Kite History and Development: C, Bow, Delta, Foil Kites

Due to the development of today`s modern kites, the sport has become both safer and easier, and therefore
accessible to a broad range of people. The courageous extreme sports athletes of the first days have shared great
contributions to get to this point. Thank you!

Let us see the different types of Kites


kite with fixed tubes


Has is origin in paraglidng and landboarding.

  • Definition: A two layered canopy creates air chambers; flat profile; a lot of bridles.
  • Special characteristics: Due to its special construction it can be powered/depowered very efficiently. The kite can be landed without helper. Special relaunch techniques. Has the biggest projected area/power of all kites; smallest pack size; durable; costly, as lots of different parts.
  • Safety: Through the front line, or special 5th line. Open cells and older models often use a backstall safety, shortening the backlines by l metre and thereby landing the kite on its trailing edge. Relaunches very well, disadvantage: slight rest pull
  • Target group: Mainly for snowkiting and landboarding. Freeriders.

TUBE KITES (kite with inflatable tubes)

When we talk about kites nowadays we are mostly talking about tube kites.

ln the mid 1980s the first 2-line tube kites were built consisting of a frame of inflatable sockets (tubes).

C-KITE (C= C-like kite shape)

Around 2001 the 2-line kites were improved and replaced by depowerable 4-line bar systems. The kite’s angle of attack could be altered and the_kite’s power became adjustable. However, the depower potential was still very small and the relaunch required special techniques. Compared to today, safety systems back then were still in their infancy. lt took until 2005 when the
invention of the Sth line greatly improved these issues.

  • Definition: Strong curve in the front tube (C-shape), long tips.
  • Special characteristics: Direct steering. Due to its small projected area, active steering is required. Small but very direct depower area, therefore limited wind range. Special relaunch techniques.
  • Safety: Release via Sth line – precise, powerless release.
  • Downside: 5th line can wrap around the kite and limit the safety function.
  • Target group: Advanced, competition, freestyle (loaded jumps).

BOW KITE (Bow = bow shape acc. to Legaignoux’s patent)

A generation of bow shaped kites with a flatter shape followed. The power generating area was larger, however they needed extra lines for stabilisation (bridles). This influenced the kite’s characteristics and  steering became less direct. In addition, the relaunch became a lot easier due to its shape and safety systems took a huge leap forward.

  • Definition: Flat profile, front tube with bridles narrowing towards the back, concave trailing edge.
  • Special characteristics: Using bridles and pulleys to extend depower/power range. Angle of attack can be higher without the kite stalling.
    Very easy (auto)relaunch. Softer, rather indirect feeling.
  • Safety: High depower potential simply by letting go of the bar. Released, the kite will lay on its front tube on the water.
  • Downside: Kite might invert and limit the safety function.
  • Target group: Cruiser, freerider, airstyler, beginner


ln the year 2007 the next generation of kites was introduced with the Delta Kites, combining advantages of c and Bow kites.

  • Definition: Combination of C and Bow kite, combining their advantages. Laid out kite has D-shape.
  • Special characteristics: Angled shape, but less than a Bow kite. Short tips, short bridles for more direct feel. Huge depower potential, therefore good wind range. Auto-relaunch.
  • Safety: Depowering simply by letting go of the bar. When released, the kite will lay on its front tube on the water.
  • Downside: Kite might invert and limit safety function.
  • Target group: Freestyle/competition, cruiser, freerider, airstyler, beginner

Kite Size

Kites are manufactured from a very light but durable polyester in different sizes and models. Different sizes (5-20 square metres) are used depending
on wind speed, the rider’s weight and riding style.