Kite Surfing Statistics & Overview Trends

Carla Vianna
Carla Vianna
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Kite Surfing Statistics & Overview Trends

Roughly 1.5 million. That’s how many kitesurfers there are worldwide in this ever-growing industry. It’s challenging, exhilarating, and powerful.

Aside from the massive number of enthusiasts, there has also been a tremendous increase in popularity around the world for this watersport. You’ve probably seen an incredible upswing in kitesurfing businesses in your city if you live near a windy body of water.

It’s become so popular that the overview trends become worth noting. Let’s take a look at the general trends within the kitesurfing industry and the projection of growth in the following years.

General Kite Surfing Overview Trends

  • In the early days of kitesurfing, most safety features on the equipment hadn’t yet been refined, and the sport consisted of mostly younger athletes looking for extreme sports. Since then, kite surfing has witnessed remarkable growth over the years, with an increasing number of enthusiasts of all ages taking up the sport. In 2020 to 2021 alone, an estimated 189,000 people participated in kite surfing worldwide.
  • Some of the hot spots for wind-chasing junkies include the Dominican Republic, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, East Africa, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and Thailand.
  • The U.S. stands out as one of the main hotspots for kitesurfing due to its variety of kite surfing conditions and exciting cityscapes for every kitesurfer. Popular locations include Maui, Hawaii, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and South Padre Island, Texas.
  • Kite surfing attracts individuals across various age groups and backgrounds. From adrenaline junkies seeking a thrill to those embracing it as a leisure activity, the sport’s appeal transcends demographics.

Is Kite Surfing Increasing in Popularity?

Kite surfing’s popularity has been on the rise. The evidence is in the numbers, from the increasing number of participants each year to the industry’s market growth as a whole.

By the early 2000s, it had become one of the many mainstream watersports. Due to kitesurfing’s surge of participants, the watersport’s equipment industry has grown just as large on a global scale. In 2022, the kite market was valued at approximately 1.59 billion and is projected to reach 2.20 billion by 2023. This growth trend is indicative of the sport’s expanding appeal and accessibility.

Growing popular locations for kitesurfing include:

  • 1. Maui, Hawaii
  • 2. Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
  • 3. South Padre Island, Texas
  • 4. Hood River, Oregon
  • 5. Miami, Florida

These are big time destinations that offer ideal wind conditions and picturesque landscapes, attracting kite surfers from around the globe.

Which is Riskier: Parasailing, Surfing, or Kitesurfing?

While any sport is risky, assessing the relative risks of kitesurfing, parasailing, and surfing involves considering various factors such as equipment safety, environmental conditions, and individual skill levels.

  • Parasailing is more of a guided recreational activity where you are gliding high up above the water, while strapped in a harness, pulled by a parachute-like canopy that is attached to a boat. The boat moves at a speed relative to the height at which the parachute glides. When the boat slows, the parachute lowers into a soft landing in the water. Parasailing accidents are relatively rare: Between three and five million people enjoy parasailing each year, and over the past 30 years, the Parasail Safety Council estimates a total of 1,800 injuries and fatalities. That’s about 60 parasailing accidents per year.
  • Surfing is a popular sport that involves riding waves with the goal of staying balanced while standing on a longboard. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, surfers sustain 6.6 injuries per every 1,000 surf sessions.
  • Kitesurfing is almost a combination of parasailing and surfing, fusing an aspect of each sport to create an exciting experience for adrenaline junkies. It is quite a technical water sport and requires skill. There are about 7 injuries per 1,000 hours of kitesurfing activity.

While all three activities entail inherent risks, kite surfing is often perceived as more challenging due to its reliance on wind power and specialized equipment.

How Many Kite Surfing Companies Exist in 2023?

The kite surfing industry has witnessed steady growth, reflected in the increasing number of companies catering to enthusiasts.

While the research out there doesn’t have a specific answer for the number of kitesurfing companies that existed in 2023, the kite surfing equipment market reached $909 million. 

That means companies have grown globally, showcasing a notable expansion compared to previous years. This growth trend underscores the rising demand for kitesurfing experiences and services.

These figures illustrate the concentration of kite surfing businesses in key coastal regions with favorable wind and water conditions.

What Do You Need to Do Before Starting a Kite Surfing Business

Launching a successful kite surfing business requires careful planning and execution. The industry’s growth potential has only grown over the years and is projected to continue on the path of success. Aside from being a fun and exciting business venture, the kitesurfing industry has proven to have a sustainable business model and a track record of increasing interest in outdoor activities.

