Is kiting a sail? Yes, and now their inventors say so too

Guys, get this straight: kitesurfing is sailing. And as of today, it is also for the French, the inventors of kiting.
In fact, as we read on the website of journalist and kiter David Ingiosi,“the free flight federation loses kiting, which officially switches to gliding. This morning, the French Free Flight Federation announced from its official website that the Ministry of Sport has withdrawn the nautical kite delegation from it.”

You got it right: transalpine kitesurfing used to be the prerogative of the Free Flight federation; now the “cousins,” after 18 years, have made it a full-fledged sailing discipline, just like here in Italy where the discipline (which has so many enthusiasts, especially young people) is under the aegis of the FIV. FFV (the French sailing federation) and FIV are themselves members of World Sailing, the International Sailing Federation: so even the former ISAF will have fewer problems, also caused by ambiguous bodies that tried to exploit the lack of international uniformity. An important step toward an 11th Olympic sailing medal in Tokyo 2020?

The use of kites to tow objects or people is a practice that dates back to the 1200s in China. In the West, between 1820 and 1830, George Pocock, an English schoolteacher with a passion for invention, used a 4-cable kite of his own design to get himself towed aboard a carriage in the Bristol countryside. In 1901 Samuel Franklin Cowdery crossed the English Channel Strait aboard an object halfway between a hot air balloon and a kite. It would have to wait until the 1970s, however, before we could identify something more akin to what we understand as kitesurfing today. In 1978, Ian Day, aboard his Tornado catamaran, was already touching 40 km/h pulled by a kite.

During the 1980s, traction kite flying began to be applied to skis, skateboards, canoes, and anything that rolled or slid on land or water. New sports, such as buggying and kitesailing, saw the light of day in the 1990s thanks to the contributions and research of many, including New Zealander Peter Lynn. In 1982, Frenchman Rolad Le Bail, modifying a windsurfing rig, patented “BirdSail,” which allowed higher and longer jumps; while in the early 1990s, brothers Corey and Bill Roeseler of Seattle patented the Kiteski, a large 2-cable delta acrobatic kite equipped with a spring-loaded reel bar that allowed it to be retrieved and relaunched from the water.

In 1995, Jimmy Lewis, a famous Hawaiian shaper, began experimenting with the first bidirectional kite surfing boards, along with one of the pioneers of kiting, Lou Wainman, establishing himself in 1999 as the first person to have developed the first functional bidirectional in a concrete way. But it was thanks to French brothers Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux, after extensive research that began in the early 1980s and culminated in the patenting of the Wind Powered Inflatable Kite Aircraft (WI.P.I.K.A.) that in-water traction kite flying became in the late 1990s safer, more viable and accessible. (



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