When I was 13, I started windsurfing with one of the first Windsurfers imported in France by Patrick Carn, from Quimper, Brittany, as me. It was in 1974.
Ten years later, in 1984, windsurfing was a demonstration sport at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Same year, my brother and I patented the inflatable C-shape kite…
However Kiteboarding really started as a sport in 1997 with the first Wipika kites sold to French and Hawaiian pioneers.
In 2016, so 19 years later the beginning of the sport, it will be at the Rio Olympics. It was decided by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Council the 5th of May 2012.
The circle is now complete. I have participated to the development of two sports starting from scratch and becoming olympic, the first one as pioneer user, the second one as inventor, designer, manufacturer…

I was rather against kiteboarding at the Olympics ten years ago. Now it is different, kiteboarding is a mature sport, the Games won’t increase the cost of the freestyle or wave equipment, they won’t reduce the sport to course racing.
By the contrary, they will help to open or re-open beaches because coaches and competitors will get the support from national sport authorities, they will give more credibility to our sport, so to all its disciplines, give more visibility so more participants, will allow developing course racing which is currently under-developed in my view. It will reactivate the interest of some kiteboarders who are tired making tricks or surfing.

And icing on the cake, Rio is a nice place for kitesurfing, it will be a great event, no doubt !

Bruno Legaignoux