Monday, 14 January 2013

KiteSurfing Boards

KiteSurfing Boards Biography
Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. A kitesurfer or kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without foot-straps or bindings. The terms kiteboarding and kitesurfing are interchangeable.

There are different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wakestyle, jumping and wave-riding.[1] In 2012, the number of kitesurfers has been estimated by the ISAF and IKA at 1.5 million persons world wide [2] (pending review).

    1 History
        1.1 Speed records
        1.2 Distance records and notable journeys
    2 Governance
    3 Styles
    4 Techniques
        4.1 Kitesurfing basics
        4.2 Turning
        4.3 Controlled flying and jumping
        4.4 Board grabs
    5 Assessing the wind
        5.1 Wind strength and kite sizes
        5.2 Wind direction
    6 Locations
    7 Equipment
        7.1 Power kites
            7.1.1 Leading edge inflatables
            7.1.2 Foil kites
       Open Cell
       Closed Cell
            7.1.3 Kite sizes
        7.2 Other equipment
    8 Dangers and safety
        8.1 Aerology
        8.2 Aggravating factors
        8.3 Equipment
        8.4 Statistics
            8.4.1 Reports of casualties
        8.5 Kitesurfing safety rules
    9 Terminology and jargon
    10 Kiteboarding versus sailboarding
    11 Gallery
    12 See also
    13 References
    14 External links


In the 1800s, 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 kites could be flown for sustained periods.[3] The intention was to establish kitepower as an alternative to horsepower, partly to avoid the hated "horse tax" that was levied at that time.[4] In 1903, aviation pioneer Samuel Cody developed "man-lifting kites" and succeeded in crossing the English Channel in a small collapsible canvas boat powered by a kite[5]

In the late 1970s, the development of Kevlar then Spectra flying lines and more controllable kites with improved efficiency contributed to practical kite traction. In 1978, Ian Day's "FlexiFoil" kite-powered Tornado catamaran exceeded 40 km/h.

In October 1977 Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise (Netherlands) gets the first patent[6] for KiteSurfing. The patent covers, specifically, a water sport using a floating board of a surf board type where a pilot standing up on it is pulled by a wind catching device of a parachute type tied to his harness on a trapeze type belt. Although this patent did not result in any commercial interest, Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise could be considered as the originator of KiteSurfing.

Through the 1980s, there were occasionally successful attempts to combine kites with canoes, ice skates, snow skis,[7] water skis and roller skates.

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Dieter Strasilla from Germany developed parachute-skiing and later perfected a kiteskiing system using self made paragliders and a ball-socket swivel allowing the pilot to kitesail upwind and uphill but also to take off into the air at will.[8] Strasilla and his friend Andrea Kuhn/Switzerland used this invention also in combination with surfboards and Skurfs, grasskies and selfmade buggies. One of his patents describes in 1979 the first use of an inflatable kite design for kitesurfing.[9]

Two brothers, Bruno Legaignoux and Dominique Legaignoux, from the Atlantic coast of France, developed kites for kitesurfing in the late 1970s and early 1980s and patented an inflatable kite design in November 1984, a design that has been used by companies to develop their own products.

In 1990, practical kite buggying was pioneered by Peter Lynn at Argyle Park in Ashburton, New Zealand. Lynn coupled a three-wheeled buggy with a forerunner of the modern parafoil kite. Kite buggying proved to be very popular worldwide, with over 14,000 buggies sold up to 1999.

The development of modern day kitesurfing by the Roeselers in the USA and the Legaignoux in France carried on in parallel to buggying. Bill Roeseler, a Boeing aerodynamicist, and his son Cory Roeseler patented the "KiteSki" system which consisted of water skis powered by a two line delta style kite controlled via a bar mounted combined winch/brake. The KiteSki was commercially available in 1994. The kite had a rudimentary water launch capability and could go upwind. In 1995, Cory Roeseler visited Peter Lynn at New Zealand's Lake Clearwater in the Ashburton Alpine Lakes area, demonstrating speed, balance and upwind angle on his 'ski'. In the late 1990s, Cory's ski evolved to a single board similar to a surfboard.[4]

In 1996, Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin were instrumental in demonstrating and popularising kitesurfing off the Hawaiian coast of Maui.

