Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kitesurfing in the Olympic Games, but windsurfing is dropped

Kitesurfing has been announced as an official sport for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.  This decision was  made by the International Sailing Federation.

Kitesurfing at the Olympics will boost kitesurfing's profile worldwide and could see the sport become more "mainstream".

However, windsurfing has been dropped, apparently in favour of kitesurfing.  I don't agree with this.  Windsurfing has a long heritage and is a well established water sport. I think it should have been retained in the Olympics.

In addition, the vast majority of kitesurfing worldwide is either freestyle/freeride/wakestyle on twin tip boards or wave riding on surfboards.  The Olympic event will be course racing on race boards - a discipline that relatively few kitesurfers currently do - even at competitions.

It will be interesting to see how this goes.  A sudden surge in popularity for kitesurfing could put a lot of pressure on locations that are already becoming crowded, and beginners who don't take lessons will put themselves and others at serious risk.

I hope that the Olympic kitesurfing events go well and that this contributes to kitesurfing's acceptance as the safe and fun sport that it is.

I offer my commiserations to windsurfers, including some buddies.


1 comment:

inMotion Kitesurfing said...

Hey Peter,

Thanks for the mention and the link! We appreciate the support.

BTW: We feel bad for the windsurfers as well...