Where and why was kitesurfing invented

The origin of kitesurfing

Did you know that kitesurfing is a Dutch invention? Read how kitesurfing began on this blog.

In the beginning there was a kite

Kitesurfing is a sport that uses a kite and board. Well thought out, there are 2 disciplines in 1. Kiting and boarding combined on the water that we call kitesurfing.

Dragons are coming from China. The first dragon was born around 400 BC. Sighted, but sources say the kite was invented even earlier. The truth is probably in the middle. The fact that the first kites came from China has to do with the fact that they had silk and bamboo there, the basic components of a kite. Dragons were used to measure distance to determine how far the enemy was.

The dragon came to Europe in the Middle Ages, Marco Polo was responsible for introducing the kite to the west. The kite was mainly seen as a toy, but later also for meteorological observations. Around 1900 it was discovered (it took a while) that a kite was powerful enough to lift people.

The so-called "Man lifting“Is used worldwide for military purposes, but also enables the discovery of recreational flying. People just like to float through the air and a kite can take care of that. Soon the plane was invented by the Wright Brothers (1903).

The surfboard

Wave surfing originated in thousands of years ago Polynesia. And is probably the origin of all board sports such as windsurfing, kite surfing, wakeboarding, but also snowboarding and skateboarding, which have their origins here.

In Polynesia surfing was practiced as a sport, but also for religious purposes. They had shelves of 5 meters that could only be used by the chiefs. The Polynesians brought the surfboard over Hawaii. In California, it was Hawaiian princes who decided to surf the web while studying. This is how the western world came into contact with wave surfing and eventually the sport ended up in Europe as well.

The sport has changed a lot over the years. From solid wood boards to hollow boards to polystyrene foam with a layer of epoxy or polyester that the boards are made of today. The size of the boards has also been heavily adjusted. There are now large boards, also called longboards, and small boards on the market that make turning and performing tricks easier.

Kite + board = kite surfing

The Dutchman came in 1977 Gijsbert Adrianus Panhuise came up with the idea of ​​tying a parachute that he had received to a kind of strap with lines, then standing on his surfboard and letting the wind pull him. He called that "Parasurfing". The French came later Legaognoux-Brothers came up with the idea of ​​making an inflatable kite. This is already much more similar to the kites we are currently kitesurfing with. Cory Roeseler (Hawaii) was the first kitesurfer.

He could keep up with a ski and a hang glider. Only the sport was not yet popular with the public. The sport of kitesurfing wasn't developed until 1996 when the Wipika kite was designed, a kite with inflatable parts and a bridle system so that you can start again in the water too. Later, the French brothers designed a type of bowkite and the first kitesurf boards were also launched. Kitesurfing really took off in 1998 and competitions were organized for the first time.

How kitesurfing began in the Netherlands

Kitesurfing in the Netherlands developed around the turn of the century. On the Dutch coast with a south-westerly wind, it is a perfect environment to practice the sport. At the beginning of the sport you read regularly about serious accidents of kite surfers who land on the beach or in the dunes. The C-Kite and the lack of good depower systems are the main causes. As the century progresses, the sport will evolve and other types of kites will be introduced to the market, such as delta-shape and bow kites. This in combination with well-functioning depowers ensures that the sport is always safer. In 2020, kitesurfing is a popular and growing extreme water sport in the Netherlands with around 20,000 regular practitioners.

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