Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is an adventure surface water sport that has been described as combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a kiteboard (similar to a wakeboard). The terms kiteboarding and kitesurfing are interchangeable. There are a number of different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wakestyle, jumping and wave-riding which is focused on kitesurfing big waves using a directional board similar to a surfboard. A kitesurfer or kiteboarder uses a board with or without foot-straps or bindings, combined with the power of a large controllable kite to propel the rider and the board across the water. In 2011, the number of kitesurfers has been estimated at around 250,000. 114,465 inflatable kites were sold in 2006.
Contributions by Peter Campbell, 126.96.36.199, and Wtmitchell.