Kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without footstraps or bindings.
There are five main disciplines which are outlined below.
These are racing events - like a yacht race along a course, that involve both speed and tactics. Boards with hydrofoils are now the most common equipment to race on for course races. The goal is to outperform other kiters and come first in the race.
The kite and board are used to get big air (jumps) so that various tricks can be done while airborne. This style also used for competitive events and is free-format and "go anywhere". Smaller twintip boards and kites with good boost and hangtime are used.
Wave riding (kitesurfing) in waves is a style that combines kiteboarding with surfing. This style is popular with surfers since it resembles tow-in surfing. Some riders ride waves unhooked, and without foot straps.
Slalom is high speed downwind/reaching action with a focus less on tactics but on board and kite control.
All in for the win and record hunting.