What is this ‘Freeride’ you ask? Well over the past few years the sport of personal watercraft (PWC) “free riding” has hit the world running and continued to grow at amazing rates. This new sport is easiest described as freestyle motocross on water. Riders perform surfing type maneuvers and jumps off the waves in the ocean. Freeride is all about just getting out on the water with like minded individuals. The whole event isn’t so much a competition but there are some competition rounds within the event which includes Sickest Trick, Highest Air and the Cherry Popper. The Cherry Popper is for riders that have never done a backflip to go and and compete against others and the first person person to pull off a flip takes the prize.
This year the ‘Auckland Jet Sports Assn’ and ‘NZ Freeride’ teamed up together to host the first ever NZ Yamaha Festival of Freeride, which saw participants travel from all over NZ and even as far afield as Australia to ride the waves of Port Waikato, an hour south of Auckland on the West Coast for the two day event.
Over 50 riders, separated themselves into five groups which then took turns of heading out into the (up to) four meter swell to perform tricks for ten minute sessions. With up to ten people on the water at once give the audience great viewing.
The event organisers were lucky enough to get the support of a lot of the leading brand in the sport / industry including Yamaha, JetPilot, AJSA, 701 Industries, Krash Industries, NZ Freeride, Burn Industries, Monster Energy and Random Performance.
At this stage I am still sorting through the 3000+ photos from the weekend, so check back soon for more photos of the action.