Posts Tagged ‘freestyle’


Spanish kite surfing championships in Lanzarote

July 9, 2009

When we originally started this blog it was kite surfing that was our initial inspiration. Having dipped our toes into the world of extreme sports we realised that the subject encompassed so much more than just kite surfing.

And although we say ‘just’ kite surfing this extreme sport still holds a soft spot in our minds – it is without doubt one of the more ‘beautiful’ of the extreme sports. Not only does it look spectacular, is practiced by some very lovely people – both in mind and physical appearance –  but we also really appreciate the fact that it is an extreme activity that requires little more than the earth’s natural elements – water and wind.

So it is with pleasure that we announce the that the Spanish Kitesurfing Championship started today  in Lanzarote and runs through to the 12th July.

And for those of you who don’t know Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands situated approximately 100 miles off the west coast of Africa and 800 miles south of Spain in the Atlantic.

Kite surfing has been regularly practised by enthusiasts at the beach in Famara, on the north west coast of the island, which will also be the location for the Spanish Championships and will combine board-riding with parascending. Impressive aerial acrobatics will be evident above the waves.

The five day tournament will cover Freestyle, Race and Wave categories and has been opened for the first time to include Veterans or Masters at the sport. Participants compete within their group, according to age and gender, with prizes also due to be awarded to the best amateurs and Canarian competitors.

For your further enjoyment we are pleased to present this very cool kite surfing action from OutdoorAction – with big Atlantic surf and some strong consistent winds the action in Lanzarote is going to be just as hot!


Youth conquers all in learning how to kite surf

March 6, 2009

We picked up this story by Amie Brokenshire from The Times in Australia where a young boy proved that he was the best in the business.

11-year-old Corey Capaldo only just stands taller than his board but that didn’t stop him taking on bigger boys at Milang last weekend to win his first kite surfing trophy. Corey, who lives in Middleton, took out first place in the Junior Champion category at the South Australian Kite Surfing Association Freestyle Titles held at Milang on February 21 and 22.

Corey started kite surfing about three or four years ago after getting bored waiting on the beach while his father, Ric, was out on the water. He began playing around with the kite on the beach and taught himself how to fly it, then about a year later his dad got him the water. “I pretty much taught myself,” Corey said.

In April last year he got his own board and kite for his birthday and has been perfecting tricks ever since. But last weekend at Milang was the first time Corey had ever kite surfed competitively.

The aim is to do as many tricks as you can in the designated zone. Corey pulled off backflips and grabs to win his division and next on his agenda of tricks to learn is a toeside backflip.

Corey would definitely encourage other young people to take up the extreme sport of kite surfing. “I want some more competition because there’s not many young people doing it,” he said.

The video below from dazza5172 shows the action at Milang.

So how old do you have to be to learn how to kite surf – we thought we would do some research for you – and if nothing else give you some pointers on how to get going in this increasingly popular extreme sport.

Oh wow – we’ve opened a can of worms here – there is literally zillions of minutes of footage and advice so we will have to drip feed you. We’ll start with a couple of videos, parts 1 and 2 from siilats which is as good a place as anywhere to get going. Well how to set up the rig and how to fly the kite seems a good place to start – watch this space for further advice on how to start surfing – but let’s get the set up right to start with – thanks siilats for your great advice.

As Corey has demonstrated you can start very young – he was just mucking about on the beach with a kite from the age of 7 or 8 – got used to handling the kite – he then graduated to handling the kite whilst standing on a board. He was fortunate as he had time on his hands. Most of us cannot afford that luxury and so the advice is to take some lessons but without doubt the younger you are when you start the quicker you will learn this great sport.


New York’s Snowscraper fest leaves local boy with the top prize

February 8, 2009

We told you of New York’s Snowscraper challenge which was held on Thursday. Below you can read an account of how events turned out and how local lad Shayne Pospisil came good on the night to land the first prize of $50,000. Congratulations Shayne – way to go.

