In the last few years several structural changes affected the kitesurf freestyle’s world in order to make the discipline the most attractive as possible and to promote it all around the world.
The freestyle kitesurf tour had a rough start in 2018 and the tour seemed like it could never start. But thanks to the new riders organization, the World Kiteboarding Championships the tour has been confirmed and the season kicked off with a successful event in Turkey, at the spot of Akyaka.
What is kitesurf freestyle “new school”?
Freestyle “new school”, or wakestyle, is a kitesurf discipline which consist in realizing aerobatic maneuvers full power, while spinning and doing some handle-passes. The goal is to get more points than the rivals. It is a an extreme and exciting discipline.
The best riders in the world take part in the competition and they are selected by the results they got over the years. In some events there is a qualifier round which aim to discover new talents and let them participate the following year.
How does the competition work and why it is interesting to watch it?
Simply because of the show provided by the athletes and the new format which has been designed to let the discpline the most attractive and exciting as possible to all, even for those who are not familiar with kitesurf freestyle.
Let me explain you why…
Who is in?
The 24 best men and the 12 best women in the world.
How does the competition work?
Events are comprised of rounds and those rounds are made up of heats where the athelets compete to do their best and go ahead. According to the weather conditions it’s possible to have a single or double elimination.
What is the competition about?
It’s about kitesurf freestyle. The riders have to perform dynamic and aerobatic maneuvers by using their kite and add some spins and handle-passes.
What’s the judges criteria?
The judgement is based on some elements that make the discipline extreme and specacular.
The jusdges analyze the following key factors: commitment (degree of difficulty, hight, traveling), technical skills (kite position and landing), style (flow and differents grabs). Each trick gets a vote from 1 to 10.
Rounds and heats
Each heat can be composed by two up to six riders. They have to perform five up to seven tricks and but only the four best scores are going to be take into consideration, which make a global judgement out of 40 points. The tricks must belong to differents categories, that’s why the riders have to be clever and polyvalent. There is no limit in time. According to the event one or two riders go directley to the next round and the others will have to face an extra heat to be qualified (seconde chance).
Is it easy to watch the riders’ performance?
Thanks to the new format each athlete realize his trick alone and close to the beach. Then he will wait for the others to perfomr. In this way the spectators can be concentrate on one rider on at a time and enjoy his motions.
After each trick an electronic board shows the score. In this way every rider know how he has been judged straight away. Moreover on the WKC internet site you can find the live score of each heat, which allows all the athletes to know how many points the need to win and so they can adopt their best strategy.
Thanks to the live scoring the public can better understand who is winning and get easily involved in the event.
How can I watch the copetition without travelling around the world?
Each event is broadcast live form the WKC facebook page or internet website. During the live there are two commentators who explain how the copetitition run and answer to all the questions for those who are not familiar with the discipline.
This new format oblige the athletes to go beyond their own limits and push the freestyle to the next level. Even if you don’t know much about this discipline the show is guaranteed !
The first event ended up on 8 september 2018 and it took place in Turkey, at the amazing spot of Akyaka.
The show was sick and the riders have been performing some insane tricks showing that the freestyle level increased significantly.
The competition revealed some new young athletes as Maxime Chabloz and Valentin Rodriguez as well as it confirmed the high freestyle level of some more experienced riders as Alex Pastor and Youri Zoon. Finally we couldn’t miss the brazilian defending champion Carlos Mario (Bebe) who gave its best to defend the crown from the dominican Adeuri Corniel, who is proving to be the one to worry the impressive brazilian rider “bebe”.
In the women category we missed the reigning champion Bruna Kajiya (injuried) and Annabel Van Westeroop who won the silver medal last year. Despite the lack of the two girls the competition shows an impressive fresstyle’s level thanks to the performance of the italian Francesca Bagnoli, the spanish Claudia León and the czech Paula Novotná and the new brazilan talent, the 13 years old MIkaili Sol. The young rider is definitely pushing the women kitesurf to the next level, and that’s awesome for the show.
In Akyaka Carlos Mario bebe confirmed its leadership, followed by Adeuri Corniel and Maxime Chabloz. The fourth place in the final heat goes to the young colombian Valentin Rodriguez.
The final was sensational, the four riders gave their best showing their skills and performing some tricks never seen before in a competition. The score’s average was insane and the result down to the last trick.
Among the women it’s Mikaili Sol who takes the lead winning the final without too much trouble.
The battle for the second place was exciting and it’s Paula Novotná who got it at the very last attempt by taking it from her “team mate” Francesca Bagnoli. The spanish rider Claudia León got the fourth place, just few points away from the podium.
The event was a success and now everything it’s ready for the next two events of the season, so make sure you tune in for that:
– From 3 to 10 November in Morocco at the spot of Dakhla.
– From 20 to 25 Novembre in Brazil at Cumbuco’s beach.
A big thanks to the World Kiteboarding Championships to allowed me to use its pictures. I wish you the best for the two next events.
All the pictures are from the photographer Svetlana Romantsova.