Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

WKC joins GKA - New unity in International Professional Kitesports

by Global Kitesports Association 7 Jan 11:29 GMT
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

Will Cyr represents USA in Pan America Games 2019
Taking place this July in Peru Will Cyr (USA) will be nominated for the Formula Kite event at the 2019 Pan American Games this July in Peru. Cyr, along with four other USA competitors, battled it out for the qualifying spot as the top USA finisher Posted on 2 Apr
Foiling Formula Kite added to Hempel Worlds Final
To be held in Marseille, France from 2-9 June 2019 Men's and Women's Foiling Formula Kiteboarding has been added to the Hempel World Cup Series Final which will be held in Marseille, France from 2-9 June 2019. Posted on 2 Apr
GKA Freestyle World Cup Leucate coming next month
A longstanding home of elite windsport events A longstanding home of elite windsport events, 2019 festival will stage the Windsurfing European Pro Freestyle Tour, but also round one of the newly amalgamated GKA Freestyle World Tour which starts its new campaign, with GKA Freestyle World Cup Leucate! Posted on 30 Mar
African Kiteboarding Championship 2019 overall
18 top freestyle athletes signed up for this championship For the single elimination, as the wind conditions increased to a slightly gustier 25 knots, it all came down to four athletes in the semi-finals. Posted on 12 Mar
Silvaplana ready for Snowkite World Cup Finale
Snowkite elite will meet for the Grand Finale of the "IKA Snowkite World Cup" In the past few weeks, the World Cup has stopped in Italy, South Tyrol (Reschensee), Russia (Tolyatti) and Turkey (Erciyes) and in the incoming week, numerous snow kiters and avid fans will be expected in Switzerland in anticipation for the Grand Finale. Posted on 9 Mar
GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cabo Verde
Moona and Mitu reign supreme After four days of absolutely all-time conditions at Ponta Preta, Mitu Monteiro and Moona Whyte retained their first place positions from the single eliminations and won the doubles to become the champions of the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cabo Verde. Posted on 7 Mar
GKA KiteSurf WorldCup Cabo Verde overall
Competitors privileged to experience Ponta Preta's best So, with yesterday's strapless freestyle Super Session and closing ceremony complete, that's it from the GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cabo Verde. Posted on 3 Mar
GKA KiteSurf WorldCup Cabo Verde video highlights
Ponta Preta's been firing on all cylinders What a week it's been here in Cabo Verde. Ponta Preta's been firing on all cylinders and so have the 52 competitors who signed up to take on this legendary wave. Posted on 3 Mar
GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cabo Verde overall
Mitu and Moona hold tight at the top to prevail at Ponta Preta After four days of absolutely all-time conditions at Ponta Preta, Mitu Monteiro and Moona Whyte retained their first place positions from the single eliminations and won the doubles on Thursday to become the champions. Posted on 1 Mar
GKA Kite-Surf World Cup Cabo Verde day 3
It's down to the last men and women standing at Ponta Preta The relentless pace of competition continued yesterday in Cabo Verde as a field of 52 riders was whittled down to just 12 with six men and six women still in the competition. Posted on 28 Feb