USA Freestyle Kayaking today announced the creation of a social networking based multimedia library of freestyle tricks. The goal of this resource is to increase the number of people able to judge freestyle competitions by creating a constantly-evolving database of the latest tricks. “What started as a competition judge training concept has evolved into being a versatile library of moves people are performing these days,” says USFKA Rules Subcommittee Chair and multiple-time US Team member Clay Wright. “We encourage paddlers to upload videos of themselves and their friends doing freestyle kayak moves and will match them to the moves recognized by the International Canoe Federation. The videos that do the best job illustrating moves will receive comments posted by members of a multi-national group of experts…”
Freestyle events become stressed when athletes frequently need to do double duty—competing in the event and being required to judge because they are the only ones who have the eye to recognize and score moves. “The Library should help us move away from relying on athletes to judge themselves because they are the only ones sufficiently familiar with the moves,” adds Jimmy Blakeney, former US Team athlete and USAFK Steering Committee member.
As freestyle now evolves as slight variations and combinations of existing moves, the pool of potential freestyle judges shrinks. Maybe this effort by USA Freestyle Kayaking will breathe new energy into this sport with big plans for expansion, but a trend towards specialization.
Check out the freestyle moves database here.