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New Tracing Sticker Program launching Summer 2021

by Sensi Graves 10 Apr 11:42 BST
Sticker example © GKA Kite World Tour

At its core, the Global Kitesports Association's main objective is to continually ensure that kitesurfing has safe practices through the development and implementation of equipment standards.

Our goal is to maintain beach safety and access for kitesurfers around the world. As head of the GKA, Jorgen Vogt has been working tirelessly in the development of what may be some of the most important safety standards for kitesurfers to date-tracing stickers.

Tracing stickers have been developed in response to the countless complaints that the GKA receives regarding kitesurfers and rescue services. One of the biggest issues regarding kitesurfing beach and water access is in having a collaborative relationship with water safety and government rescue services. In recent years, the complaints received have come to a head and the GKA has taken action to maintain beneficial relationships with governing bodies.

The main issue is floating kites in the worlds' oceans, without kiteboarders attached to them. This poses a significant problem for rescue services because a floating kite signals a downed and potentially lost kiteboarder. Authorities do not know if the kiteboarder is swimming helplessly in the ocean or lost at sea and therefore comprehensive and expensive rescue missions are launched. Rescue operators may waste countless hours attempting to track down the "lost" kiteboarder and resources are squandered when the identity of the potential victim goes unknown for extended periods of time.

Unfortunately, and more and more commonly, complaints are also brought forward to the municipalities and the police and some of these authorities consider banning kitesurfing as a result. This problem could be easily solved, if the rider's name and telephone number were attached to the kite. In that instance, the rescue service could then call the rider and discover if they are already back on land or indeed in need of a rescue mission.

This simple solution will help keep kitesurfers more safe as well as enable a better and more sustainable working relationship between kitesurfers and rescue services around the world.

As a result, the GKA has worked with kitesurfing manufacturers to coordinate the roll out of the GKA Tracking Sticker. Kite brands have collectively decided to put a waterproof sticker on any new kite onto which the owner can write their contact details. The sticker can be easily removed from the kite in case the owner wants to sell the kite. Stickers shall also be available at dealer stores.

GKA Tracking Stickers bullet points

  • GKA Tracing stickers shall be added to each new kite. Stickers shall also be available at each kite-shop.

  • It is important that the stickers are placed at the same spot on the kite to make it easy for the rescue team to find it. The best placement is the middle of the leading edge. It is planned that brands will print a "frame" for the sticker on the front-tube to make a clearly marked location for the sticker placement.

  • Slingshot is now the first brand to produce its new models with the printed sticker placement frame. They will also be providing a sticker in the kite bag for usage by the customer as recommended.

  • Stickers can be produced by each brand individually or ordered with the company Tramontana. GKA Tracing Stickers can be ordered here in packs of 100 pcs.

Feel free to contact the GKA for any questions regarding the Tracing Stickers.

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