Kiteboarders and windsurfers off the Pelješac Peninsula, Croatia
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Add wind, combine with water, and you'll get.... Kiteboarding and windsurfing in Croatia
Of the many ways people have invented to ride boards of one kind or another, the sport of kiteboarding (aka 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 kiteboarders often share play space, as they are doing here off the Pelješac Peninsula in Croatia. They can count on a stiff afternoon breeze to fill their sails in the summer months, when the land heats up and draws in the cool air over the Adriatic.
People began experimenting with kiteboarding in the late 1970s, and with key technical innovations in the '90s, the sport began gaining popularity. Many windsurfers were drawn to kiteboarding because the detached sail—in this case the kite—gave the kiteboarders more freedom to maneuver. The kite is inflated, giving it structure and the ability to float should it land on the water. In a sign that the relatively new sport has entered the mainstream, kiteboarding will make its Summer Olympic debut at the Paris 2024 Games as one of 10 sailing events.