Kitesurfing in the waves sets the rules for judging

Kitesurfers discussed the judging guidelines that should score performance in wave kiteboarding competitions. The Kite Surf Pro (KSP) confirms that judges will track major elements such as commitment, degree of difficulty, innovative and progressive maneuvers, combination of major maneuvers, variety of maneuvers, speed, power and debit.

Additionally, judges will also consider practicing strapless, switch, unhooked or any combination as more technically difficult. Kitesurfers must combine the major elements in order to score in the excellent range.

Simply increasing your difficulty level by riding switch, unhooked and strapless will not produce a great wave score if not combined with other key elements such as engagement, speed, power, flow, combination, variety and innovative/progressive maneuvers.

And vice-versa, a kitesurfer using footstraps will decrease their degree of difficulty and engagement even if they complete all other major elements, making it more difficult to produce scores in the excellent range.

KSP has cooperated with International Surfing Association (ISA) judges and coaches to further educate kite judges in the intricacies of surf judging. Dave Oates, a long-time Association of Surfing Professionals judge and avid strapless kitesurfer, stands by KSP as a mentor and advisor, offering his help and knowledge wherever possible.

“The key is to get the right people together to get the right result from the start. This makes the competitors confident in the system and the board. The critical maneuvers performed in the surf are the key with or without a strap and a good judge knows the difference,” says Oates.

“Understanding the extra kite component in the equation isn’t that hard after watching good kiteboarding. The key is going to be consistency, re-evaluation and fine-tuning,” he adds.