The History of Kiteboarding


Learn about the history of inflatable traction kites.

Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux are brothers from the Bretagne region in France. In 1984, on a sailing trip in Africa they were experimenting with high performance sails came across kites used to power catamarans. The brothers immediately realized that kites used on water need to be able to relaunch from the water. An inflatable structure was their adopted solution and the inflatable kite was born.

In 1985 they filed for the first patent for an inflatable kite. At the beginning the two French brothers had a hard time finding more believers in their new technology. Starting 1994 Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin are instrumental in demonstrating and popularizing kitesurfing off the Hawaiian coast of Maui, first using 2-strap towing surf boards and parafoils then Kiteski kites and finally in 1997 kites from Wipika, the original kitesurfing brand created by the Legaignoux brothers.

Robby Naish saw the potential and got a license in 1998 and started Naish Kiteboarding. In the following years Kiteboarding became a recognized sport and the Legaignoux brothers were together with others at the forefront of its creation. Always with the desire to improve the status quo brothers continued their research and in 2004 they presented the bow kite concept.

This revolutionary concept is the most important innovation in Kiteboarding today and made the sport significantly safer and more accessible.


Over the past 30 years the brothers created various pioneer patents that have contributed largely to the sports status quo today.