The evolution of strapless kitesurfing

June 19, 2017 | Kiteboarding
One Eye, Mauritius: strapless kitesurfing was born here | Photo: KSP

In 2006, the Mauritius Kitesurf International Competition opened the way to a new discipline in kiteboarding.

The event got underway at One Eye, the legendary reef break located at Le Morne, and the invitees were blessed by a perfect grand swell. They went out with their kites and surfboards and... got barreled.

In the next decade, Airton Cozzolino, Keahi de Aboitiz, Matchu Lopes, Patri McLaughlin, and Sebastian Ribeiro pushed the new discipline forward and opened a new chapter for kiteboarding.

"When I see the likes of Keahi, Sebastian, Matchu, and Airton - the crew - they brought so much to the sport. They actually created a sport," notes Jaime Herraiz.

"Back in the day, in 2006, we were trying to emulate surfing, and these guys have picked up what we had and created a full sport."

Until 2008, riders couldn't get vertical when attacking the wave's lip, but with the progression of gear, they rapidly started doing more radical turns.

"I saw some old videos of Sky Solbach, Jaime, and Drew Beavis, back in the day riding at One Eye with straps. But I think 2011 was really the first year that people came and started pushing it," notes McLaughlin.

So, when the 2011 KSP World Tour stopped in Mauritius for the One Eye Pro, straps were abandoned for the first time, and riders competed with waxed surfboards under their feet in double overhead conditions.

By 2012, strapless riding had become a standard in wave competitions. The documentary "The Evolution of Strapless Kitesurfing," by North, reveals the details behind the sport's revolution.

Do you feel the need to go strapless? Learn how.