The use of kites to propel an object across land or water was first pioneered as early as the 1800s. This was mainly as alternatives were being looked at as a result of some countries issued a tax on transportation by means of horses. Various successes were achieved, including a crossing of the English Channel in a kite-powered small canvas boat. It was in 1977 that the first patent for Kitesurfing was established. The patent covered a person standing on a floating board that could also resemble a surfboard, while being powered by a type of parachute attached to a harness around the waist.
It was in 1999 that kitesurfing became a mainstream sport with windsurfing and surfing playing a major part in the design of the kiteboard to a single directional board. In 2001 a new style of board was designed that suited flat water riders more. It had a tip on either end making it bi-directional. In 2012 kitesurfing replaced windsurfing as an Olympic Sport that related specifically to the 2016 Rio Olympics, but the decision was overturned after a vote by the General Assembly of ISAF. The sport was included in the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics held in Buenos Aires and it would appear to be only a matter of time before it is included as an official Olympic Sport.
The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) manages five classes of Kiteboarding. These are Formula Kite, Kitefoil, Open, Twintip:Racing, and Twintip:Freestyle. IKA is responsible for continually the sport as new technology improves the equipment. They are also responsible for promoting the sport worldwide. Their headquarters are based in Montreux, Switzerland.