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To my knowledge, the runner-up world champion in paragliding 1987, Andrea Kuhn, was the first kitesurfer in the world. In the 1970s he already knew how to do a water launch with a windsurfing board and a Skywing. Later on he even took off from Corvatsch Glacier to touch down on Lake Sils after a spectacular flight and glide across the lake as a kitesurfer. Check out the pictures and the award-winning film "Andrea". Dieter Strasilla already practiced the "bodydrag" and water jumps back then; in his patents he decribed the kite with long tethers and remote control.

S. patent 2619951, registered on May 6th, 1976:
Device to drive forward a human body with the help of wind power
Excerpt: "Fig 4. schematically illustrates how pulling chute 1 can be remote controlled in a way by extending the steering tethers; this is especially interesting when the chute is supposed to be kept in a fixed position higher up in the air on a steep slope."

Dieter and Udo Strasilla already walked on, jumped across and flew above the water; unlike modern kitesurfing, the pilot was not hooked in at the end of the long tethers, but directly attached to the kite or the Skywing.

D. Strasilla, body surf across Lake Silz

D. Strasilla, "strolling" on Lake Silz

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D. Strasilla, kitesailing on the Mediterranean

D. Strasilla, kiting above Lake Silvaplana

D. Strasilla, kiting above Lake Como

D. Strasilla, kitesailling above Lake Silvaplana

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                                                    Andrea, kitesurfing on Lake Silz

Andrea, kitesurfing on Lake Silz

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