Freestyle, Wave, Hangtime, Speed, Boardercross, Kickers/ Sliders and FreerideÖ
Freestyle is an extremely popular area to the sport. It involves technically using the board and the kite to get height
enabling the kiter to do big jumps, rotations, board offs (where you use the kite to get height off the water take the
board off your feet and put it on again before you land.) There is an endless number of freestyle moves of which the
most advanced are handle passes (where you unhook from your harness and rotate your body while passing the bar behind
your back at the same time). Aaron Hadlow who is from Cornwall is the current World Champion in freestyle. A smooth
landing is the key to making a freestlye move.
Explosive, fun to do and watch, and very addictive. The waves are ridden like a surf board, but with the added versatility
of the kite. Aerials and power tricks can be bust out using the power of the wave. Easy to get into because you can
practise doing sharp turns on flat water then move on to little waves and work your way up.‹ Some people use surf
boards for this but as the popularity increases in the sport more and more companies are bringing out surf board
style kite boards.
The most awe inspiring side of the sport to the spectators. Hangtime is when the kite is used to do massive jumps and
remain in the air as long as possible. The current hangtime record is 13 seconds and is held by Adam Koch. Waves are
often used as ramps to boost big airs from.
Kickers and Sliders
A high adrenaline new discipline to kitesurfing. Ramps and rails are built and securely placed in the water. They are used
to slide up or along and can be combined with freestyle. If they are not kitesurfed correctly you can seriously harm
yourself or damage your kit, so helments must be worn and you must unhook (without a leash) as you attempt them. This
side of the sport is for advanced kitesurfers and is taking the sport in the direction of skateboarding.
The newest discipline and the most dangerous!!! It combines speed kiting and freestyle. A course is set consisting of a
number of buoys which the competitors have to go round. On some legs there are a number of inflatable obstacles which
the competitors have to jump over, on others the competitors have to perform a standard trick which could be something
like a back loop (a 360 degree backward rotation.) The winner is the first to cross the finish line. It is an action
packed discipline where at any one time there are a number of competitors in the air, or crashing. Very much like a
water based motocross. It is potentially very dangerous and so the use of reliable safety systems are enforced. It
is thoroughly monitored to uphold safety.
Any of you who have witnessed kitesurfing know that kitesurfers can go pretty fast. Speed kiting is all about going the
fastest in a straight line. The current record is above 40knots. Control of both the board and kite under such speed is
vital and wipeouts are extremely painful. Speed kiters wear extra padding to reduce impact from the wipeouts! Obviously
speed kitesurfing needs powered up conditions, so force 4 and above is good.
Freeride is anything that you want it to be and the most popular aspect of the sport within the UK. Most boards sold
today are desigend for freeride. They all look pretty similar in shape, but vary dramatically in width, length and
depth. This enables a kitesurfer of any ability to take kitesurfing to which ever level they feel like. Itís about
having fun. The UK has a great freeride scene and more then likely you can turn up to any good beach on a windy day
and see another freerider out.