Freestyle Kiteboarding Tips & Tricks From Alex Djuric
Two-time State Freestyle Kiteboarding Champion Alex Djuric is as dedicated as they come when it comes to kiteboarding. The last 5 years have been a wild journey for our Duotone Team Rider Alex, from first picking up a trainer kite to learning how to kitesurf and do some pretty epic tricks, Alex has gone from strength to strength and it doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down any time soon.
The Inspiration To Start Kitesurfing
Alex’s inspiration to start kitesurfing was sparked by his Grandpa. His Grandpa, who is a paraglider, had some foil trainer kites that he let Alex have a go on. Seeing how much Alex loved the trainer kites, his Grandpa booked him in for a taster lesson with WA SURF - which was basically someone holding onto you while you moved the kite back and forth - and Alex was hooked on the idea of being a kitesurfer from there.
It didn’t take long for Alex to go out and buy all his kitesurfing gear. A little nervous to get straight out on the water without any formal training, he spent a lot of time watching kitesurfing videos on YouTube to learn as much about the sport as he could. It has been a very fast learning process from there. Being local to Safety Bay his whole life, Alex approached the local kiters when he had learnt all he could from online videos. These kiters were already at a higher level so whenever the crew would head out on the water, Alex would try to get out there with them and learn as much as possible from them. Once he picked up the basics of kiting, he got into freestyle really quickly, within the first year of getting out on the water.
Dedicated To Freestyle KiteboardingSince then, Alex has worked hard to get to the level he is at today, doing a lot of training in the gym and getting out on the water as much as possible. His main focus these days is tricks, he’s dedicated to freestyle and becoming the best freestyle kiter he can be. Every year in the lead up to a competition, it’s “head down and train hard” for Alex. This dedication and hard work has been paying off for him with some pretty impressive results in Freestyle competitions over the last few years. His first WA State Freestyle Titles in 2020 he placed 2nd. That same year he travelled to Adelaide for the National Freestyle Titles and placed 4th overall. In 2021 and 2022, Alex took out 1st place in the WA State Freestyle Titles.
Best Spot to Kitesurf In Western AustraliaLoving kitesurfing as much as he does, it’s not surprising that Alex will travel anywhere from down south in Western Australia all the way up to Exmouth and anywhere in between to kite. Of all the places he’s kited though, his local - The Pond in Safety Bay - is still his favourite. The Pond is one of the best flat water spots in the world to kite.
KGB Freestyle Kite TrickDedicated to progressing in his freestyle tricks, Alex works hard to perfect every element of his tricks. His favourite trick at the moment is the KGB. If you haven’t seen this trick been done before, it is a back to blind with an air pass and an extra 180 rotation, landing heel side to finish the trick.
How To Get Started With Freestyle Kite TricksIf you’re just starting out with freestyle tricks, Alex suggests starting with the smaller tricks first. You want to work on your 313, landing wrapped and blind judge 3. Get these down pat and it’s time to work on your air passes and KGB. It’s good to go out for a session and start with the smaller tricks, land them clean a few times per session before moving onto the next trick. Breaking a more complicated trick down into individual steps and focusing on perfecting one step at a time really helps to clean up your performance which in turn helps you nail those more advanced tricks.
Here are a few more of Alex’s tips to get you started in your freestyle tricks:
- Look out for the ideal freestyle conditions, which is around 17/18/19 knots, and opt for a larger kite, somewhere between a 9m to 12m kite. Bigger kites are better in light winds as there is less kite movement, if you were to grab the bar in the wrong spot the kite wouldn’t move as much as the kite is very big. With a smaller kite, there is potential for it move a lot if you pull the outside of the bar which makes nailing your tricks very difficult.
- You’ll want to upgrade your seat harness to a waist harness as this will give you more support and control while you’re riding.
- Similarly, get yourself some boots for your board instead of foot straps if you’re really dedicated to learning how to freestyle, you will get a bit more control out of that.
- Go for equipment that is made specifically for freestyle. The Duotone Vegas is an awesome freestyle kite. It is designed to help with the slack and also to help you rotate easier without the constant pull. You can learn to freestyle with other kites but you’d be limited to trying to learn in certain wind conditions that are suited to the kite. The Vegas however is more forgiving for all wind conditions because it gives you a lot more slack with the wind.
- It also pays to invest in a good board. The Duotone Team Series Board is a nice solid board but not too heavy which helps with the impact on your knees and allows you to do tricks nice and fast, while feeling confident in your gear.
What's Next For Alex Djuric?
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