A short history of North Kiteboarding

Back in 2001, North followed a trend that was just a rumour, and turned their brand into one of two industry super-powers that dominate the sport. How did they get there? Great kites, a strong team and brilliant design. That’s the super-short version anyway…

North released a short promo clip this week highlighting the strengths of their brand;
“Our brand believes that you can’t put a price on imagination and creativity. We rely on our team and their ability to think outside the box. Combining premium quality with fresh perspectives, we’re able to bring new concepts to life. We don’t recreate, but pride ourselves on being the creators and innovators.”

Through all the slowmo shots and movie-trailer style voiceover, we got to thinking about where North Kiteboarding came from in the beginning, way back when they were just a company making sails for yachts.

The year was 1957, and Lowell North put a brand name on his first sail, made for a friend after a conversation at the bar. He didn’t know much about sails, and even he’ll admit, his first one wasn’t very good. Using the latest technology he became a world champion, and grew North Sails to become the largest manufacturing company in the world.

Windsurfing came about, and of course North Sails immediately developed some of the fastest and best performing wave sails in the sport through the 80’s and 90’s, when kiteboarding was still just an idea. But that’s where the connection ends. As North Sails was purchased by parent company Boards and More in 2000, North Kiteboarding was sold off before it really began. Keeping the name, but growing as a completely different business, the North Kiteboarding brand has grown to be just as successful as the North Sails brand in their respective sports, through a similar philosophy and willingness to embrace technology.

From the Rhino, to the Rebel, to the Dice and now the Ace. North Kiteboarding continue to deliver industry leading kite, board and accessory technology to kiteboarders world wide.


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