WINDSURF AND KITESURF

WINDSURF AND KITESURF TODAY

Viganj today has become a favorite meeting spot for wind and kitesurfers from all over Europe and world. Sea channel between Pelješac and Korčula and the wind that blows in it provides ideal conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Such conditions are due to his position at the narrowest part of Pelješac channel due which when the wind blows gets multiple acceleration.Viganj today has become a favorite meeting spot for wind and kitesurferS. In the summer, mistral(northwest) is blowing and this wind is the best for enjoyments in this sports, his virtue is a constancy and a small wave, which enables the achievement of adrenaline speed!

Mistral usually starts around 12am and lifts up, at the right speed from 02pm to 08pm, the average strength reaches 5 beauforts, and if you are happy, up to 8!

All this enables ideals conditions for various competitions, it should be pointed out 1989 when the World Cup took place and 1990g. European Championship, in addition Viganj traditionally hosts the Open Championship of Croatia and Croatian Cup in windsurfing.

In the summer there are several schools for wind and kitesurf, and which also rents equipment.

Morning is ideal for first steps due to light breeze, and the channel appears like a lake and gives a feeling of safety for beginners and children.

In the last several years expansion of kitesurfing and theirs arivall in greater numbers are forming along with windsurfers spectacular pictures in the channel.

What is unknown fact to majority of peaople Viganj has conditions to surf all year round, the temperature of sea does not fall below 15 degrees, and has plenty of wind, southern winds take control of the channel, with the average strenght of 5 to 6 beauforts to lay up to 8 and more.

Sometimes in the winter blows tremuntana, which by its characteristics is similar to mistral, and of course bura (off shore wind) which is for bravest of all.

All of this indicates the great potential of Viganj, not only in Croatian terms, but also beyond.

Congratulations on your choice!

HISTORY OF WINDSURFING

Every time Jim Drake goes windsurfing, he re-writes the history. The reason is simple. No one, anywhere, has been windsurfing longer than Jim Drake.

The very first thoughts and ideas of the original Windsurfer actually relates back to the early 60’s, when Jim Drake discussed the concepts of wind powered water skis and surfboards with his good friend Fred Payne. However, the thought at time was to use kites rather than conventional rigs. Still, nothing really happened until several years later, when Jim Drake and Hoyle Schweitzer got together and actually built a board in Jim’s house in California. It was January 1967, but details such as centerboard, fin and the actual universal joint were not even close to finalization. In fact, Drake was still trying to figure out how the sail could be mounted and the board could be controlled. It was months later during one of Drake’s commuting drives to his work place at the Norton Air force base in Southern California that he clicked on the idea of a moveable sail.

Jim Drake took his family and the new contraption he called “The Skate” to the beach on May 23rd 1967. No one on that beach could have known that the grey haired gentleman they had watched rigging was about to make history.

Though credit must be given to Drake for the invention of the sport, it was really Hoyle and Diana Schweitzer who gave life to the new sport of windsurfing. Their vision, energy and passion remains one of the most underrated achievements of our times.

HISTORY OF KITESURFING

Kitesurf is a comparatively new sport, but the idea of using a kite for propulsion purposes has been around for centuries. The Chinese, in the 13th century, experimented with harnessing kite-power. Kite-power, controlled with an innovative 4-line control system, was used by George Pocock in the 1800 as an alternative to horsepower to power carts and boats. The first long-range kite-powered venture across the English Channel, was successfully attempted by Samuel Cody in 1903. Fast forward to 1978, when Ian Day demonstrated that a kite-powered catamaran could go faster than 40 kms per hour. During the 1980, some adventurous souls had a go at speeding up skating, skiing and canoing with the help of kites.

But kitesurfing did not come into its own as a sport until the France Legaignoux brothers, Bruno and Dominique, and the father-son duo from USA, Bill and Corey Roeseler separately developed specific and inflatable kite designs for that very purpose. Kite and kitesurf designs continued to be improved and the sport turned mainstream.

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