Freestyle is the supreme discipline in kitesurfing and assumes the perfect handling of the kite and the board. On the water and in the air – coordination is the most important thing. During the competition the athletes try to impress the jury with spectacular jumps and moves to get a good result. They can show all in all twelve tricks (inclusive tries and fails) of which the best five scored on a scale from 0 – 10,0. The current world champions are Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya.
The freestyler will fight for important world ranking point and prize money. Competitors shall compete one against another, or in groups of up to three (3) determined by the elimination ladder. The winner of each heat shall advance on the elimination ladder. d. In a dingle elimination the winners of the first round heats advance immediately to the third round, whilst the second and third ranked competitors are re-seeded into the second round.
Freestyle will be judged based on the quality of the execution of each individual trick. Judges analyze the following key criteria’s when scoring a trick:
- Technical Difficulty: The technical difficulty of a trick completed during the heat.
- Power: Power will be considered as a combination of: Speed into the trick to pop, height and amplitude of the trick.
- Height: Height of the trick completed during the heat. This aspect will exponentially come into consideration as the wind conditions increase, but only when the height is achieved along risk factor and technical difficulty.
- Variety: The variety of tricks completed during the heat is considered in the maximum number of different tricks to be counted for the final score per trick category.
- Risk factor: Is directly linked to the Power involved in the execution of the tricks, but also to the commitment of the competitor, technical and physical challenge during the execution, duration of the critical moment, amount and quality (lines direction) of the air in the trick, and energy on the execution.
- Smoothness: Smoothness and fluidity during the execution and landing of tricks completed during the heat. Innovation: Tricks that have never been landed in competition before.#
The judging criteria are broken down and weighted into the following three (3) main scoring categories, each one being judged by one or two judges from the judging panel.
- Technical (40%): technical difficulty and execution – Reflects the technical difficulty of the executed trick.
- Intensity (40%): power and height – Reflects how big and powerful the trick is performed.
- Performance (20%): smoothness, innovation and risk factor – Reflects the performance in terms of fluidity, originality and energy for each trick.