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Freeboating (or freeride kayaking or downriver freestyle) is a branch of whitewater kayaking that combines playboating and creeking. Freeboating tricks usually originate in holes/waves and then are adapted to rapids and waterfalls. An example of a freeboating trick is the Hail Mary. Professional kayaker Rush Sturges recently invented this trick which involves doing a front flip (loop) over a waterfall.

History of terminology

Since its inception, freestyle kayaking has encompassed downriver tricks as well as tricks in waves and holes. Examples of early downriver tricks are the squirt and the freewheel. Freeboating is a relatively new term for this style of playboating that has been largely promoted by the Canadian whitewater magazine Rapid.

The term came from the concept of freeriding, which is used in a multitude of sports, including skiing, snowboarding, and windsurfing. The general concept was that there was no set course, goals or rules to abide by.

See also