This story is brought to you by A.J. Voelpel in a special for

Thursday night at Red Bull’s Snowscrapers, the largest urban snowboarding contest held in North America, local pro Shayne Pospisil beat out a field of the most talented snowboarders in the world — including Olympic and X-Games icon Shaun White — to capture the title and $50,000 first place prize.

Thousands of spectators braved the subfreezing temperatures and flooded to East River Park to see the best riders compete for their share of a $100,000 prize purse. Sixteen riders participated in a 60-minute jam session to perform their most creative and jaw-dropping maneuvers in front of a panel of international licensed judges, with only eight advancing to finals.

The contestants challenged the height of near-bye apartment buildings as they launched off a 90-foot tall ramp, landing on to a double-sided pyramid feature. The state-of-the-art ramp design allowed fans to get up close and personal to see their favorite pros flying roughly five-stories into the sky.
Many were there to see the ultra-popular White, who was fresh off two gold medal performances at the X-Games two weeks ago (winning in Superpipe and Slopestyle). However, he was upset by Norway’s Torstein Horgmo, who pulled off a flawless backside 900 (three complete twists) in the first heat of head-to-head matchups in the finals.

Freestyle sensation Travis Rice, who won the big air competition at X- games, dug into his Santa-Claus-sized bag of tricks and stomped a perfect alley-oop, backside rodeo (a back flip with a 180-degree twist) to advance to the final four.

With only two riders left, Pospisil, from New Jersey, topped Horgmo with a frontside 900 to take home the title. Horgmo ($15,000) and Scotty Lago ($10,000) took home second and third place, respectively. Backcountry legend, Terje Haakonsen, received $5,000 for best trick when he pulled out his patented method grab, much to the delight of the crowd. Contest favorites Pat Moore and Heikki Sorsa both failed to advance to the finals.
To date we have only found redbull’s promotional video which you can view below. From the account of the evening it sounds as though it was a spectacular evening – lucky you if you managed to be there, it must have been fun.

If you were unable to catch the action live or on MSG Plus, it will rebroadcast Sunday, Feb. 15 on NBC but should something appear on YouTube before that time it will be our pleasure to bring the link to your computer.


What clothes for snowboarding and which freestyle snowboard to buy

December 18, 2008

The guys from expertvillage have put together some great videos of ‘how to’ – the other day we were complaining about the gallons of water that have been dumped on us here in the south of France. Of course what that has also meant is that when you gain altitude that rain has turned to snow so tomorrow we are heading into the southern Alps for the first days skiing of the year.

As a result we thought we would put a couple of ‘how to’ videos onto the blog about matters which concern the snow and today we present, courtesy of expertvillage a how to buy skiing or snowboarding trousers/pants, where the rating system concerning waterproofing and breathability is explained, and then we look at some basic instruction on how to buy a freestyle snowboard.

Basically when it comes to waterproof clothing the thing to remember is that you must be comfortable – so you don’t have water and snow coming through your clothing but at the same time have a material which will breath to allow the sweat to escape – otherwise when you cool down you will get cold. Also remember you must allow room for additional ‘layer’ or ‘layers’ of clothing under your ski pants. Its common sense really, conditions can get bad when you are at 9,000 feet above sea level and if you are uncomfortable and cold you will not be having much fun.

So the waterproof rating goes from 5,000 to 30,000 – the higher the number the more expensive – 30,000 is probably for polar explorers so a score at that level may be OTT – they recommend a mid range rating of between15,000 and 25,000.

As for the freestyle snowboard – consultation with the shop sales assistants is highly recommended but in a nutshell if you are looking for a freestyle board they recommend a symmetrical board which is no higher than your shoulder height as this will assist your direct switch and you should have no problem in going in either direction – too short a board is unstable and difficult for learning tricks, too long a board is tough to control.

We will no doubt find plenty of guys in the Alps tomorrow – the French schools break up for Christmas – wherever you are we hope you stay warm and safe in the mountains.


