Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding is a surface water sport that uses the wind to pull a rider through 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 (most common and utilises standard kite and board) or wake-style (flatter water using board with bindings) and wave-riding which is focused on big waves using a board designed for wave riding.
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 2006, the number of kitesurfers has been estimated at around 150,000 to 210,000, with 114,465 inflatable kites sold that same year. Kitesurfing has become more popular than windsurfing as a watersport because it is easier to learn the basics and because it is much easier to transport the necessary equipment.
The sport is becoming safer due to innovations in kite design, safety release systems, and instructions. Riding styles have evolved to suit riders and conditions, such as wakestyle, waveriding, freestyle, freeride, jumping, and cruising.
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