This page provides a list of some people who have made a significant contribution to kitesurfing since its inception.
Bill and Cory Roeseler. Father and son who patented the "KiteSki" system which consisted of water skis powered by a two line delta style kite controlled via a bar mounted combined winch/brake. The KiteSki was commercially available in 1994. Ref: Kitesurfing, Wikipedia
Cory Roeseler using the KiteSki
Raphaël Salles. Born in France, pioneer kitesurfer and the founder of F-One. A former pro windsurfer, Salles started F-One, one of the industry’s first kiteboarding companies in 1996. Pioneered delta shaped kites with the Bandit Dos. Ref: Raphael Salles interview, DC Kites
Flash Austin. Started kitesurfing in 1995 when he decided to combine his kite with his skimboard. Won the first kitesurfing competition that was held on Maui in September 1998. Won several kitesurfing competitions during the late nineties and early 2000s. Ref: Flash Austin, Kiteworldmag.com
Pete Cabrinha. American big-wave surfer and windsurfer and kitesurfer and founder of Cabrinha Kites. The company specializes in the manufacturer of bow kites and kiteboards. Cabrinha appears in the 1998 Zalman King film In God’s Hands. Ref: Pete Cabrinha, Wikipedia
Pete Cabrinha kitesurfing. Source
Ben Wilson. Born in Australia, pioneer in big wave riding. Wilson uses his kite as an engine to pull himself into huge surf on a conventional surfboard to ride waves like a surfer. He is extending kitesurfing to massive waves.
Aaron Hadlow. Professional kiteboarder who has won the Pro Kiteboard Riders' Association (PKRA) World Championships five times, dominating he sport from 2004–2008. Ref: Aaron Hadlow, Wikipedia
Ruben Lenten. Born in the Netherlands. Finished second overall as a Professional kiteboarder in the PKRA World Championships in 2005 after winning several tour stops. His focus then shifted to doing mega kite loops and developing and testing kitesurfing products with Slingshot and Mystic companies. Ref: ruebenlenten.com
Betrand Fleury. Born in France, Fleury started windsurfing at an early age and later discovered kitesurfing. In 2001 Bertrand’s professional kitesurfing career began when he moved to Maui, Hawaii, where he developed his powered wake and wave riding “signature style”. Ref: Betrand Fleuery Profile
Laird Hamilton. American big-wave surfer, co-inventor of tow-in surfing, based in both Maui, Hawaii and Malibu, California. In 1996 Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin were instrumental in demonstrating and popularising kitesurfing off the Hawaiian coast of Maui. Ref: Laird Hamilton, Wikipedia
Manu Bertin. A pioneer of kitesurfing who began to develop the sport in the early 1990s and has worked with American big wave surfer Laird Hamilton. In 1996 Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin were instrumental in demonstrating and popularising kitesurfing off the Hawaiian coast of Maui. Ref: Manu Bertin, Wikipedia
Bruno Legaignoux. Kitesurfing pioneer and inventor of inflatable kites and the bow kite design. Ref: Bruno Legaignoux's message
Sebastien Cattelan. Born in France. Kitesurfing speed demon. The first person to break the elusive 50 knots mark by kitesurfing. Ref: Kitesurfing, Wikipedia
Alex Caizergues. Born in France. Kitesurfing speed demon and professional kitesurfer. Three times Kitesurfing World Speed Champion, Alex set a new World Speed Record for kitesurfing of 56.62 knots in November 2013. Ref: alexcaizergues.com
Alex Caizergues. Photo by Marie Desandre Navarre
Rob Douglas of the United States. Eight times American speed sailing record holder. As at September 2011, the fastest sailor in the world and the fastest kitesurfer in the world. He previously held the outright world speed sailing record of 55.65 knots (103km/h). Suggested by Tim Guzalak, US.
Ian Alldredge. Very accomplished wave rider who specialises in riding unstrapped and unhooked, along with getting big air in the surf. Ref: Ian Alldredge, Benwilsonsurf.com
Ryland Blakeney. Australian rider known for power, speed and surf style, usually unstrapped and unhooked. Ref: Ryland Blakeney , Benwilsonsurf.com
Andre Phillip. Born in Antigua, Phillip burst onto the scene in 2003 with top finishes on the pro kiteboard tour. Andre is at the forefront of the new school of kiteboarding and specialises in wakestyle, including rails, sliders, and kickers, throwing as much style into his riding as technical ability. He has been featured in numerous kiting magazines and videos worldwide. Ref: Andre Phillip
Susi Mai. Born in Germany. Placed second in her first PKRA competition. A professional kitesurfer who is dedicated to the sport. Ref: susimai.com
Susi Mai. Source
Andy Yates. Born in Australia on the Sunshine Coast. Moved from surfing to kiteboarding, focusing on freestyle and very quickly progressing to competing in the Australian nationals. Andy joined the PKRA in 2008 got into the top 5 in 2009 and became World Champion in 2010. Ref: Andy Yates, prokitetour.com
Youri Zoon. Born in the Netherlands. Started windsurfing and moved into kiteboarding. Powerful and technical riding style. Ref: yourizoon.com
Keahi De Aboitiz. A rising waterman specialising in strapless kitesurfing in big waves. Winner of Australian Wave Kitesurfing nationals in 2011 and the Lanzarote PKRA Wave event in 2011. Ref: keahideaboitiz.com
Keahi De Aboitiz Photos: Robbie Webb (L)
Toby Bromwich PKRA (R)
Keahi De Aboitiz video: - Wave sessions, Hawaii
Keahi Cloud Break Clip Kite Surfing from Robert Pirie on Vimeo
Lou Wainman. A great passion for and commitment to kiteboarding. Known as a wildman of the sport. Co-founder and designer of Wainman Hawaii. Lou pioneered wakestyle kitesurfing.
Robby Naish. A world champion windsurfer, Naish has also been kiteboarding since 1999 and is well known for his freestyle riding. Founder of Naish boarding, a company that designs and makes kitesurfing and other equipment. Ref: Naishkites.com
Robby Naish kitesurfing. Source
Kristin Boese. Born in Potsdam, East Germany. In 1998 she started both windsurfing and mountain-biking and worked as a windsurf instructor before moving to kitesurfing in 2002. From 2005 to 2009 Boese has won ten World Championships, including overall World Champion in 2007. Ref: kristinboese.com
Larry Page. Co-founder of Google, Larry is a keen kitesurfer. Seen here kitesurfing in cold weather gear in chilly Alaska.
Sir Richard Branson. Chairman of Virgin Group. Richard cites Kitesurfing as one of his favourite sports. Never one to do things by halves, he recently attempted to kitesurf across the English channel for his 60th Birthday. Without the girl on his back of course. The trick pictured below can be performed by having 1 trillion pounds, your own island and some hot babes hanging around. See also: Life begins at 60! Kitesurfing off Necker (Richard's Blog)
Ewan Jaspan. Ewan started kiting in September 2007. Competing at the Elliot Heads nationals in 2008 he came 9th and won the up and comer award. He is sponsored by Naish and Kite Republic. Ewan came 2nd in the 2009 Australian freestyle national titles and won the 2009/2010 freestyle victorian titles for men and juniors.
Kai Lenny is a big wave surfer, stand-up paddle (SUP) surfer and racer, surfer, tow-in surfer, windsurfer, kitesurfer and celebrity watersports enthusiast.
Mitu Monteiro is a Cape Verdean kitesurfer who specialises in wave riding.
Are you an experienced kitesurfer? We would love to get your feedback on this handbook and your top tips here