Park Riding

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The niche world of Park-Kiteboarding

Hey thrill-seekers and wave-chasers! Today, we're diving into a lesser-known, adrenaline-pumping corner of the kiteboarding world — Park-Kiteboarding. We had the awesome opportunity to catch up with our team rider Noe Font, to give you an inside scoop on this gnarly discipline. Sit tight and put your phone on non-disturb because you'll want to read this with diligence.

What exactly is Park-Kiteboarding?

You might be wondering, what the heck is park-kiteboarding? Think of it as a fusion of wakeboarding and kiteboarding, where riders use obstacles like rails and sliders to perform sick tricks. It’s a niche within a niche, but for those who love it, it’s the ultimate blend of creativity and skill.

The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Park Riding

Noe explains that park-kiteboarding has had its waves of popularity. "Depending on where you go, what’s popular can really vary," he says. In places like Cape Town, everyone’s into Big Air, while in Hood River, you’ll see a mix of wing foiling and park riding. Trends come and go, but the core essence of park riding remains—it's about expressing your own style and creativity in the lines you take and moves you do.

The early days: Boots, rails, and gnarly tricks

Noe takes us back to the early 2000s, a golden era for park-kiteboarding. Riders back then were pushing the limits with some of the gnarliest rails ever built. “You look at movies from way back and see these massive, deadly A-frames,” he reminisces. The sport has evolved, but the passion for pushing boundaries remains the same.

The challenge of Park Riding

Unlike regular kiteboarding, park riding isn’t just about showing up at a windy beach. It’s a bit more complex. You need the right wind, water conditions, and, of course, obstacles. Building and maintaining these obstacles can be a mission in itself. “It’s not as simple as just going kiting on the beach,” Noe points out. You need creativity, determination, a bit of DIY spirit and a crew.

DIY Obstacles: Getting creative with your setup

So, how do you get started with park-kiteboarding? Noe shares some pro tips on building your first obstacle. “A standing rail is the easiest to start with. You can use plastic pipes from old construction sites—often free or cheap,” he says. The key is to start simple and gradually increase the complexity as you get more comfortable.

Gear Up: What you need to start park riding

First off, take those fins off your board—they’ll just get in the way. You don’t need to unhook right away; start by jumping over the obstacles and slowly build up your confidence. Noe recommends starting with any old board and a helmet for safety. As you progress, you might want to invest in a park-specific board designed for durability and performance.

Cross-Training: Snowboarding and Wakeboarding

If you want to improve your park-kiteboarding skills, Noe suggests hitting the wake park or the slopes. “Park riding skills translate well from wakeboarding and snowboarding,” he says. The control and finesse you develop in these sports will give you a solid foundation for park-kiteboarding.

Hotspots for Park Riding

Curious about where to hit the best park-kiteboarding spots? Noe highlights Hood River in the US and Real Water Sports on the East Coast as prime locations. Sicily is also gaining popularity with some rad obstacles, and Brazil is buzzing with new setups. “It’s all about making park riding accessible and encouraging more people to try it,” Noe explains.

Join the Community: It’s not just for pros

One common misconception is that park-kiteboarding is only for pros. But Noe emphasizes that it’s for everyone. “It’s like going to a skate park. Sure, there might be someone ripping it up, but everyone’s welcome to give it a go,” he says. The community is small but super supportive, always ready to help newcomers get started.

What’s next? Challenges and Competitions

Looking ahead, Noe has big plans to grow the park-kiteboarding scene. This summer, he’s planning to film a “how-to” video on building your first slider. He’s also considering a fun challenge—daring riders to build a better obstacle with just €50. “It’s all about creativity and making the sport more accessible,” he says.

Huge shout out the Kite Park League. After the golden era of park riding, no association or organized campaign cared about park riding. The discipline had no official representation until Noè, Xander Raith and many other park fanatics took it in their own hands. Today, the KPL hosts multiple park comeptitions per year and keeping the spirit alive. We highly recommend checking them out and following their journey.

Keen to make first moves in park riding? Grab your gear, build your first obstacle, and join the community. Who knows, you might discover your new favorite discipline. Stay stoked and keep pushing the limits!

Tire Supply

Noe Font

»I want to indirectly train for pocket riding but wakeboarding and freestyle snowboarding, the sports where I can indirectly improve my skills.«

— Noé Font

Park is easy

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