A True Test of a Kiteboarders Skill: CR:X Class

Foil or Twintip - the CR:X Class might just transform kite racing.
Ask any sailor, and they’ll tell you that the best racing comes from a fleet of one-design craft. Whether it’s a dinghy or a yacht, sailboard or SUP, one design racing ensures an even playing field between all athletes, and that’s what the CR:X Class is all about.

Never before tried in kiteboarding, the CR:X Class is an initiative from Neil Price, makers of the RS:X windsurfing class used in the Olympic Games. The ‘C’ stands for convertible, eluding to the twintip boards that can be converted to hydrofoils for two different modes of racing.

This week they launched their website, complete with all the information you’ve been waiting for, from details on the sizing and equipment options, to race rules and association membership options.

While the kites themselves are pretty generic, mid aspect ratio all-rounder kites, with three struts and a 4 line control system. The boards are what sets this class apart – shaped nothing like what you might expect from a ‘race foil’.

At first glance, it’s a twintip. There’s four fins, one on each corner. 2 footstraps, centered on the board with a heelside and toeside. A grab handle in the middle. It looks just like a board that a learner would start on – and that’s exactly the point. First time kiteboarders can grab one of these setups and learn all the basics. Riding upwind, turns, even jumps and some basic freestyle are possible on the CR:X board. In twintip mode, they can be raced too, with a Boarder-X style format. Racers jump over floating obstacles as they race around a slalom track, with time penalties for missing jumps or hitting the obstacles.

The other side to the boards, is the foiling add-on. Bolting a hydrofoil to the bottom turns the boards into high-performance racers, capable of fast speeds and impressive upwind angles. Notably more difficult to ride than a twintip, these foils are a great step-up for riders, and sit comfortably between the super high performance equipment used in the Kite Foil racing we see today, and the off-the-shelf freeride foils on the market.

Demo events are being staged all over the world for the CR:X class throughout 2017, with 2018 predicted to be the launch year for serious racing. Follow along with the development on the CR:X Class website here.


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