equipment was produced and sold to the general public, and the sport started to grow.

Kiteboarding becomes popular

Kitesurfing has really been discovered now. Feeling free on the water, the possibilities for everyone to learn it and being able to make the first jumps quickly. This makes kiteboarding very popular. Learn kitesurfing with our help on Bonaire and you’ll understand why!

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