Before diving into the business, there are critical steps to consider, like researching the market, legalities, equipment, certifications, and more. If you are an entrepreneur looking for a blueprint to launch your business, we’ve got you covered:

  1. Market Research: Your priority when starting a kitesurfing business would be to understand the kitesurfing industry as a whole and analyze the local market in the area you plan to launch. By understanding your target audience, competition, and industry trends, you identify as many opportunities and challenges. 
  2. Legal Compliance: It is extremely important that you obtain the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance to operate legally and protect your business. In some cases, it’s necessary to register your kitesurfing equipment annually to obtain a permit, as well as kite organization certificates.
  3. Business Plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your goals, marketing strategies, and financial projections. Constructing a thorough business structure is crucial for future decision-making and potential investors.
  4. Equipment Procurement: Invest in high-quality kite surfing gear and safety equipment to ensure a positive customer experience. This includes kites, boards, harnesses, wetsuits, control bars, and helmets, to name only a few. Consider the vast list of sporting equipment and safety tools when finalizing your budget for materials.
  5. Training and Certification: Obtain relevant certifications and training to enhance safety standards and build credibility. This can only further prove the validity of your business, training, and the safety of your customers.
  6. Marketing and Promotion: Before starting your business marketing, it’s critical that your business is branded with a memorable look and name. This includes choosing a unique and catchy tagline, designing a memorable logo, and deciding on a unique name for your business. After you’ve set your brand guidelines, utilize digital marketing, social media, and partnerships to promote your services, attract customers and create a strong online presence.

For a more detailed guide on starting a tour company from the ground up, refer to this comprehensive DIY guide.

How Many Injuries Occur While Kite Surfing?

While kitesurfing offers exhilarating experiences, it’s essential to acknowledge the associated risks and prioritize safety measures. Understanding common causes of accidents and implementing preventive measures can mitigate the occurrence of injuries.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Kite Surfing Accidents?

Common causes of kite surfing accidents include:

  1. Equipment failure: Malfunctioning gear or improper setup can lead to accidents.
  2. Collisions: Collisions with other kite surfers, obstacles, or marine wildlife pose risks.
  3. Inexperienced riders: Lack of proper training and experience increases the likelihood of accidents.
  4. Adverse weather conditions: High winds, strong currents, and unpredictable weather can contribute to accidents.
  5. Poor judgment: Ignoring safety guidelines or pushing beyond one’s skill level can result in accidents.

How to Keep Guests Safe

Ensuring guest safety is paramount for kite-surfing businesses. Implement the following measures:

  1. Comprehensive Training: Provide thorough instruction on kite surfing techniques, safety protocols, and emergency procedures.
  2. Supervised Sessions: Monitor guests closely during kite surfing sessions and intervene if safety concerns arise.
  3. Quality Equipment: Invest in reliable gear and conduct regular maintenance checks to prevent equipment failures.
  4. Weather Monitoring: Stay informed about weather forecasts and avoid operating in adverse conditions.
  5. Emergency Preparedness: Equip staff with first aid kits, communication devices, and knowledge of rescue techniques.

What to Do If Someone Gets Injured in Your Business

In the event of an injury, take prompt action:

  1. Evaluate the severity of the injury and provide immediate assistance.
  2. Administer first aid treatment based on the nature of the injury and seek medical attention if necessary.
  3. Record details of the incident, including witnesses’ statements and any relevant information.
  4. Report the incident to relevant authorities and cooperate with investigations.
  5. Follow up with the injured individual to ensure they receive proper care and support.

How to Avoid Being Sued If Someone Gets Injured

A kite surfing business can mitigate its legal risks by:

  • Implementing Waivers: Require all guests to sign liability waivers acknowledging the risks associated with kite surfing.
  • Maintaining Safety Standards: Adhere to industry regulations, conduct regular safety inspections, and prioritize guest safety.
  • Insurance Coverage: Obtain comprehensive liability insurance coverage to protect your business from potential lawsuits.
  • Transparent Communication: Clearly communicate safety guidelines, risks, and expectations to guests to mitigate misunderstandings.
  • Legal Counsel: Consult with legal professionals to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

For more information on liability waivers and risk management strategies, refer to Xola’s comprehensive guide.


As the kite surfing industry continues to thrive, it is clear that the success is driven by 

increasing interest in outdoor sports, ever expanding business opportunities worldwide, and a growing emphasis on safety and professionalism. By understanding kitesurfing industry trends, prioritizing safety measures, and adopting best practices, businesses can capitalize on the sport’s popularity while ensuring memorable and secure experiences for thrill seekers.


Writer Carla Vianna

Carla Vianna

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