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What is Kitesurfing:origin, equipment and practice

Among the many fashionable sports, we often hear about kitesurfing, especially in the summer. While, for a time, windsurfers remained the undisputed masters of windy spots, today they have been sharing these spaces with kiters for more than a decade.

Where does this water sport that is all the rage come from, especially among the great web leaders of Silicon Valley ? How is it practiced? What hardware does it require?

Here are some of the answers we set out to answer today.

Origin of kitesurfing

You could almost say that kitesurfing is a natural extension of windsurfing, even if that shortcut is a little easy. You have to go back to 1985 to see the genesis of this sliding sport . The first models are indeed the result of a long reflection started at that time by two Bretons, the Legaignoux brothers .

Windsurfers by trade and sailing enthusiasts, the two friends are working on the concept of a float towed by a wing . Returning from a half-finished world tour, they acquire knowledge and mastery of the kite in Brittany and end up presenting, for the first time in 1996, the first wipika.

Today, the sport has acquired its letters of nobility and among the most famous people who practice it , we can mention the founders of Google , Sergei Brin and Larry Page .

Necessary equipment

Among the multiple advantages that kitesurfing presents compared to windsurfing, we can for example cite the lightness and ease of transporting the equipment .

Indeed, three elements are necessary for the practice of kitesurfing:

  • A wing (preferably with inflatable bladder)
  • A float
  • A harness

This is a slight simplification, since to get started on the water, the kiter must also have a "leash" (safety link with the board) and a "handle bar" which allows the wing to be oriented according to the wind.

Nevertheless, once the wing is folded, all the equipment can fit under the arm, which greatly facilitates its transport.

Obtaining quality equipment requires an investment. It is normally necessary to count more than 1000 euros for a kite pack + new float . Nevertheless, it is always possible either to buy second-hand equipment or to take advantage of sales periods, especially at the beginning of summer.

Online retailers, such as The Corner Shop , offer wings or packs at attractive prices, and apply sale prices on an ad hoc basis. To be watched, therefore, so as not to have to spend astronomical sums on the equipment.

The practice of sport

Even if the handling of the wing can scare more than one, the practice of kitesurfing remains relatively instinctive .

Of course, you have to spend some time on land to learn how to take off and land your wing safely , but also to direct it correctly in its "window" (the space where the wing takes the wind). It is also necessary to be familiar with the traditional safety measures, mainly related to putting the wing at half-mast so as not to get carried away.

In a second step, and once we know how to dose the traction generated by the wing, we can launch ourselves on the water. It is advisable to start with floats that offer better flotation , to learn how to coordinate the direction of the kite and the board. After a certain level has been reached, the more adventurous can go for models called “twin-tip” with cut ends, which allow more flexibility during the first tricks.

You now know everything you need to start kitesurfing, but let's not forget that famous English saying “practice makes perfect” :it is by practicing that one becomes better. With that, good luck everyone!

And then, when do you get started?

Book your kitesurf course now without further delay to start your learning