What is your riding style?
While freeride can encompass a variety of styles, it is usually referred to when referencing a relaxed cruise around type of riding with an occasional jump. Freeriders enjoy checking out the scenery, experiencing varied conditions, and just getting out on the water. Equipment generally preferred by these riders include bow or SLE kites (Cabrinha Crossbow, Cabrinha Switchblade, North Rebel, Slingshot Rally), larger boards with soft flex(Cabrinha Spectrum, Cabrinha Stylus, Liquid Force Full Contact, Best Breeze, North X-Ride, Slingshot Misfit, Slingshot Glide), footstraps or strapless, and often a seat harness for more comfort (Dakine Fusion, Dakine Vega, Dakine Vision, Dakine Nitrous HD).
Kiteboard racing has become increasingly popular over the years. With the recent addition and subtraction of kiteboard racing as an Olympic sport, it has gained traction and now offers numerous races and leagues for everyone to give it a go. Kiteboard racing is similar to sailboat or windsurf racing in that it uses a buoy system that riders make their way around. Equipment generally preferred by racers include bow or SLE kites (Cabrinha Crossbow, North Dyno, North Rebel, Slingshot Turbine), directional race kiteboards (Cabrinha Race), and a seat harness for increased leverage on the board (Dakine Fusion, Dakine Vega, Dakine Vision, Dakine Nitrous HD).
Freestyle is the type of riding you find on the PKRA circuit. It includes sent airs, unhooked tricks, kiteloop tricks, and anything else that will impress the judges. Freestyle riders favor hybrid or C-kites (Cabrinha Chaos, Cabrinha Nomad, Best TS, Best GP, North Vegas, North Evo, Slingshot RPM, Slingshot Fuel, Liquid Force Hi-Fi X, Liquid Force Envy), short boards with dramatic base contours (Cabrinha X-Caliber, Slingshot Misfit, Slingshot Darko, Best Procreator, Best Armada, Liquid Force Influence, Liquid Force DLX), straps or boots (Slingshot RAD, Slingshot Shredtown), and a supportive waist harness (Dakine Pyro, Dakine Renegade, Mystic Warrior).
Wakestyle can easily be confused with freestyle. Wakestyle tricks are done with the kite low to the water while the board creates a jump with a load and pop motion rather than using the kite to lift the rider. This style is done in boots or bindings to help create the leverage needed to perform these tricks. While flatwater is ideal, waves can also act as ramps to amplify your jump. Rails as well as man-made jumps are also quickly becoming a part of the wakestyle movement. Wakestyle riding aims to be wakeboarding as done behind a kite. Preferred equipment for this style includes a powerful kite with good slack ability (Cabrinha Chaos, Cabrinha Switchblade, Cabrinha Vector, Slingshot RPM, Slingshot Fuel, Best GP, Best TS, Liquid Force Envy, and Liquid Force Hi-Fi X), a longer than normal board with lots of rocker (Cabrinha Custom, Best Profanity, Best pro-creator, Slingshot Mayhem, Slingshot Asylum, Liquid Force DLX, Liquid Force Influence), boots (Slingshot RAD, Slingshot Shredtown), and a supportive waist harness (Dakine Pyro, Dakine Renegade, Mystic Warrior).
Kitesurfing can be thought of as surfing with a kite. The kite is used to pull you into the wave then can be depowered or powered back up to complement your movements. A short surfboard or directional kitesurfboard will provide the best maneuverability and upwind ability. Downwind trips are often the ideal way to ride waves as you do not have to take time to get back upwind. Preferred equipment includes a fast turning kite with easy relaunch (Cabrinha Drifter, Cabrinha Nomad, Cabrinha Vector, Best Kahoona, Best TS, Slingshot Rally, North Rebel, North Evo, Liquid Force Envy, Liquid Force NRG), a kitesurfboard (Cabrinha Subwoofer, Cabrinha Skillet, Cabrinha Signature, Cabrinha S-Quad, Best Shortstick) straps or strapless, and a supportive waist harness (Dakine Pyro, Dakine Renegade, NPX X-Over, Dakine Chameleon).
Rider: Tucker Vantol
Years Riding: 1
Preferred Gear: Slingshot RPM, Cabrinha Vector, Liquid Force DLX, Slingshot RAD boots, Cabrinha Subwoofer, Dakine Pyro