Michigan’s own Vasa

December 9, 2008

Yesterday we wrote about the Vasaloppet in Sweden, the grand daddy of all cross country skiing events held since 1922 to commemorate the Swedish rebellion, led by Gustav Eriksson Vasa, against the Danes, which now attracts, over the course of a week and in many different events,in excess of 140,000 participants.

Well today it is the turn of ‘The Great Lakes State’ – Michigan, where in the Pere Marquette State Forest , near Traverse City in the north western part of the lower peninsula lies the premier cross country trail known as the Vasa Pathway. This year their ‘Vasa’ event which will be held on February 13th to 15th and is already attracting many entries.

Events include a 27 km and 50 km classic, a 27 km and 50 km freestyle, timed classes and a junior Vasa. Registration for the event will cost in the region of $50 to $60 but for further information on the trail, registration and the event, which will prove to be a great day out we suggest you visit the official website by clicking on this link

Below is a video from JeffOYB which may not from his opening remark be the best advertisement for cross country skiing in Michigan or the Vasa but when you watch the video you will see what fun this sport can be.


Attention all young European skiers

December 8, 2008

This inspired challenge for skiers aged 12 to 18 years (in 2008) and who live in Europe has been developed and created by ‘The North Face’ and judges young European skiers in both freeride and freestyle.

Freeride will be judged to demonstrate the individual’s technique, control, lines and general abilities.

Freestyle will be examined on the individual’s style, creativity, landing;  difficulty and amplitude will also be rewarded.

There will be 5 qualifying events and the final in 2009 open to four categories:

  • 12-13 year olds
  • 14-15 year olds
  • 16-18 year olds
  • overall girls category

Each qualifying event will examine a maximum of 75 competitors with 60 competitors being selected for the final event in Val Thorens, France. An additional 10 competitors will be invited to Val Thorens at the discretion of the organisers. The top two skiers in the 16-18 year category at Val Thoens will be offered a sponsors contract by The North Face, Dynastar and Lange.

The dates of the qualifying events for the 2009 North Face Challenge are:

  • January 31st – February 1st 2009 – Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • February 7th – 8th 2009 – Ruka, Finland
  • February 14th – 15th 2009 – Are, Sweden
  • February 28th – March 1st  2009 – Chamonix, France
  • March 27th – 29th – Val Thorens, France

Registration for the events which are now open can be found on the following website

Below you can watch a video from jpbaralo of the final day of the 2008 event: a great event guys so don’t delay – get registered!


XC, freeride or downhill – what current biking jargon means

October 28, 2008

Here is an explanation for the wiser members of our readership of what the contemporary biking terms are all about and how they are practiced. For this I am indebted to the Independent who recently produced an article called ‘The Complete Guide to Mountain Biking’.

After each of the descriptions of the three fashions of mountain biking: XC, freeride or downhill I have added a brief video of how the art should be practiced.

XC or cross country:  involves pedalling up and down hills and through forests, double-track farm lanes and bridleways – all of which are known as “trails” within the mountain-biking fraternity. XC riding is the equivalent of a nice, long walk, and many trips are possible on an “ordinary” bike.

Thanks to iamfreetofly for the video – as you will see it is not as easy as you might think.

Freeride or freestyle riding: involves cycling over purpose-built jumps and obstacles – often in a setting no larger than a few acres – repetitively testing one’s nerve, skill and cartilage. For those old enough to remember Kick Start with Peter Purves, this is the motor-less version.

Thanks to watanidiot for the video, which does also include some downhill.

Downhill riding: perhaps the most exhilarating version of the sport, in which mountain bikers use gravity to propel themselves through forests, down hillsides and along rock-, root- and obstacle-strewn trails. It sounds dangerous, but it is no more so than skiing or snowboarding, and offers similar thrills: fantastic views and fast action.

Thanks to Bistecot for the video.

So as you can see there is plenty of room for choice in terms of which form of biking you practice. Each form has its own bespoke and specialised bike for when you become an expert. In the meantime a good all round mountain bike should be able to handle most of the obstacles and terrrain that you put in its way.