Posts Tagged ‘GKA’

We’re excited to be able to announce the following individuals were voted as the leading contenders for the GKA Rider of the Year Award by a panel of industry professionals, representatives, brand managers, media creators and journalists. 

Please watch the video below, then scroll down to read the bio info about the contenders and then scroll down further cast your vote! (You can only vote once). 


(The public vote counts as 33% of the overall vote alongside a specialist legends & pioneers committee and GKA Kite World Tour judges, crew and event partners)

WORDS: Holly Keenan

Airton Cozzolino GKA Awards


Airton Cozzolino is a true pioneer behind strapless kitesurfing. The 4x World Champion made history when he was the first ever person to compete in the RedBull King Of The Air in 2020 on a strapless board.

Airton discovered kitesurfing when he was just 12 years old. He lived in Ilha Do Sal, a small island off of the Cabo Verde archipelago, in North West Africa, where there are optimal conditions for kite-surfing. His breakout year was in 2011 when he won his first Kite-Surf world championship title. He then proceeded to win another three world titles in 2016, 2017 and 2019 in the Kite-surf discipline. 

 Alongside his many competition wins Airton was also the first rider to land a frontside 315 on a strapless board. This is an extremely technical trick that many twintip riders struggle to land themselves.


Marc Jacobs GKA Awards


Marc Jacobs began his kitesurfing in 2005 when he was just 13 years old. He started his kitesurfing career in twintip freestyle and is 12 x New Zealand Kiteboarding Champion.

Jacobs competed on the World Freestyle Tour for over 10 years and in 2013, he was crowned PKRA Vice World Champion. Nevertheless, Marc’s biggest achievement in his kitesurfing career was when he won the 2021 Red Bull King of the Air. After the 2019 Redbull KOTA event Jacobs made it his goal to win the KOTA and his hardwork and devotion to the discipline clearly paid off, managing to be crowned King after having learned all the latest moves bigger and better on his weaker switch tack. A massive achievement. 


Giel Vlugt GKA Awards


Giel Vlugt began his kitesurfing career just two years ago when he received his first sponsorship deal from Core Kites.

This marked the moment when he decided to dedicate his life to kiteboarding. In just his first year as a professional kitesurfer Giel achieved 1st place at the Big Air Kitefest event in Egypt and 2nd in the BAKL Full Power Tarifa Big Air contest. At the end of 2021 Giel competed in the RedBull KOTA for the first time and placed 4th overall.

Nevertheless, Giel’s most memorable moment so far in his kitesurfing career was when he won the Full Power Tarifa Big Air Contest in 2022, defeating reigning big air champions such as Liam Whaley. His signature moves of 2022 that he suddenly seems able to do on command are the breathtaking S-loop and the boogie double loop late frontroll – huge steps forward in the next level consistency of big air kiteboarding.



Charles Brodel GKA


Charles Brodel is one rider at the forefront of this new, evolving discipline, hydrofoil freestyle. His competitive journey in kitesurfing commenced in Landkite racing and freestyle where he found kite flying to be most exhilarating.

He is 2x landkite Junior French Champion and is the Landkite Race Champion 2017. In 2019 Brodel also won the Champion du monde Speed Crossing on a twintip. Nevertheless, Brodel’s highlight moment was when he was crowned the  KiteFoil Freestyle World Championships in 2021. During this event Brodel posted several world firsts in competition such as the Brodel Flip  and the one foot fuselage grab. He has more or less owned the extreme big air foiling space and will aim to claim the GKA Big Air World Championship title in Tarifa in June. 


James Carew GKA Awards


One rider who took 2021 by storm is the Australian kitesurfer, James Carew. James started competing on the GKA World Tour in 2018 and quickly moved up the rankings to great acclaim; easily rookie of the year. By 2019 Carew was ranked 3rd overall on the immensely competitive GKA Kite-Surf World Tour and from then on James only had one goal on his mind, world champion.

Carew’s explosive style of wave riding and fierce determination saw his strapless freestyle skills match his prowess in the surf and in 2021 he was crowned the GKA Kite-Surf World Champion, beating some of the most prestigious riders on the tour, including friend and rival, Airton Cozzolino. Besides competition James also enjoys surfing/ kite-surfing in big waves and recently released a video of his kite-surfing at the big wave spot, Nazare in Portugal.


Maxime Chaboloz GKA awards


Maxime Chabloz is arguably the most versatile athlete on the GKA Freestyle World Tour. Maxime grew up in the Swiss Alps with the mountains and the lakes on his doorstep. These idyllic conditions provided him with the perfect playground to work on freestyle kitesurfing and freestyle skiing.

