Kite-surf { 178 images } Created 28 Apr 2011

Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding is an adventure surface water sport that has been described as combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a kiteboard (similar to a wakeboard). The terms kiteboarding and kitesurfing are interchangeable. There are a number of different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wakestyle, jumping and wave-riding which is focused on kitesurfing big waves using a directional board similar to a surfboard.[1]

A kitesurfer or kiteboarder uses a board with or without foot-straps or bindings, combined with the power of a large controllable kite to propel the rider and the board across the water. In 2006, the number of kitesurfers has been estimated at around 150,000 to 210,000, with 114,465 inflatable kites sold that same year.[2]

Although kitesurfing is an extreme sport, its safety record is improving due to advances in hybrid and bow kite designs[3] and the ability to control the power that they provide, effective safety release systems, wider availability of kiteboarding schools, international and regional oversight provided by kitesurfing organizations and improving teaching standards as the sport matures. There are still a number of deaths every year and a much larger number of serious injuries and accidents.
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