While other whitewater disciplines generally involve going from point A to point B, freestyle kayaking is often performed in one spot in the river (usually in a hole, pourover or on a wave) where the athletes work with and against the dynamic forces of the water to perform a range of acrobatic tricks and manoeuvres.
These can include surfing, spinning, and various vertical moves (cartwheels, loops, blunts, and many others). More recently, aerial moves have become accessible, where paddlers perform tricks having gained air from using the speed and bounce of the wave.
In one freestyle category, called squirtboating, competitors use extremely low volume boats that allow them to perform maneouvres under the water as well as on the surface.
Overall the freestyle discipline is enjoyed by many as a recreational sport (playboating) and at the top level by those participating in competitions both nationally and internationally.