Last updated

An early (1984) experimental kite rig being used to pull a boat. 1984. Premier test d'un C-kite par les freres Legaignoux sur une annexe de voilier.jpg
An early (1984) experimental kite rig being used to pull a boat.

Kiteboating or kite boating is the act of using a kite rig as a power source to propel a boat. Kiteboating is a type of surface water sport, but it also has transportation uses [1]



Kiteboating uses different types of gear from kitesurfing. Kites attached to boats can be larger than kites attached to a surfer. For long voyages, the kite rig must be more autonomously controlled. Due to the lifting power of kites, they are often used with hydrofoils. [2]

Points of sail (with a kite buggy) Buggy Winds.jpg
Points of sail (with a kite buggy)

Current kite rigs can be sailed within 50 degrees of the wind. [1] Placing turbines in the boat's hull can let the kite power generate electricity on board. [3]


Going back to 1800s, George Pocock used the kites in order to increase the size of propel carts that are found in land and boats.[ citation needed ] Sébastien Cattelan is the French kitesurfer was the first sailor who was able to break 50 knots, achieving 50.26 knots on 3 October 2008 at the Lüderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia. [4] Next, on 14 November 2009, Alex Caizergues achieved a speed of 50.98 knots in Namibia.


See also

Related Research Articles

Sailing Propulsion of a vehicle by wind power

Sailing employs the wind—acting on sails, wingsails or kites—to propel a craft on the surface of the water, on ice (iceboat) or on land over a chosen course, which is often part of a larger plan of navigation.


Kiteboarding or kitesurfing, is an extreme sport where the kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water, land, or snow. combines aspects of sailing, surfing, windsurfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding and paragliding. It is among the less expensive and the more convenient of the sailing sports.

Power kite

A power kite or traction kite is a large kite designed to provide significant pull to the user.

Kite types, kite mooring, and kite applications result in a wide variety of kite control systems. Contemporary manufacturers, kite athletes, kite pilots, scientists, and engineers are expanding the possibilities.

Proa Type of multihull sailboat

Proas are various types of multi-hull outrigger sailboats of the Austronesian peoples. The terms were used for native Austronesian ships in European records during the Colonial era indiscriminately, and thus can confusingly refer to the double-ended single-outrigger boats of Oceania, the double-outrigger boats of Island Southeast Asia, and sometimes ships with no outriggers or sails at all.

Speed sailing is the art of sailing a craft as fast as possible over a predetermined route, and having its overall or peak speed recorded and accredited by a regulatory body. The term usually refers to sailing on water, even though sailing on land and ice is progressively faster because of the lower friction involved. The World Sailing Speed Record Council is the body authorized by the International Sailing Federation to confirm speed records of sailing craft on water.

Rotor ship

A rotor ship is a type of ship designed to use the Magnus effect for propulsion. The ship is propelled, at least in part, by large powered vertical rotors, sometimes known as rotor sails. German engineer Anton Flettner was the first to build a ship that attempted to tap this force for propulsion, and ships using his type of rotor are sometimes known as Flettner ships.

Kite landboarding

Kite landboarding, also known as land kiteboarding or flyboarding, is based on the sport of kitesurfing, where a rider on a surf-style board is pulled over water by a kite. Kite landboarding involves the use of a mountain board or landboard, which is essentially an oversized skateboard with large pneumatic wheels and foot-straps. Kite landboarding is a growing sport, and there are several competitions. Kite landboarding is attracting growing publicity although it is not yet as popular or as well known as kitesurfing.

Sailing hydrofoil Sailboat with wing-like foils mounted under the hull

A sailing hydrofoil, hydrofoil sailboat, or hydrosail is a sailboat with wing-like foils mounted under the hull. As the craft increases its speed the hydrofoils lift the hull up and out of the water, greatly reducing wetted area, resulting in decreased drag and increased speed. A sailing hydrofoil can achieve speeds exceeding twice the wind speed.

Trailer sailer

A trailer sailer is a type of sailboat that has been designed to be easily transported using a road trailer towed by an automobile. They are generally larger than a sailing dinghy. Trailer sailers include day sailers and small cabin cruisers, suitable for living on.


SkySails GmbH & Co. KG is a Hamburg-based company that sells kite rigs to propel cargo ships, large yachts and fishing vessels by wind energy. Ships are pulled by an automatically-controlled foil kite of some hundreds of square meters. For multiple reasons, they give many times the thrust per unit area of conventional mast-mounted sails.

Wind-powered vehicle Vehicle propelled by wind

Wind-powered vehicles derive their power from sails, kites or rotors and ride on wheels—which may be linked to a wind-powered rotor—or runners. Whether powered by sail, kite or rotor, these vehicles share a common trait: As the vehicle increases in speed, the advancing airfoil encounters an increasing apparent wind at an angle of attack that is increasingly smaller. At the same time, such vehicles are subject to relatively low forward resistance, compared with traditional sailing craft. As a result, such vehicles are often capable of speeds exceeding that of the wind.

High-performance sailing

High-performance sailing is achieved with low forward surface resistance—encountered by catamarans, sailing hydrofoils, iceboats or land sailing craft—as the sailing craft obtains motive power with its sails or aerofoils at speeds that are often faster than the wind on both upwind and downwind points of sail. Faster-than-the-wind sailing means that the apparent wind angle experienced on the moving craft is always ahead of the sail. This has generated a new concept of sailing, called "apparent wind sailing", which entails a new skill set for its practitioners, including tacking on downwind points of sail.

International Kiteboarding Association

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA), is the only kiteboarding class inside the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). The IKA class rules fall in the category of a development class.

Robert "Rob" Douglas is an American professional sailor known for using a kiteboard in speed records attempts. In 2008 Douglas broke the world speed sailing record on a kiteboard, hitting a top speed of 49.84 knots. Douglas again became the holder of the speed record in October 2010 when he was clocked at 55.65 knots.

Sail Fabric or other surface supported by a mast to allow wind propulsion

A sail is a tensile structure—made from fabric or other membrane materials—that uses wind power to propel sailing craft, including sailing ships, sailboats, windsurfers, ice boats, and even sail-powered land vehicles. Sails may be made from a combination of woven materials—including canvas or polyester cloth, laminated membranes or bonded filaments—usually in a three- or four-sided shape.

Don Montague

Donald Lewis Montague is a Canadian-American watersport athlete and designer. He is President of Kai Concepts, co-founder of Makani Power, and the head of the Kiteboat Project in Alameda, California.

Kite rigs are wind-assisted propulsion systems for propelling a vehicle. They differ from conventional sails in that they are flown from kite control lines, not supported by masts.


  1. 1 2 Skysails, Captain John Konrad, Mariners Weather Log, April 2009, Volume 53, No. 1, National Weather Service
  2. The Kiteboat Project, interview of Don Montague by Paul Lang, The Kiteboarder, December 14, 2012.
  4. "New World Speed Record 50.26 knots". 4 October 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2017.