Kiteboarding History Print

Kiteboarding History

To The Point:

    The Legaignoux made kiteboarding available to the public by inventing the inflatable kite and by mass producing the kites in 1997 with the first kiteboarding company, Wipika. Kitesurfing history does not go back very far in time, but read below to learn about the history of flying kites.

The Detailed Explanation:

    Experts guess that the first kites were probably made by the Chinese around 1000 B.C., but the the first written account of kite flying was around 200 B.C..

    United States 1943 - Commander Paul Garber of the U. S. Navy developed a target kite that could simulate maneuvers of an airplane to provide a moving target to enhance the training of aircraft gunners. Garber also used signal kites to pass important messages from ship to plane. A cable with the package of papers attached to it, was strung between two kites, the airplane flying overhead would catch the cable with a long hook.

     Englishman, Peter Powell introduced the first kite, a “dual line stunt kite,” in 1972.

    Land based kiteboarding started when Ray Merry and Andrew Jones invented the “two-line power kite” in 1973 in England.  The two-line power kite eventually became known as a flexifoil, and which eventually became the base product of the Flexifoil company.

    The beginning of modern Kiteboarding started in 1984 when two French brothers, the Legaignoux brothers made the first inflatable Kitesurfing kite and patented it in 1985.  Since then, it took more than 10 years before they released the design to the public with their brand Wipika.  Is was popularized in the US by a small group of kitesurfers in Maui, Hawaii in the late 90’s.  Since then it’s grown into an international extreme sport that can be done on almost any surface including water, snow, dirt, ice, and sand.  The first 5th line system was invented by the brothers in 2004.  The newest technology kite, the inflatable Bow kite design, was also invented by the Legaignoux brothers, in January 2002, but didn't see production release in the market until 2006.



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