2021/2022 has been Maxime’s most successful years as an athlete as he placed second overall on the GKA Freestyle World Tour. Remarkably he also won an immensely impressive Ski Freeride World Championship earlier this year. Compounding his unique all-round riding skills and competitive ability, he won the GKA Freestyle Distance Battle in 2020 and placed 3rd on GWA Wingfoil World Tour in Tarifa 2020.


Janek GKA Awards


Janek Grzegorzewski has been described by many as the future of kitesurfing. He has elevated Big Air Kitesurfing with his endless innovation on his megaloops.

At the age of 18 Janek won the Junior World Kitesurfing Championships and received an invitation to the prestigious Red Bull King of the Air competition in 2020 and 2021.  Although he didn’t make it to the podium, Janek did receive the highest trick score in competition history with a whopping 9.4 point score. 

In 2021 Janek won both the Big Air Kite League in Tarifa And the BAKL in Brazil, beating prestigious riders such as Liam Whaley.  Unfortunately Janek had a brutal fall before the BAKL event 2022 in Tarifa and is now on the road to recovery, ready to come back stronger than ever for the end of the 2022 season.


GKA Men's rider of the year contender Jesse Richman


Jesse Richman is a renowned big air kitesurfer and a big wave kiteboarder. He is arguably one of the most decorated kitesurfers in the world as he holds 7 world titles, 2 KOTA titles and has been crowned kiteboarder of the year 4 times.

Jesse began competing on the GKA World Tour when he was just 14 and spent nearly 8 years on the tour. However, after winning a few world titles Jesse decided to turn his attention to big wave surfing.  He has surfed and kite-surfed Jaws countless times and currently holds the world record for Kite-surfing the biggest wave ever in Nazare Portugal 2017. 

Jesse’s razor sharp focus and unwavering perseverance has helped him come back from many injuries. He continues to ride Jaws and compete in the Red Bull KOTA.



(You may only vote once)

To vote for the Men’s Best Move of the Year – click here

To vote for the Women’s Best Move of the Year – click here

To vote for the Female Rider of the Year – click here

To vote for the Social Contribution of the Year – click here

The post VOTE For the GKA Male Rider of the Year Award 2022 appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

The GKA World Tour is determined to foster youth participating in the sport of kiteboarding and will continue to invest in the Youth World Tour. In order to dedicate even more attention and support to the up and coming generations and to the Youth World Tour itself, the GKA World Tour has some significant announcements and goals for the Youth World Tour in 2022! Not the least of which is a NEW Youth World Tour Manager who will attend every Youth World Tour event as part of the Crew and provide dedicated support for riders, families and the public. 

Read on for all of the important information and updates for the 2022 GKA Youth World Tour!

GKA Youth Kite World Tour


Starting out the 2022 season, the GKA Youth World Tour has three potential events on the schedule:

  • GKA Kite-Surf and Freestyle Youth World Cup Tarifa (Spain)
    • Kite-Surf Strapless and Freestyle Twin-tip.
    • 01-04th September (Confirmed)
  • GKA Freestyle Youth World Cup St. Pierre La Mer (France)
    • Freestyle Twintip.
    • 29th Sept – 02nd October 2022 (Confirmed)
  • GKA Freestyle Youth World Cup Egypt.
    • Freestyle Twintip.
    • October-November 2022 (TBC)

Keep an eye on the World Tour events page for updates. 

2022 gka youth world tour


GKA Freestyle and Kite-Surf Youth World Cups will host riders in the following ages groups:

    • U21 (born in between 31/12/2001 and 31/12/2003)
    • U19 (born in between 01/01/2004 and 31/12/2006)
    • U16 (born in between 01/01/2007 and 31/12/2008)
    • U14 (born after 01/01/2009)

There will need to be a minimum of 4 competitors per category. If there are no 4 or more competitors, they will compete in the next higher category.


The Youth World Tour will utilize the GKA World Tour Rulebook, and all the events will have the same standards and criteria. 


We are thrilled to announce Ignacio del Águila González-Outón as the GKA Youth World Tour Manager for 2022! The addition of a Youth World Tour manager serves a number of purposes for the GKA. Firstly, our capacity for serving the youth on tour has been greatly increased and we are dedicated to providing ample support to this arm of the tour. Additionally, Ignacio brings a level of professionalism that will increase exposure for the tour and provide unparalleled assistance to the competitors on tour. He is determined to make the riders’ lives easier while competing on tour at the GKA Youth World Cup events. 

The Youth World Tour Manager’s Responsibilities Include:

  • Will be the main person of contact for riders and their families.
  • Will help organizers with anything they may need. 
  • Will help riders with anything they need in reference to events and the tour at large. 
  • Will be the person of contact between the riders and the specific event organizers. 
  • Will attend all of the events and make sure that the professionalism and Youth World Tour standards are the same at every event. 

