Kiteboarding or is a surface water (also snow and land) sport combining aspects of sailing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing and paragliding, into one extreme sport.
The origins of the discipline date back to the 1800s, as George Pocock used kites of increased size to propel carts on land and ships on the water, using a four-line control system – the same system in common use today. Both carts and boats were able to turn and sail upwind. The intention was to establish kitepower as an alternative to horsepower, partly to avoid the hated “horse tax” that was levied at that time.
A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water, land, or snow. One of the five main disciplines is Course Racing, which is like a yacht race along a course, that involve both speed and tactics. Boards with hydrofoils are now the most common equipment to race on for course races. The goal is to outperform other competitors and come first in the race. The Formula Kite class is a high performance hydrofoiling class that has been selected for the kiteboarding events at the ANOC World Beach Games and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Four significant steps in the history of Kiteboarding and KiteFoil Racing
1998: The first competition was held on the Hawaiian island of Maui (USA).
2008: The International Kiteboarding Association is founded.
2018: Kiteboarding appears at Summer Youth Olympic Games for the first time in Buenos Aires (ARG).
2021: Announcement that Kiteboarding will make its Olympic Games debut at the Paris 2024 (FRA).