Flavio Marra

Kitesurfing. An incredible sport, made by an exciting mix of wind and sea, in which you and your board are towed by the wind through the sail (kite); the sport that allows you to make spectacular leaps and do stunning stunts! To understand the origins of kitesurfing let’s jump back in the history when the kite, a key element of the sport, was already being used in various industries. George Pocock, an English teacher with a passion for inventions, in early ‘ 800 used a 4 cables kite – of his own design – to being towed aboard a carriage in Bristol. The Englishman Samuel Cody in the early ‘ 900 invents Cody War-Kites, a kite designed for human used by the British in the first world war as a smaller alternative of the ‘observation balls’; It was also used as towing for distressed ships; later, in the middle of the last century, a series of aerospace research conducted by Rogallo and Jalbert have contributed to the evolution of the transport concept, leading it to modern concept of kite (hang gliding and paragliding) which created the PowerKiting and the traction kiting. Reinhold Messner, who crossed vast distances on ice with the aid of towing kites in Greenland and the North Pole, is among the earliest sponsor of this new sports use concept. Coming to the real kitesurf origins, we are in the 80s, certainly on the Hawaiian beaches and kite crew consists of windsurfers, such as: Manu Bertin, Flash Austin, Robby Naish, Eliot Leboe (former windsurfing inspecting a known American magazine), Lou Wainman, Rush Rande, Pete Cabrinha, Fadi Issa, Dylan Gramfyre, Francesco Moretti, Mauricio Abreau and many others. But let’s take one step at a time, and see who “gave birth” to this exciting sport: 1984 is the birth year of kiteboarding, when Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux, two French brothers, patented their first inflatable kites on which they were already working for some time. At the same time two American brothers, Corey and Bill Roeselers, patented his ‘kite ski’, sport with a two wires kite and one water ski, which later was replaced by a board similar to a surfboard. As we said, the birthplace was the Maui island, Hawaii, where the pioneers of the sport began to use – in addition to the bladders Wipika (patent Leigagnoux brothers) – also a non-relaunchable caisson wings, as Flexifoil Blade. Initially, however, it seems that the impossibility to climb up the wind could be a marked limitation. For that reason a group of so-called downriders was born, who windward arrive to Hookipa and from there they begin to sail to Kanaha beach park, an enchanting beach just a few kilometers downwind. Gradually this limitation stimulates the birth of boards from the very edge pulled and larger wings. Combining the shape of the table and the size of the kite climb up the wind becomes possible. We can say that kiteboarding becomes “autonomous” marine sport towards the end of 1997/98. In 1997 the Legaignoux brothers marked another milestone in the kitesurfing era, with the Wind Powered Inflatable Kite Aircraft (WI. P.I.K. in) project, a kite which had a tubular structure with ribs. In the following years Robby Naish and Don Montague acquired the license of use of the patent, while the Legaignoux brothers continued to work and develop their project coming to other innovations like the BOW KITE DESIGN, which represented a major step forward for safety; because simply leaving the bar, the power of the kite will reverse and it ranks on window-board, waiting for new commands. Thus, near the first historical Wipika brand, the Naish kiteboarding and other brand (RRD, Cabrinha, Liqiud Force, etc.) join the market. At the beginning the directional boards were the main choise, in some cases it was surfboard with changes at the edges and adding straps. Flash Austin begins to employ the first RRD directional boards and then he will choose the Mutant brand – Naish-made – (directional which can navigate like twin tip, within certain limits). Inflatable kites are divided in C-kite, Bow-SLE, Delta, Foil, hybrids. Some kiters (e.g. Californian Peter Trow) continue to use caisson wings because of the performance seem to be better, although it cannot be relaunched again if they fall into the water. Some technique words on the main element structure of the sport: the sail. The top surface (upper skins): is the outer surface of the wing; the soffit (lower skin): is the inner surface. The leading edge is the front side of the wing, the first one affected by the wind; the trailing edge is the back side of the wing. The boom (or bar) is the tool that allows us to control the kite. It is usually built in carbon fibre, coated by a non-slip rubber surface. On the front side