Two male kitesurfers playing with a kitesurf app by KANARA kitesurfing

Building the Best Kitesurf App Part 1: Wind, Waves, and Wires

As kitesurfing and related water sports increase in popularity, new technologies are being adapted to improve the way we connect and compete. KANARA is collaborating with and featuring veteran developers in the quest for the ultimate kitesurf app.

Water Sports: A Legacy of Adrenaline and Innovation

One of the things that fascinate me about kitesurfing and kiteboarding, like many other water sports, is the impressive tech and inventiveness that has allowed the discipline to achieve the level of success we see today.

In fact, pioneers in kiteboarding were and continue to be inventive, creative and possess the necessary recklessness that inspires man to take flight. 

The experimentation, research and development of new designs, materials, safety mechanisms and more have made kitesurfing more accessible and dynamic. What was once a notoriously dangerous sport has evolved to the level that kiteboarding discipline kite foil racing will debut at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

As the stakes of the sport get higher, so too does the accuracy of the tech to track, measure and analyze performance- leading to the advent of the kitesurf app.

The next generation of kitesurf apps and gear

In recent years, the next set of riders and fans have started to play with new technologies, applying them to the sport. There have been a few kitesurf apps that have been developed across different platforms, for different purposes. Some kitesurf apps are social apps that enable kiters to meet, communicate, and date, while location, tide, weather, wind, and forecast apps keep us in the know.

Other developers have focused their attention on helping serious kiters and water sports athletes to track and measure their sessions and help improve their kitesurf skills. With specialized hardware from Woo Sports or PIQ, freestyle and strapless kitesurfers can measure their jumps and show off their skills.

Increasingly, professional kitesurfers have been using smartwatches , devices and compatible kitesurf apps to better measure and track their performance on the water. Over time, the accuracy has increased, particularly as GPS and navigation beasts like Garmin and Suunto have entered the game. It is expected that with determined trial, error, and user feedback, the manner of training and competing will transform.

Developing the Ultimate Kitesurf App: Collaboration

When developing KANARA, one of our early priorities was accessibility and compatibility. As we were first able to successfully integrate Garmin Connect, we began to look at how to test compatibility. Luckily, we were recently able to connect with those like Jean-Michel Gruber who embody the same daring and creativity earlier innovators had.

At the age of 14, Jean-Michel started windsurfing, in many ways the precursor to kitesurf. He was able to grow up within and experience the great beginnings of the sport, following all the technical developments to date. The sport today, he says, has little to do with the windsurfing of the 80s.

Two and half years ago, the experienced developer and classical composer decided to combine his passions and find a way to provide riders with the accurate metrics and statistics necessary to monitor the evolution of their athletic practice. This led to the development of several Garmin apps for not just windsurfing, but kitesurfing, surfing, SUP, wakeboarding, skiing, snowboarding… you name it.

We were floored by the metrics that his app is able to provide the users of Garmin Fenix and other compatible models. The app is able to collect in terms of wind speed, direction, jump altitude, distance covered, race start and stop limits, and so much more. And apparently, so have thousands of other riders.

Added Value: Promoting Sportsmanship and Stewardship

When we started to develop KANARA, our initial goal was to bring value to the sport and enhance sportsmanship and stewardship. Our platform is built for Android and iOS and is currently compatible with Garmin and Suunto devices and apps, with more integrations planned to ensure as many kitesurf and water sports lovers can get involved in the fun.

Since we started this journey earlier this year, we have been working with awesome riders and partners to develop and improve the platform for the community, and beyond. The KANARA Kitesurfing app is available for free Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Make sure to read the Documentation to understand how it works!

Do not have Garmin Connect or Suunto? No worries! We are just getting started and we will be integrating more devices and apps in the future, so make sure to subscribe and follow us on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and start taking advantage of community benefits.


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