A year or so ago, I listened in on a conversation between two notable kiters (who shall remain nameless because I probably won't get the quotes right). Speaking I think of dual line kites, one suggested that the older "stunt" description might apply best to diamonds (Trlby, Gayla, et al), and "sport" to "modern" delta (Rogallo wing derived?) designs.
FWIW - Larry
I've heard things similar to this myself but I'm going to take it a bit further and give my 2 cents.
Kiting has always been loosely tied to aviation in that it derives a lot of the principals and descriptions of design features from the same physics. WHen looking at airshow aviation you generally have 2 classes of pilots. Stunt pilots and sport aerobatic pilots. Stunt pilots (I.E. Patti Wagstaff) stick to basic manuvers such as loops, snap rolls, hammerhead stalls and figure eights. YOu can compare this to the diamonds and early deltas that were limited to these type of stunts and I think that is where the stunt kite name came from. I Remember an early kite add that touted something like "The ability to fly stunts like and air plane"
On the other side you have the sport aerobatic pilot (i.e. Sean Tucker) that add the more radical flip. tumble and stall style of flying (google Sean's "Tucker Upper" for a good example). THis is where the modern trick kite compares closest with all the different flip and roll up tricks we do with them.
Sport Aerobatic was derived from the class of plane used (sport aviation class) and the early term used to describe the type of flying (airplane acrobatic flying) later shortened to aerobatic flying, which has also been called trick flying from time to time
1. (General Sporting Terms) an individual or group activity pursued for exercise or pleasure, often involving the testing of physical capabilities and taking the form of a competitive game such as football, tennis, etc.
2. (General Sporting Terms) such activities considered collectively
3. (General Sporting Terms) any particular pastime indulged in for pleasure
4. (General Sporting Terms) the pleasure derived from a pastime, esp hunting, shooting, or fishing
We all do this for pleasure, competition or both in groups or individually so I think sport is a good classification for it and the type of kites we use.