As a beginner in the world of kiteboarding, it can be challenging to navigate the different styles of the sport. Two of the most popular styles are freeride and freestyle kiteboarding. While both involve riding a board with a kite as your primary power source, they differ in the techniques and goals used to ride the board. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between freeride and freestyle kiteboarding, helping you determine which style is right for you.
What is freeride kiteboarding?
Freeride kiteboarding is the most common and accessible style of kiteboarding. It refers to a style of kiteboarding that involves riding waves, cruising upwind, and jumping. This style is geared toward riders who want to enjoy the freedom of kiteboarding and the excitement of riding in a comfortable, safe environment. Freeride kiteboarding emphasizes the fluidity and natural rhythm of motion. It helps riders learn the basics of kiteboarding and develop a solid foundation for more advanced techniques.
What is freestyle kiteboarding?
Freestyle kiteboarding is a more advanced form of kiteboarding that involves performing tricks and stunts. It emphasizes the technical aspects of kiteboarding, requiring riders to perform various maneuvers, jumps, and flips. This style of kiteboarding is geared toward riders who seek a challenge, who enjoy pushing their limits, and who want to perform tricks to impress others. Freestyle kiteboarding brings the rider’s technical ability, physical strength, and creative style into focus.
What are the differences in the boards used in freeride and freestyle kiteboarding?
Freeride boards are typically longer, have more rocker (curvature), and are designed to be stable and easy to ride. They come in various shapes and sizes, with the most commonly used shapes being directional boards, twin tips and surfboard-type boards. Directional boards are typically used for surfing waves, while twin tips and surfboard-type boards are used for cruising and jumping.
In contrast, freestyle boards are typically shorter, have less rocker, and are designed to be more maneuverable and responsive. They come in various shapes and sizes, with the most commonly used shapes being the C-kite shape, bow shape, and hybrid shape. These are typically designed to provide a level of control for riders during the technical moves.
What are the differences in the kites used in freeride and freestyle kiteboarding?
Freeride kites are typically larger in size, designed to provide stability, and offer a consistent pull. They come in various shapes and sizes, including the delta shape, hybrid shape, and foil shape. The kite design remains safe, with riders requiring less effort to generate lift.
In contrast, freestyle kites are smaller and designed for speed and power to provide a consistent pull for performing maneuvers. They come in various shapes and sizes, including the C-kite shape, bow shape, and hybrid shape, designed to give the rider more control and precision during jumping and technical moves.
What are the differences in riding techniques in freeride and freestyle kiteboarding?
Freeride kiteboarding is designed for exploration, relaxation, and enjoying the environment, making it perfect for beginners. The rider’s primary goal is to stay on the board, cruise, and enjoy the ride. There is no competition or scoring involved, it’s the freedom of the ride.
On the other hand, freestyle kiteboarding involves performing various technical moves and tricks, pushing the rider’s limits to impress and gain fame. The rider needs to have advanced kite control, board control, and athletic ability. Freestyle involves tricks such as unhooking and performing aerial moves, rotating the kite and the board as well as technical surfing such as wave-riding maneuvers.
What kind of riders should choose freeride kiteboarding versus freestyle kiteboarding?
Freeride kiteboarding is for riders who appreciate the natural flow, freedom, and rhythm of kiteboarding. It’s for those who value the experience of riding and don’t feel a need to impress others. If you prefer the idea of cruising, jumping, and exploring, than freeride kiteboarding is one of your best choices.
Freestyle kiteboarding is for riders who value a technical challenge, love to push their limits, and want to show-off their tricks to others. If you’re an athletic person that enjoys pushing the limits, freestyle kiteboarding is a great choice. If you’ve enjoyed doing tricks on a skateboard or snowboard in the past, then you might enjoy doing the same on a kiteboard.
In conclusion, freeride and freestyle kiteboarding have many similarities, including using a kite as the primary power source, riding a board, and enjoying the water. The key differences are the goals, technique and style of the ride. As a novice, freeride is an excellent way for you to begin your kiteboarding journey. As you gain confidence and skill, you can explore the territories of freestyle kiteboarding. Choose the one that suits you best and enjoy the journey as you master the different styles!