How Kitesurfing Got Its Start
Published on April 10th, 2017
In 1984, two French brothers started a revolution in watersports. Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux “invented” kiteboarding from scratch. In less than three decades, the young outdoor activity became one of the fastest growing sports in the world and made fierce enemies in the sailing world.
Despite the initial safety concerns, the industry found solutions for critical problems, and kiteboarding became an exciting, highly competitive, fast and near-Olympic sport.
Today, Bruno is 56. He lives in Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic, since January 2000. Bruno is enjoying life – working on a new kite, writing a book, traveling, and spending time with his family.
Legaignoux never speaks of legacy and is not a man anchored in the past. Probably because he still has a lot to give to kiteboarding or, as he prefers, to “kitesurfing.”
“Kitesurf is more familiar to us Frenchies. Consequently, this is the word I generally use. If the question is: ‘Should the kite community choose kitesurf or kiteboard?’ then I have a small preference for kitesurf too,” notes Bruno Legaignoux.
“‘Board’ is rather oriented, according to my understanding, to the youth and the hardcore practice, similar to skateboard, and snowboard. ‘Surf’ may have a broader meaning and has a very good image now. Anyway, if a name had to be chosen, it should be voted by the national associations of our sport.”
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