Kitesurfers and windsurfers near the Pelješac Peninsula, Croatia
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Close to the wind. Kitesurfing and windsurfing in Croatia
Of the many ways people have invented to ride boards of one kind or another, the sport of kiteboarding or kitesurfing is one of the newest. It owes a debt to all the board sports that came before it, borrowing a little bit from snowboarding, water skiing, wakeboarding and, of course, windsurfing. Like snowboarders and skiers, windsurfers and kitesurfers often share playspace, as they are doing here, off the Peljesac Peninsula in southern Croatia. Here you can count on a stiff afternoon breeze in the summer months, when the land heats up and draws in the cool ocean air of the Adriatic.
Kiteboarding evolved in the 1990s. By separating the sail - in this case the kite - from the board, kitesurfers gained more freedom to manoeuvre. The kites are inflated, giving them structure and floatability, should they land on the water. Kiteboards which are designed to surf waves are pointed at one end; boards meant to ride over flat water are shaped the same at both ends.