of the kite, directly at the ends of the leading edge or through the bridles, the two front lines are attached, which converge into a single cable through the center of the boom, called top of the depower. The two rear lines (back-lines) are attached at the ends of the trailing edge of the wing and at both ends of the boom. On many kite there is also the fifth line, or fifth cable, which facilitates the maneuvers of takeoff of the kite from the water, and is also an effective security system that allows you to cancel the kite traction, when necessary. In recent years, in some models, the fifth line has also taken a structural function, because it helps the leading edge to keep themselves in a most efficient aerodynamically shape. In terms of world competition styles, the old style (exaggerated jumps, spins and board off) switches to the new style or power style; in this context and to higher heights you can see the replication of what the great Lou Wainman was starting out (raley, handle pass etc..). But one of the truly innovative (and destructive) for the experienced practitioners bones are the kite loop, especially unhooked. Finally, in recent years the wave riding became an independent discipline and many freestyle ex-champions (Martin Various eg.) are enthusiastically approaching this world. Regarding intermediate and beginner levels, all technical innovations and development to improve performance, control and above all security, have enabled the kitesurf spread quickly around the world. In recent years, several companies have developed new profile kites as Sigma, Delta, hybrids trying more and more trying to provide the user with performing and funny wings, without ever forgetting the security and stability, a key element to allow all kinds of people join this wonderful sport. Let’s see what are the best destinations to play (even for the first time) in this exciting sport: certainly the “hometown”, the Hawaiian Islands; moving to Europe is the hugely popular Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) commonly known for its constant wind, which in addition to the well-known Sotavento spot – Kitesurf World Cup stop since more than 30 years – enjoys numerous spots where practice kite in all performance levels (if you are a beginner and you fancy the idea of trying a kite here you will find several spots made for you); Tarifa, Capo Verde, Cabarete (Dominican Republic), El gouna and Marsa Alam (Egypt), Italy (the South, Islands and Garda Lake), many Greek Islands (Rodi, Paro) as well as in South Africa, Morocco, and finally the entire province of Ceara in North East Brazil famous for its untouched lakes and spot. For the old continent citizens, however, the top for kitesurfing remains definitely Fuerteventura. Point Break Watersport Centre is the reference point for those who approach this sport for the first time and both for those which looking for a bit of adrenaline. Located in the North of the island, Corralejo, the main tourist centre of the North, Point Break is managed by qualified professionals team (all IKO certified) who devote themselves entirely to water sports (kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, sup, fishing). Among other disciplines, Point Break Watersport Centre organizes kitesurf lessons for all levels. .. our beginner kitesurf course in Fuerteventura is targeted for those who approach even for the first time this kind of sport and wants to learn this new amazing discipline. Our kitesurf courses allow beginners to approach the discipline through all fundamental steps; on the ground: theory of flight, aware of the winds, flying experience, use of all safety systems, Fundamentals of meteorology, takeoff and landing; boat/water: boating, boat class preparation and lesson, self-rescue, wings relaunch, bodydrag, Windward bodydrag, water-start, downwind. All our instructors are IKO certified (International Kiteboarding Organization). The IKO is the most important and internationally widespread organization for kitesurf, established in November 2001 in order to ensure a high level of teaching methods, with a standard recognized and applied around the world. Attend a course with an International IKO certified instructor, allows you to learn this sport without exposing themselves and others to unnecessary risks. Start with us this wonderful adventure that will take you to discover one of the most beautiful sport in the world. Start with the first flight and planing with the kite! Our instructors are waiting for you!

11 novembre 2016
Storia del kitesurf

The kitesurfing story

Kitesurfing. An incredible sport, made by an exciting mix of wind and sea, in which you and your board are towed by the wind through the […]