Use the power of a kite to glide over the water. This was the relatively simple idea of the Legaignoux brothers when, in the 1980s, these two men from Brittany—who were passionate about sailing—decided to create an inflatable kite. From the first drawings to commercial success, including numerous tests, prototypes and patents, they revolutionized how people kitesurfed. With contributions from the great names in water sports—Laird Hamilton, Mike Waltze, Laurent Ness, Don Montague, Franz Olry, Pete Cabrinha, Rob Douglas, Nicolas Parlier, Christophe Martin, Leif Leriche—this book tells the extraordinary story of the birth of a sport: kitesurfing.
Born in 1960 in Britany, France, Bruno Legaignoux began sailing at age 10 and became a French junior sailing champion at 18 along with his brother, Dominique. He then mainly worked as a sailing instructor, though he was an avid windsurfer. It was at age 23, while on a boat trip in an old catamaran with his future wife, that the idea to use a kite for sailing emerged. After discussing the idea with Dominique, six months later, they applied for their first patent for the inflatable C-kite.
After working on this project for 13 years, kitesurfing was officially born in 1997 with the creation of their brand Wipika.
Since then, Bruno has pushed to develop the sport, leading kite design for over 10 years, co-patenting over 10 inventions, including the 4-line setup for inflatable kites in 1997 and the bow kite in 2004. Although “retired” since 50, Bruno still invents while kitefoiling and paragliding. Visit his website at www.brunoinventions.com.
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