In the world of sport there are many different modalities that attract the attention of athletes and fans, especially those who love the sea and waves. One of these sports is known by the name of kitesurfing , which is one of the most modern trends in sports practiced in the waters of the ocean. A combination of surfing and kites that makes athletes experience thrills and adrenaline.


What is kitesurfing?


The kiteboarding or kitesurfing as it is also known, is a type of water sport adventure that combines elements and characteristics of the wakeboard , the surf , the windsurf , the snowboard , the paragliding and skate.


What does it consist of

Kitesurfing is a type of water sport that consists of using a type of kite known by the name of kite which is attached to the person who practices the sport by means of a harness, making it possible for the surfboard to slide easily in Water. It is a sport quite similar to surfing and it is also classified as a type of extreme sport since those who practice it suffer an increase in adrenaline while doing it.

Kitesurfing features

Among its main characteristics are the following:

  • Although this type of sport includes surfing, it does not need waves since the wind is the only force necessary to propel yourself.
  • It is a type of adventure sport .
  • The table that is used has a series of supports on the feet.
  • Athletes are attached to the parachute by means of a harness and cables .
  • It is practiced in places where there are good wind currents .
  • It is a sport that has also been adapted for people with special needs.
  • His practice includes a series of jumps and maneuvers in the air.


The origins of kitesurfing were in China during the 12th century, although Indonesia is also mentioned as a birthplace. In these places, it was customary to use different types of kites to be able to pull small boats . With the passage of time, the push system was improved in the early 19th century thanks to George Pocok who patented a drag system using kites that made it possible to travel 90 degrees against the wind.

The systems were improving every day more and in 1977 , Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise managed to invent what today is known as kitesurfing , a system by means of which the athlete could navigate the waters on a surfboard while he was also dragged by the parachute . From this moment on, the sport took more strength and popularity and today, it is practiced by thousands of professional and amateur athletes.

Who invented it

Kitesurfing as an adventure sport was invented by Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise.

How to kitesurf

To do kitesurfing it is always best to seek the help of a professional in the sport or a school that teaches the practice. The wind conditions must be taken into account as well as the swell of the area , which must be suitable for the level that is had. Hooked to a kite that is controlled by the hand , and driven by the wind , the kitesurfist uses a table (similar to the snowboard, wakeboard or skateboard) to move and slide the water through the help of the wind.


Choosing the weather conditions carefully is one of the main fundamentals of kitesurfing. As a beginner, try to choose conditions below 20 knots. You should never go out in deep sea conditions As for the location, it is best to go to a place where there are other kiters to help you take off and land . Preferably a wide beach with enough space to land, which is free of people.

Unfold the kite, it must be placed face up and inflated . Keep the kite tied down to make sure it doesn’t fly once it has some air. If one hand is used to secure the kite, care must be taken while pumping as it is easy to break the pumps when doing it with one hand. Place the lines in front of the leading edge, locate the ends of your lines then they should be placed at the ends in the sand.

The four lines must be collected in the hands. The configuration should be: right hand – front line of the right hand, rear line of the right hand (right leg in the middle). Left hand – front line of the left hand, back line of the left hand (left leg in the middle).


As for kitesurfing competitions, there are two different associations worldwide that are in charge of organizing the main competitions that are held. One of them is the Professional Kiteboarding Riders Association circuit and the second is known as the Kite Professional World Tour . In them the freestyle, hang time and Racing competitions are established.

These two circuits organize a series of important competitions in Brazil, Portugal, Morocco, Tarifa, Chile , Holland, Italy, Germany, Austria, the Canary Islands, New Caledonia, France , etc.


There are different types of categories that can be practiced in kiteboarding which are mentioned below:

  • Freestyle : it is a “free format” style in which the board and kite are used to gain height allowing the athlete to do big jumps, rotations and other tricks.
  • Surf Freestyle: consists of performing tricks without straps which can be rotations, big airs and 360;
  • Freeride : it is a technique to have fun and learn new techniques.
  • Speed : they are a series of speed tests and records. In it a special longer directional board is used.
  • Formula Kite : they are a series of races along a route that involves both speed and tactics.
  • Kite Foil : the sport is practiced with a hydro foil board.
  • Slalom : This category includes reach exits, courses and obstacles to jump.
  • Kite waves : it is based on being able to surf the waves using a directional board.
  • Jumping / Big Air : it is based on taking momentum as high as possible in the air.
  • Wake-Style: A series of tricks are done in the air using a double-ended board.


Among the main rules that must be followed by kitesurfing are the following:

  • A kitesurf is classified as a ” sailing vessel ” in many countries and therefore must comply with relevant maritime regulations , such as right- of-way regulations, clearance regulations and avoiding prohibited areas.
  • Use kitesurfing hand signals . You should never assume that you have the right of way.
  • Always use a safety strap , and connect it to the right place.
  • Wear a safety vest that provides some protection against impacts and wear a helmet .
  • Carry out a routine security check before the flight.

Kitesurfing techniques

Some of the main techniques that must be taken into account to practice this type of sport are mentioned below:

  • Air Gybe : the athlete freezes mid-flight while hovering in the wind and changes direction before heading out to sea again. Once fully mastered, even the largest air can be a simple turning method.
  • The backloop : it has often been the defining moment in the history of kitesurfing for many competitors. The first genuine “trick” that really amazes and motivates learning, free time, and spending money.
  • Loop Back Transition : With a slow, controlled rotation it feels like a very special way to change direction.
  • Beach start : The essence of “beach start” is the timing of what you do with your feet and the board along with the correct amount of power from the kite.
  • Front Loop : The only prerequisite for learning the front is a controlled jump, since the approach, kite control and landing are practically the same.


The table must be well chosen to be able to enjoy this type of sport. There are bidirectional fellings also known as TwinTip, which are the most used in sports as they allow the direction of navigation to be changed without having to use your feet. The second type of board is unidirectional in which you do need to change the direction of the feet in order to change the direction of the board.


The basic equipment needed to perform this type of sport includes the kite , a steering bar , harness , board and leash (although other more secure anti-stall devices are currently being used . In addition, it is necessary to count with other types of equipment that includes the helmet , life jacket , wetsuits , a sand buggy and various applications that are used by athletes to measure speed and wind.


There is always a lot of debate about how dangerous kitesurfing is and what kind of dangers kitesurfers are exposed to. Among the main risks are the following: losing control of the kite, not having enough power , getting caught in the lines of the kite in operation, losing control while practicing on the ground, hurting yourself when jumping

Famous people who practice kitesurfing

Among the most famous athletes who practice kitesurfing we find:

  • Gisela Pulido
  • Karolina Winkowska
  • Bruna Kajika
  • Annelous Lammerts
  • Annabel Van Westerop
  • Liam whaley
  • Airton cozzolino


Some curiosities of kitesurfing are mentioned below:

  • It is a clean sport because it does not harm nature .
  • The highest height ever reached while kitesurfing was that of the athlete Nick Jacobson , in 2017 who reached a height of 28.6 meters.
  • You can wear accessories on your feet like water shoes.

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