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Big Air

   The breathtaking Big Air discipline is the fastest-growing category of kiteboarding. It is the natural evolution of “old school” Freestyle. The men and women athletes compete in the strongest winds, using the power of the kite to boost themselves off the water. They can achieve heights of 30 metres and travel more than 100 metres downwind.

   The Big Air discipline has three categories: Twin-tip, Surfboard and Hydrofoil.

   In each discipline the height, amplitude and explosiveness the athletes achieve is the biggest element of the judged scores. As the wind picks up, the emphasis on the height element increases exponentially.

   In Big Air there are several extra judging criteria, one being the “wow” factor of the tricks. This combines with the variety, smoothness and risk factor, as well as the proportion of tricks landed set against those crashed, to determine an Overall Score which is added to the counting trick scores.

   Tricks have been broken down into different categories, with only the highest scores from each category counting to the heat total in order to reward the most complete rider.

   In the rapidly-growing discipline, single, double and even triple kiteloops, with added rotations, board-offs and grabs are increasingly-required for athletes progress in the knock-out competition.

   The judging criteria is usually about a 70/30 percentage split, between height and technical difficulty.

   The Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships crown the male and female athletes with the most points in the Twin-Tip, Surfboard and Hydrofoil disciplines each year.