Year of Status
No. of Crew
No. of Trapeze
Typically between 1.40 – 1.60 m
A NEW ERA OF
The Kitesurf class is an increasingly popular water sport that combines elements of sailing, windsurfing, and wakeboarding. The sport has experienced rapid growth in popularity since the late 1990s, with an estimated 1.5 million kitesurfers globally.
Kitesurfing boards come in various shapes and sizes to suit different riding styles and conditions, allowing for customisation based on individual preferences. The standard set-up includes a kite, which acts as the primary sail, a board similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, a control bar for steering and adjusting the kite's power, and a harness to evenly distribute the kite's pull across the rider's body. Modern kitesurfing equipment incorporates several safety systems, such as quick-release mechanisms and depower systems, which help reduce the risk of accidents and make the sport safer for beginners.
Kitesurfing has a thriving global community, with numerous events held worldwide, such as the GKA Kite World Tour and the Red Bull King of the Air. Kitesurfing is a relatively new addition to the Olympics, and brings a fresh, exciting spectacle to the competition. The athletes' ability to harness the wind's power with their kites, perform high-flying jumps and acrobatics, and navigate tight courses at breakneck speeds draws the attention and admiration of spectators. Top riders can reach speeds of over 50 knots (approximately 57 mph or 92 kph), showcasing the sport's exciting pace.
The best conditions for kitesurfing are steady side-onshore winds, with wind speeds between 12-25 knots, depending on the rider's skill level and equipment. While kitesurfing has a relatively steep learning curve compared to other water sports, with proper instruction and practice, most beginners can get up and ride within a few lessons.