Please select your home edition
Edition
P&B 2019 - Leaderboard

WKC joins GKA - New unity in International Professional Kitesports

by Global Kitesports Association 7 Jan 03:29 PST
WKC joins GKA - New unity in International Professional Kitesports © Global Kitesports Association

The world of professional freestyle kiteboarding competition has seen many changes in the past years, leading to uncertainty within the community as well as an unfavorable perception from the outside.

From 2019 onwards, professional freestyle kiteboarding will be officially represented by the Global Kitesports Association (GKA), with the aim of helping this immensely popular discipline regain the trust of community and public alike.

After years of separation between professional freestyle kiteboarding and professional wave-kitesurfing, both disciplines are now united in one organisation: the GKA.

The GKA will now run both the Kite-Surf and Freestyle World Cups, having joined forces with the KRU (Kiteboarding Riders United), the body of riders who competed on the WKC in 2018.

The GKA is the only organisation authorised by World Sailing to officially hold competitions in all expression disciplines in international kitesports.

The new, united format of world championships is called the GKA KITE WORLD TOUR, with distinct event names according to the discipline executed at an event: GKA FREESTYLE WORLD CUP and GKA Kite-Surf World Cup (wave and strapless freestyle). The former tour (WKC in 2018) and event names will no longer be used.

Under the leadership of the Global Kitesports Association, the future of competitive kitesports is finally secured and freestyle kiteboarding and wave-kitesurfing are represented within the GKA equally and with full respect to their respective unique character.

Youri Zoon, Chairman of the Kite Riders United (KRU):

"After several years of uncertainty, last year the WKC managed to create a solid platform in terms of freestyle competition standards, with a very effective competition format and with an incredible live stream and media distribution that included live television broadcasting, a first for this sport.

"In order to unify the future of kiteboarding, the WKC have decided to join forces with the GKA, so that all competition disciplines can now come under one umbrella. We hope this will give more power to the sport, and help create a successful and sustainable tour with the same platform of freestyle that we already know. The new tour will also open the door to different formats, such as big air. In my opinion, kiteboarding is not only about one single discipline, but about all disciplines coming together to create a strong image and platform for our much-loved sport.

"After many tough years for freestyle kiteboarding, I am very much looking forward to the coming years, with the help of the GKA and the riders to put our sport up where it deserves to be. Although I will be riding my last competition this year, I still want to ensure the positive development of freestyle. A new era, a new tour and a new generation of kiteboarders.

"Good luck to all!"

Dr. Jörgen Vogt, Secretary General of the Global Kitesports Association (GKA):

"This mutually agreed governance structure brings clarity to the kitesports community at large and is the base for a prosperous development of our sport and for the advantage of professional riders in all disciplines. One World Tour with two disciplines (wave and freestyle) under one umbrella now fulfills the assumption for raising the public awareness of this sport and making kitesports even bigger. Professional riders of all performance disciplines will be able to build up their professional sports career on the ground of a reliable, sustainable and financially strong World Tour."

The full 2019 calendar and formats for Freestyle and Kite-Surf World Cup events on the GKA Kite World Tour coming soon.

Related Articles

Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 3
Olympic future of windfoil surfing tested at the Medemblik Regatta The third day of the Medemblik Regatta had all the ingredients for a happy day of sailing. Nice wind conditions, lots of sun and exciting racing. A perfect day to start two new classes at the regatta Posted today at 6:39 am
Formula Kite Asian Championships preview
Asia's fastest kitefoil racers square off in fight for Continental title The quickest kitefoil racers in Asia are set to battle for the continental crown in a week of enthralling action on the smooth waters off the south-western Chinese beach city of Beihai. Posted on 23 May
Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 2
Light and shifty winds keep RS:X classes on shore for an extra hour It's a difficult day for sailors and race committee. Light and shifty winds kept the RS:X classes on shore for an extra hour. The sailors of the Hansa class manage to race an extra race and the day closes in sunny conditions. Posted on 22 May
Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 1
Close racing on the first day The first day of racing is done at the Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival. Almost all classes raced according to schedule, only the Hansa Class had to stay inside due to, too heavy winds. For the RS:X surfers racing went smooth and fast. Posted on 21 May
Kiteboard foiling at the Medemblik Regatta
In the Netherlands, the preparations for 2024 are in full swing In the Netherlands, the preparations for 2024 are in full swing. A reason for the Dutch Watersport Federation to implement this sport at the Medemblik Regatta. Posted on 19 May
Medemblik Regatta preview
Medemblik ready for RS:X surfers, foilers and more watersport activity Reigning World and European Champion in the RS:X Women, the Dutch Lilian de Geus, will be determined to win the gold medal this week. Last year she had a difficult week of racing and came in second place. Posted on 19 May
Silver & bronze for Britain at Formula Kite Worlds
Britain establishes itself as a major force on the Olympic kitefoiling circuit Britain established itself as a major force on the Olympic kitefoiling circuit today as Olly Bridge and Connor Bainbridge scooped silver and bronze at the Formula Kite World Championships. Posted on 6 May
Pascucci Formula Kite Worlds overall
Reigning champions successfully defend crowns at Formula Kite Worlds in Italy France's Nico Parlier and the US's Daniela Moroz mounted successful defences of their titles in difficult conditions at the 2019 Pascucci Formula Kite World Championships played out on the waters of northern Italy's stunning Lake Garda. Posted on 6 May
Pascucci Formula Kite Worlds day 4
Champions poised to retain crowns despite intense pressure The current men's and women's title holders, France's Nico Parlier and the US's Daniela Moroz, are sitting in pole position to retain their crowns after a scintillating penultimate day of hydrofoil racing Posted on 5 May
Documentary: KTA Asia Pacific Hydrofoil Series
40 registered riders from 18 different countries went head to head Following on from the first ever leg of the series - which was held in Koh Samui, Thailand early this summer - this event sees 40 registered riders from 18 different countries go head to head to compete for the title and 5,000 USD of prize money. Posted on 5 May
Naiad 660x82px_RescueMarine Resources BOTTOMGul 2018 October - Code Zero FOOTER