Windsurfing primarily consists of four disciplines: slalom, wave performance, freestyle, and upwind. The Fly! ANA Windsurfing World Cup Yokosuka Japan will be hosting a slalom race event.
Inspired by motocross, slalom races utilize the downwind on a short course. Participants split into groups of 8-20 people, and then compete in a tournament. Competitors must be able to control the board as it wildly rides with a strong wind. The use of an important cornering technique called the “jibe” makes for thrilling battles. Even for windsurfing, these battles are filled with speed, and have gathered much excitement in Europe in recent years.
Japan has very suitable conditions for slalom racing, which is why it has a huge following, and why many events are held in various regions throughout Japan.
Similar to a surfing contest, this is a performance over the water that can be seen up-close, right on the edge of the beach. Competitors face off on a 1-on-1 contest riding waves and performing jumps within a time limit that are then rated by judges. Competitors show off great feats and techniques such as 20m jumps and aerial loops, making for a wonderful performance. The many mid-air jumps and techniques that have been displayed over the years have resulted in many exciting battles. Because this discipline can be seen up-close, there is a raw intensity to the performance to be enjoyed. A great number of star athletes and legends perform within this discipline, which symbolizes the sport of windsurfing.
This discipline is similar to wave performance in that even if there are small waves it can be held, and it focuses even further on performing techniques. This discipline is extremely popular in Europe and Central America’s Caribbean. It is popular due to the even more intense techniques that must be performed. The freestyle and the wave performance disciplines are now becoming popular throughout the world, and the freestyle events have become a way to open doors for younger competitors. Many rookies that have started in the freestyle discipline have gone on to become world champions.
A discipline that is fundamentally similar to a yacht race. Competitors start at the same time, and compete upwind as they speed around the buoys marking the course. It’s a discipline that requires the skilled ability to read wind directions while battling in a race. Formula Windsurfing is also held in the Olympics under the yacht category, RS-X class.
(Source: Japan Windsurfing Association)