Wakestyle has partly evolved from wakeboarding behind boats and uses a similar board. The kite subsitutes for the pull of the boat, which means your harness provides some of the pull rather than just your arms on the bar.
Wakestyle technique and tricks include:
- Aerial tricks with less height (compared to freestyle)
- Riding and jumping unhooked, which makes it possible to "handlepass" the bar behind you during tricks
- Back rolls
- Front rolls
- Front and back rotations
Advanced wakestyle includes:
- Grabs added to tricks
- Tricks involving rails and obstacles
- Launching off kickers and ramps
Boards for wakestyle
- Shorter boards with fixed boots and bindings are used, which provide a very secure attachment for your feet.
- More rocker helps riding in choppy water and holding down power from the kite. However, too much rocker will slow the board speed and make going upwind harder.
- Wakestyle boards can also be used for cable and or wake behind a boat. There is now some cross over between kitesurfing wakestyle boards and wake boards.
Advantages of a wakestyle board over a twin-tip with foot straps include:
- Improved feeling and control
- Easier pops. The concern and worry about the board coming off during jumps and landings is removed, which allows you to focus on technique
- You can hold more power in the kite.
The riding stance for wakestyle is slightly wider than for freestyle - your feet are futher apart to provide better stability and tip control.
Comparison between wakestyle and cable or boat power
- Boats and cable tows have a constant speed while kites have more variable speed
- The kite can speed up with rider, making it difficult to find a "slack point" to initiate a trick, when riding unhooked.
- You can rest your arms by re-hooking your kite, whereas the pull on your arms from a cable or boat is constant.
Good locations for wakestyle include:
- Good wind
- Flat water
- Small waves that can create kickers with flat water between them.
- Wakestyle etiquette includes keeping out of other kiters way, observing clearance rules and helping other out if they are in difficulty.
- Impact vests are standard equipment for wakestyle as crashes can be high impact.