Kiteboarding has been around since the 1400s!
Kiteboarding took off as a popular outdoor activity in the 1990s, but kite-sailing has been around since the 1400s; the Chinese used kites to boost their canoes to get across the water. The history of kiteboarding dates back as far as when the first kites were used as means of propulsion during the 13th century. However, the recognized pioneers of kiteboarding as we know it today, are the Legaignoux brothers: Dominique and Bruno Legaignoux from Breton, France. In the mid-eighties, they invented and patented the first inflatable kite and tested it with two skis on their feet. After those first successful runs on the waters, kiteboarding began to snowball in popularity. Today, over 1 million athletes around the world call themselves kiteboarders.
Highest Jump Records in Kiteboarding!
Kiteboarder Maarten Haeger from the Netherlands, reached a mind-blowing height of 114 feet (34.8 m) during a jump, which is the current world record.
Also, Lithuanian Kiteboarder Gabriele Pioraite -one of the Top Female Kiteboarders- holds the current women’s jump height record of 77,5 feet (23.6m).
Amazing Kiteboarding fact! These athletes can jump almost the height of an average ten-story building.
The Starboard Rule
When kiteboarder’s approach from opposite directions the kiter who has the wind on the starboard (right side, right leg/arm leads in direction of travel) has right of way. The kiter who has the wind on the port side (left side, left leg/arm are leads in direction of travel) shall keep out of the way of the other. In simple terms, this means “keep right” with the kiteboarder coming in the opposite direction passing on the left.
Kiteboarding inspired automated towing kite systems…
Sky Sails Group is the first world recognized company in the world that has succeeded in developing kite technology and effectively bringing it to an industrial application. Yes, they actually use giant kites, to tow ships on the open seas and are currently leading the field of automated towing kite systems.
The sport grew in popularity after the first international kiteboarding event was held in 1998 in Maui, Hawaii.
Today, there is an international circuit which covers world tour events in different locations around the world.