KITESURF IN TARIFA… A BRIEF INTRO

Tarifa’s beaches have recently turned into a venue of choice for kitesurf lovers, who helped by their kites, enjoy riding the waves with their truly impressive moves. But, where and when was this adventure sport born?

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Although Kitesurf has a recent story, the use of kites as propellers dates back to the XII century, with the Chinese and Indonesian civilizations. Nevertheless, it was not until 1977 when Gijsbertus Panhuise patented a navigation system for riding a surf board pulled by an adapted parachute, becoming the father of this sport. Later, in 1996 and after 15 years of tests the Legaignoux Brothers officially presented the first kitesurf that was similar to those you find on the market today.

The historic event which most relates to the creation of kitesurf was its development in the 80s, as a response to the need be able to practice windsurf in conditions that did not have the sufficient wind to practice it. In 1985, the Legaignoux Brothers, inspired by a Catamaran propelled by a kite, showed their first creation, used for sailing with a prototype which had a structure of preformed inflatable tubes and a simple bridle system for the wingtips. This way of manufacturing kites was replaced quickly by surfboards with bindings, and in 1995, Neil Pryde bet on these brothers, and together built the first modern kite brand called Wipika. Kitesurf was now a reality.

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Years later, the sport reached Tarifa, with windsurfers flooding its beaches. Nacho Yuste together with Jaime Herraiz “Oru”, where among the earliest in trying to make themselves some room for their kites among them.

In the early days, kites were designed with just 2 lines and they didn’t even have a security system for controlling their speed. Slowly, the control systems started to develop. Joan Ubide in 2005, traveled to Tarifa to visit Nacho to show him the first Cabrinha Crossbow, and he liked it so much that he decided to set up a kitesurf school in Tarifa, Kite Obsession, the first one using these kind of kites.

In parallel, many workshops and stores specialized in kitesurf started opening, such as Fly Cat, No Work Team, Fun Works, Nomad, Rikishapes, Tad… All these factors transformed kitesurf into a safer and popular sport, ready to give you the freedom to enjoy the waves and the wind in a new and unique way, which millions of people enjoy today. Grab your kite and jump in the water!

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