I have been thinking about this a bit recently. I would like to hear some other opinions.
I think kiting should get into the Olympics, it could be a huge boost to bring it into the mainstream. To us kiters we can barely think about anything else, but, to the general public its still on the fringe, like weird hippies and mad people do it. Something that is confirmed by some jerks on some populated beaches, but the majority of us are actually quite normal.
Which international body is responsible for making the case? Surely the manufacturers all stand to gain, surely we all stand to gain more social acceptability?
What is the IKO's role in this, are they doing their job? Personally I reserve my opinion of them, having seen IKO instructor trained kiters who were a danger to themselves and others. Perhaps its just a money making org like PADI is in SCUBA diving.
What are the chances we will see our young stars on a podium bearing medals in un-sponsored competition?
With more exposure on kiting, kiting will no doubt draw in a bigger crowd. With more crowded beaches come more restrictions, regulations, and more bans in more areas. Some will argue that we will get more recognition, but honestly, I couldn't care less about the recognition. Let the football players have it
The thought of kiteboarding in the Olympics make me lose my will to live. Our beautiful lifestyle reduced to some stupid commercial scam is such a depressing thought. This especially applies to freestyle with all the judging and crap that is required.
On the other hand, foil racing looks great, has a huge weather window and as a race format is pretty cut and dried as to who won. It's also far more accessible to people compared to any other form of high performance boat racing. I quite like the idea of a guy on $5000 of equipment leaving a $1m yacht for dead.
if kiting gets into the olympics I suspect it will start as a 100cm wide race board straight out of 2001, and a one kite quiver some sort of tube kite from 2006, something like that. That's the kind of stuff they pulled for windsufers who have RS:X, 286 long board, 93 cm wide, 15.5 kg, total weight of RS:X is 19kg with a single sail, 9.5m. There you go. Sounds like fun? It's not. It's not fun to do. It's not fun to watch. It's slower than anything in the water today that ordinary windsurfers use, from large race boards to hydrofoils, it's slower than an ordinary windsurfer at slow speeds, slower at medium speeds and can't go out when it gets too windy. The entire reason for the olympics is that for windsurfing at least you have nations that build sailors by getting them started in these junior olympics things and are able to raise up a generation of sailors that love the water. I say, "Let them windsurf!" If they are at all smart they will quit windsurfing when they come of age and can afford their first kite. Other sailing classes are hit and miss, some are great some are dumb, such as the Finn, which is for large men that like to go slow it's a terrible class, there's the 470 which I actually do like quite a lot quite small dinghy, then there are the 49er and 49erFX, again which are nice, and the laser which is fun but they race their lasers in 2 or 3 knots and it's a torment to watch as the winner is whoever can pump his sail for the longest. I also like the Nacra 17 which is a beautiful foiling cat and last the already mentioned turd of a windsurfer the RS:X.
Once you get into the olympics it is like you are frozen in time. The Finn class mentioned above has been unchanged since 1952, the 470 since 1976, the 49er is relatively new first built in 2000.
If we get into the olympics be prepared to have a single 12 meter kite, a 100cm wide race board raced in 10 knot conditions on a standard olympic triangle. I would rather watch paint dry. I would rather eat paint. No olympics for kitesurfing thank you very much.
If you think they will allow modern foil kites and hydrofoils into the olympics you don't know what kind of people are at the ISAF. They hate that kind of stuff and will not allow it.
Leaving aside all the good points edt makes, why would we even want it as an Olympic sport?
The IOC is a piece of shit corrupt organization that (like FIFA) only cares about windfall for its sponsors and ever increasingly, chooses corrupt/totalitarian regimes in which to place events in order to avoid accountability. Ask the good people of Rio if they have seen any of the infrastructure promises made, come to fruition. Cleaning up of Rio’s beaches the bay, converting the Olympic village into housing etc. Nothing has been done because it was never going to happen in the first place. Don’t even get me started on Sochi or the McLaren doping report. 40 years (AT LEAST) of Olympic competition completely invalidated and recapitulated through proven systemic doping of athletes across all sport. I repeat, ALL SPORT.
If Lance Armstrong can test negative over 500 times (remember, he never actually tested positive for ANYTHING) and only be taken down by whistleblowers in his inner circle, then professional sport is broken. I love football and I love Olympic sport, but I’m done watching it. It’s just not credible anymore.
Remember the IKA is run by the ISAF and they are a bunch of old guys that go "I'll get you white whale! ARRR. Avast ye and let out the jib, full speed ahead we are the fastest thing in the water, my trusty 4 square barque [sees a kiteboarder zooming by with a hydrofoil board and foil kite doing 5x his speed]. You're banned. Arrrr." The IKA has no independent authority, they take their orders from ISAF. The youth olympics in 2018 is limited to olympic races with twin tips and tube kites where they do some sort of steeple jumps like horses. Now of course IKA runs awesome races with hydrofoil boards and foil kites but you can bet ISAF will not allow kiteboarders be the fastest class in the olympics. It will be tube kites and some stupid 100 cm race board one design if we get let in. We are not going to be allowed to choose what kind of sport is represented in the olympics. ISAF will decide for us. Do not support kiteboarding in the olympics. They will turn the most exciting sport in the world into the most boring sport.