Kitesurfing styles

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Information about the various kitesurfing and kiteboarding styles and how they compare.
Kitesurfing has a variety of styles which utilise different equipment at a range of different locations.

Wave riding
Riding big surf with a directional board
Anything goes.  This style also used for competitive events and is free-format and "go anywhere".  Involves technically using the board and the kite to get height enabling the kiter to do big jumps, rotations, board offs and other tricks.
Surfkite Freestyle   A discipline which consists in realizing tricks with a surfboard and a kite. Tricks include rotations, big airs and Varial 360 without straps.
Freeride Freeride is anything that you want it to be and the most popular aspect of the sport. Most boards sold today are designed for freeride.  It’s about having fun and learning new techniques.
Tricks and aerials, using a wake-style board with bindings.  May also include tricks and jumps involving ramps.
Course racing
Events - like a yacht race along a course, involving both speed and tactics.
Speed events and records, often at special locations.  A special directional board is used that longer that a twin-tip and has much bigger fins.
DownwindersGoing long distances downwind; less edging required.  A subset of Freeride.
Getting air; or with kiteloops, big air.  Also includes various aerial tricks.   A subset of Freestyle riding.
Airstyle Also called "Oldschool". Big jumps with long hangtime and tricks such as board offs, sliding, flying. Done hooked in.
Similar to wakestyle but with a wakeskate board
Kite CrossRacing style that is a crossover discipline between the various kiteboarding styles.  It is designed to bring the action close to the beach and right in front of the crowds and media with an easy to understand KO elimination system.  Courses are generally based around downwind or figure-eight slalom courses.


Freestyle kitesurfing in Egypt, 2006

What is AIRSTYLE ?, Toby Braeuer

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