12. Gender Equalization: Kiteboarding started out as a male dominated sport as so many other extreme sports have in the past. Until the advent of the Bow / SLE kites kiting was generally difficult to master. Recent kites and lesson techniques have made the kiting less muscle and more finesse. From my observations, women are not only taking more lessons but are also making there presence known on the water.
11. Kiteboarding Families: Father and son, husband and wife; brothers, sisters, mom's and dad's all taking lessons together, traveling together and moreover riding together. Simular to going on a snowboard or ski vacation, more families are making their plans around the windy spots.
10. Kite Kiddies: As with families, dad wants to see junior riding. As teaching techniques improve, more and more kids are making and appearance in the water. Safety, always a number one concern, kids equipment will be modified for their smaller frames.
9. Safety: Safety is the ever evolving process that keeps the sport more user friendly. Better quick releases, universal color coding, and kite depower modifications are leading the way to a safer operation.
8. Cost: The reality is, kites are cheap. Most manufactured in Asia, for pennies on the dollar. Kites are getting cheaper to manufacture, and that cost savings will be passed on the consumer. On the other hand, in the next couple of years there are going to be the release of the first super high-end kite. Made from super materials.
7. Materials: There will always be ripstop nylon. But, kites may follow the trends of sailboat and windsurfer sails. Mylar, cubin, aramid for the sails, and better spectra and dyneema for the lines. Board construction, runs the gamut from pvc all the way to snowboard style sandwich construction. On the other hand, few companies have jumped aboard the green wave that is beginning to take root in the surfing industry. Bamboo and hemp on one end and all recycled materials rounding it out.
6. Progression: In the past couple of years, a new generation of tricks have found there way to water. Gone are the days, of one footers and dead man's. Sliders, mega moves and multiple tricks are becoming common place due to combination of snowboard and wakeboarding. Surf style continues to gain ground and more spots are being kitesurfed.
5. Kiteboarding Space: On one hand, more and more kitespots are in jeopardy due to litigation, user competition and environmental impact. Yet, many more spots open up each year. Similarly, kiters are welcomed as an economic boost to many communities. In the future, some areas will be closed, while a new trend of more kiteboarding parks will arise (Real Kiteboarding) You'll pay for full amenities, patrol, lessons, exclusive features (sliders, kickers, etc.) Also, destination kiteboarding spots, like Tavarua in the surf world, are ready to be found. Luxury meets isolation.
4. Micro Forecasting; This the trend that most interests me. Anyone can open a computer, go to ten thousand different forecasts, weather reports, and make a decent prediction. My trend is a live daily report right from the beach. With, new cell technology, I am going to do a daily report telling you first hand how it is. If you browse kitebeach cam like I do, you'll notice 90% of the action is not focused on the beach or the water … it's following people on the beach … creepy!
3. The Great Divide: This trend follows many different directions. Boots to wakestyle, strapless to strapped, twin-tip to mutant. Each of these are getting farther apart with more "specialists". Yet, the generalist seems to have the most fun when they can do them all.
2. Mass Media: Kiteboarding is going to be in the X-games or some other extreme sports event soon. Kiteboarding is very spectator friendly and is a couple years away from being a media darling.
1. Olympics: Kiteboard racing will be in the 2016 Olympics! Most likely as a trial sport, there is a great chance this will come true. It is slowly gaining recognition from the sailing community and the rest of the world.
Maui Kitebeach Report
Monday, December 7, 2009
12 Future Trends in Kiteboarding