A journey through the origins and evolution of this exciting water sport

Kitesurfing’s origins date back to the 1820s, when English teacher George Pocock experimented with large kites to power carriages and small boats.

Its 4-line system, similar to modern kitesurfing, made it possible to steer both carriages and boats and even complete small jumps.

Despite his vision to establish the “Charvolant” system he developed as an alternative to horses, his concept was almost completely forgotten.

It was not until 1903 that aviation pioneer Samuel Franklin Cody dared to cross the English Channel with his “man-lifting kite” by connecting it to a small sailing boat.

However, the real success story of kitesurfing only began in the late 1970s with the development of aramid and high-strength polyethylene fibers, which enabled the production of more stable and effective kites. Ian Day finally managed to fly across the water with a FlexiFoil stunt kite at a speed of around 40 km/h.

In the 1980s, German Dieter Strasilla developed a sailing system that could be used on land, in water and on snow. Together with his brother Udo, he invented the “Skywing” system, which made jumping, flying and gliding possible.

The brothers Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux made a significant contribution to the development of modern kitesurfing in the early 1980s by developing and patenting inflatable kites for kitesurfing.

In 1990, New Zealander Peter Lynn invented buggy kiting, which combined a kite with a three-wheeled buggy. Buggy kiting quickly became a widespread kite sport.

In the 1990s, further innovations such as the KiteSki system by Bill Roeseler and his son Corey and the Wipika tube kite by the French Raphaël Salles and Laurent Ness were developed, which made kitesurfing popular worldwide.

Today, kitesurfing is an established water sport that attracts millions of people around the world. With the selection of Mixed Kite – Formula Kite for the 2024 Summer Olympics, kitesurfing has even made its way into the Olympic sport, underscoring its impressive rise and global importance.

Picture: pexels-tyler-tornberg-history of kitesurfing