Aruba Kite
First kiter

Kitesurfing History

Kitesurfing as we see it today is an extremely young sport but thanks to modern advances in materials and aerodynamic technologies it is rapidly developing into one of the most accessible, easiest to learn, most extreme, yet safe watersports available.

Of course things were not always this way and although the Chinese are accredited with inventing the first kites as early as the 5th century BC, their migration to the water really began its first tentative steps in the 1970’s. Around this time a few crazy people were trying to water-ski whilst being pulled by a kite, of course only heading in one direction, (downwind), with no way of stopping or re-launching the kite once it hit the water! In 1977 Gilbertus Panhuise came up with the bright idea of using a windsurfing board and promptly patented the idea. During the early 80’s a fellow by the name of Andreas Kuhn was televised wakeboarding with a 25m paraglider.

The real breakthrough came in 1984 when the French Legaignoux brothers, Bruno and Dominique, invented and patented the world’s first water re-launchable, inflatable kite. These kites were immediately tested with windsurfing boards and water skis. Never-the-less it wasn’t until 1995, when surfing legend’s Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin with Wipika kites and windsurf boards drew the world’s media attention to the potential of this gravity-defying, adrenaline fueled sport.

The surfing paradise that is Maui held the first ever kiteboarding competition in the September of 1998 and was won by the American athlete Flash Austin. This was also the year that windsurfing legend Robby Naish started kitesurfing.

Kitesurfing began emerging in Aruba from the United States around a decade ago, with occasional kitesurfers bringing their gear to Aruba’s near perfect conditions. The islands’ fun loving attitude to life due to its abundance of holiday goers ensured that it didn’t take long to start taking roots.

Aruba Kite (as part of AAV) whole-heartedly embraced the introduction of this exhilarating and awe-inspiring watersport, and was the first school on Aruba to teach fascinated holiday makers. A decade later and from humble beginnings, we’ve now helped tens of thousands of people realize their kitesurfing dreams and continue to promote and push this breathtaking and beautiful sport forward.




Kitesurfing Aruba 2009 from denis popov on Vimeo.

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