Difference Between Kiteboarding and Kitesurfing

Kiteboarding vs Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing, or Kiteboarding, as it is called by many people, is a very interesting water sport that has gained immense popularity in recent times. In fact, the sport itself is not a very old one and is traced back to 1997 when Legaignoux brothers developed an inflated kite that they called Wipika. There are people who remain confused between Kiteboarding and Kitesurfing. Let us find out if there is any difference between these two names, or they refer to the same exciting water sport that has taken the world of adventure by a storm these days.

The idea behind Kiteboarding is very simple. A kiter stands on a board that has elastic straps with which his feet are attached. The power of the kite flying in the air is used by the kiter to maneuver himself and float or sail on water. There are elements of surfing, sailing, skate boarding, and kite flying, making it a very popular sport. Anyone good at surfing or sailing can easily learn the tricks of Kitesurfing.

Kiteboarding is a sport that a player plays atop the surface of the water. It is a sport that combines the thrill and adventure of windsurfing and paragliding with the exercise of gymnastics to turn it into an extremely interesting and exciting water sport. The origins of the sport can be traced back to the late 18th century when attempts were made to use the flying power of kites to propel objects on both land and sea to avoid paying high horse tax that was charged from people. Kite power was used to counter horsepower that was becoming too expensive. However, it was not until late 20th century till Kitesurfing evolved into a sport as much effort went into development of kites that were more efficient and could be better controlled. Hamilton and Bertin helped in popularizing Kitesurfing, in 1996, when they demonstrated the sport in Hawaiian Islands.

There are many who refer to Kitesurfing as Kiteboarding. This is more in US and Canada because of the presence and popularity of skateboarding in these places. On the other hand, Kitesurfing is the name used for this sport in all of Europe and many other parts of the world where natural weather conditions permit this sport. Also, Kiteboarding is more of a generic term as it refers to the fact that the individual rides on twin flip boards while at the same time controlling a flying kite. Kitesurfing is a term that takes into account the attempt to make use of waves for power. Despite the sport being labeled differently as kite boarding and Kitesurfing, there is basically no difference between the two sports and one can use either of the two terms interchangeably.


There is no difference between Kiteboarding and Kitesurfing and both terms are used interchangeably to refer to the same water sport in which a player sails or floats on water waves with the force or power of a flying kite. While Kiteboarding is the name more popular across North America, it is Kitesurfing that is used commonly across Europe and other parts of the world.