Over the past few years the sport of personal watercraft (PWC) “free riding” has exploded and is following the same transition that motocross made to freestyle motocross. PWC free riding can be described as a combination of surfing and freestyle motocross together, where riders perform surfing manoeuvres and tricks jumping off waves in the ocean. The result is a sport that is exciting for both the riders and spectators.
With the observed growth in the sport, the number of freeride or freestyle events has increased as well. There is a world tour that is governed by an international body called the International Freerde Watercraft Association. It has a number of stops from Portgual to Brazil. Along with this there are many standalone freeride events being hosted around the world. Australia alone has events that attract riders from all over Australia and the world (one of the most notable was this years’ Cronulla Rip’n Ride (Syndey) which became full within 8hrs of entries being accepted).
New Zealand has seen its own growth in freeriding. Whilst we do not have the numbers that other countries have, we do have a strong contingent of riders that is constantly increasing. The level of competency in NZ is like anywhere else, we have riders that are just starting out through to riders that can compete on a world stage. The next step for the scene in New Zealand is to host its first Freeride based event.
You can check out some cool videos here that depict the style of event below.