In 1997, the Legaignoux brothers developed and sold the breakthrough "Wipika" kite design which had a structure of preformed inflatable tubes and a simple bridle system to the wingtips, both of which greatly assisted water re-launch. Bruno Legaignoux has continued to improve kite designs, including developing the bow kite design, which has been licensed to many kite manufacturers.
Kitesurfing in Fuerteventura

In 1997, specialist kiteboards were developed by Raphaël Salles and Laurent Ness. By 1998 kitesurfing had become a mainstream sport, and several schools were teaching kitesurfing. The first competition was held on Maui in September 1998 and won by Flash Austin.[4]

By 1999, single direction boards derived from windsurfing and surfing designs became the dominant form of kiteboard. From 2001 onwards, twin-tip bi-directional boards became more popular for most flat water riders, with directional boards still in use for surf conditions.

In May 2012, the course racing style of kitesurfing was announced as a sport for the 2016 Rio Olympics,[10] replacing windsurfing at first then alongside in November.[11] In fact after a vote by the General Assembly of ISAF (after an unprecedented grassroots campaign) the RSX windsurfer was reinstated for both Men and Women; kitesurfing remains therefore a non-Olympic sport until 2020 at the earliest. One of the most interesting aspects of this period was the transfer of many top windsurfers to kitesurf racing; even though most of them had not tried the sport before within a small number of months they were placing well and even winning events. The position has been likened to 'draughts' and 'chess'; if chess was an Olympic sport and for some reason was replaced by draughts chess players could transfer easily; if the decision was reversed no draughts players would be likely to take up chess, just as no kitesurfer has (yet) taken up an Olympic challenge on the RSX.

Ultimately the ease with which complete beginners could transform themselves within a few short months into champions left a lot of unanswered questions about kitesurf racing as a competitive sport let alone an Olympic one; it is probable that the efforts to be included for Rio 2016 with a celebrity led campaign rather than a grassroots one have hindered the long term case for inclusion at the Olympics rather than helped them.
Speed records

French kitesurfer Sébastien Cattelan became the first sailor to break the 50 knots barrier by reaching 50.26 knots on 3 October 2008 at the Lüderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia. On 4 October, Alex Caizergues (also of France) broke this record with a 50.57 knots run. Similar speeds are reached by windsurfers in the same location by Anders Bringdal and Antoine Albeau, respectively 50.46 and 50.59 knots. These speeds are verified, but are still subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.[12] Earlier in the event, on 19 September, American Rob Douglas reached 49.84 knots (92.30 km/h),[13] becoming the first kitesurfer to establish an outright world record in speed sailing. Previously the record was held only by sailboats or windsurfers. Douglas also became the world's third over-50 knots sailor, when on 8 September he made a 50.54 knots (93.60 km/h) run.[14]

The outright sailing speed record currently claimed by the French trimaran Hydroptère which, on 4 September 2009, reached a speed of 51.36 knots over 500 meters, and an amazing 50.17 over a nautical mile (1852 meters). Both records were set in open ocean, as opposed to the Lüderitz site that is basically a stretch of ultra-shallow water 8-15 centimeters deep. Hydroptère sails with amazing efficiency: the records were set in 25 to 30 knots of wind, as opposed to the 45-50 knots required by kitesurfers .[15]

On the 14th of November 2009, Alex Caizergues completed another run of 50.98 knots in Namibia.

October 2010, Rob Douglas became the outright record holder for the short distance 500 meters with 55.65 knots.[16] Sébastien Cattelan became the record holder of France and Europe with 55.49 and was the first rider to reach 55 knots.[17]
Distance records and notable journeys

It is possible to travel great distances on a kiteboard.

Kirsty Jones set a distance record for a kiteboard when she travelled 225 km (140 mi), crossing solo from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to Tarfaya, Morocco, in about nine hours on 13 May 2006.[18][19]

A record combination of distance and speed of 207 km in 5h 30m was set by Raphaël Salles, Marc Blanc and Sylvain Maurain on July 24, 2007, between Saint-Tropez and Calvi, beating Manu Bertin's previous record of 6h 30m for the same journey. Their average speed was almost 38 km/h.[20]

Eric Gramond set the distance record when he went 419.9 km (226 Nm), crossing from Fortaleza to Parnaíba in Brazil during 24 hours on October 12, 2008.[21]

Natalie Clarke crossed Bass Strait from Stanley, Tasmania to Venus Bay, Victoria in Australia, a distance of 240 km, in 9 hours 30 minutes on March 22, 2010.[22][23]

In June/August 2010, an unofficial record of 2000 km was recorded by Louis Tapper in 23 days.[24]

The official 24-hour record for The longest kite surfing journey is 199.63 nautical miles (369.71 km; 229.73 statute miles) and was achieved by Phillip McCoy Midler (USA) who travelled from South Padre Island, Texas to Matagorda, Texas, USA, from 10 to 11 May 2010.

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