Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is a popular water sport that uses wind to pull a rider through the water on a small surfboard or kiteboard, which is similar to a wakeboard. Although the technology and technique associated with kiteboarding has developed greatly over time, this popular pastime would not have been possible without the invention of the kite in the 13th century by the Chinese.
The history of kiteboarding didn’t truly begin until the 1800’s, when George Pocock experimented with over-sized kites that were able to propel carts on land and ships on the water using a four-line control system, which is similar to the same system used today. What made this so special was that the kites could be flown for sustained periods and were able to pull the carts and boats both downwind and upwind. In the late 1970’s, with the development of Kevlar and Spectra flying lines, kites became more controllable and had improved efficiency. Throughout the 1980’s people began to experiment using kites with canoes, ice skates, snow skis, water skis, and roller skates. In the late 1900’s, science began to improve equipment used in kiteboarding, with the invention of perfected kiteskiing systems, inflatable kites, and aerodynamic enhancements to the kite designs.