The GKA wants to put the GKA Youth World where it deserves to be. We want to give the new generations of riders the World Tour that they need and that they want to have. We hear the riders and we are here for them, and the GKA is prepared to invest in this tour!


The post The GKA Youth World Tour 2022 appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

The GKA Freestyle World Cup Colombia kicked off the 2022 season with a bang! In the end, two Brazilians stole the show but there was plenty of colorful Colombian atmosphere leading up to the finals.

Keep scrolling for the moments gallery from the Freestyle World cup Colombia and highlights from the premiere South American stop of the season. 

Words: Sensi Graves
Photos: Lukas Stiller

Nelson Gomez, kiteboarder, GKA Freestyle World Cup Colombia

Becoming a local legend!

During the early rounds of the competition, local Nelson Gomez dominated his heat, ending day one with a victory and demonstrating that the Colombians were there to compete, not just to play! The local encouragement at this first GKA event of the season was off-the-charts. Backed by the support of the government of the state of Atlantico, the Colombians were proud to see such a big showing at Salinas del Rey. The energy on the beach was contagious and local and visiting riders alike utilized the strong gusts to go bigger and power themselves all across the competition area, putting on a show over the entirety of the event.



Luis Alberto Cruz

Send it city

One of the features of Salinas del Rey are the small, rolling kickers on the outside of the point. Some riders utilized these natural features to get even more height. Dominican rider, Luis Cruz was one of these athletes absolutely sending it off the kickers on the outside, throwing mega tricks with super height and pop. You could consistently hear a “whoa” from the judges whenever Cruz left the water.



Estefania Rosa gka kite world cup colombia

Going trick for trick!

In women’s round one, heat two, Claudia Leon and Estefania Rosa battled back and forth to see who could join Mikaili Sol and advance into the next round. Both women were nervous before the heat but put on an awesome showing, making for a nail-biting stand-off. First Leon landed a clean backside 313 and a slim chance but Rosa answered back with a frontside 313 and a Hinterberger mobe and eventually pulled ahead and secured her advancement.



Juan Rodriguez gka kiteboarding colombia

All smiles all around

The competitor with the biggest smile on his face had to be Colombian Juan Rodriguez. His dream was to have a kite event take place in his home country and this first event of the year was something special for him. He definitely had home-court advantage as the crowd went absolutely nuts every time he took to the water. Colombian pride was in full force and he finished on the podium for the first time!



There could not be a more magical atmosphere to start off the 2022 season than Salinas del Rey, Colombia! Watch the full recap video below and stay tuned for our next event. 

Valentin Rodriguez kiteboarder colombia

Pushing for it

Injuries are just part of the game and with riders pushing the limits at every single event, sometimes injuries happen. The 2019 World Champion, Colombian Valentin Rodriguez, was another rider with high hopes of impressing on home ground, but a slight tear in his bicep kept him from performing at his best. He ended up losing a crucial battle by less than two points to fellow Colombian, Juan Rodriguez, who handled the pressure with solid riding and perfect kite control.



Finn Flugel gka colombia kiteboarder

The next generation

12-year old Finn Flugel was one to watch during the comp. His sheer tenacity and stoke after advancing to the men’s quarter-finals were palpable. His riding was technical, with a solid showing of both raley-based and roll-based tricks. Whenever he hit the water, you could tell the GKA crew was cheering for him. Flugel ended up in a heat against Coccoluto and Soares (the eventual event winner)–and was thrilled to be riding with the heavy hitters!



Gianmaria Coccoluto gka kiteboarding colombia

Style points

Italian rider Giannamaria Coccoluto was a stand-out during the entirety of the GKA World Cup Colombia. He goes big, rides with amplitude and demonstrates a whole heck of a lot of style, on and off the water. Amongst the most consistently high-scoring riders, he had landed the highest-scoring single trick of a heat with a 9.2 for a massive Slim Chance 7, but sadly, he couldn’t keep it together during the finals and ended up in 4th place overall.



Big air games

The Big Air competition took place on the final day of the competition and the cheering from the beach reached a pinnacle during this portion. There’s a reason why big air showings are awesome–the crowd gets stoked by the magnitude and sheer power displayed every single time a rider leaves the water. Jeremy Burlando was able to beat out local competitor, Duvan Macias, and crowd-favorite, Juan Rodriquez, to secure a win!



bruna kajiya gka kite world cup colombia

Stand-out alert

The women’s final was a tight heat with Bruna Kajiya leading right up until the very end, though ultimately she lost narrowly to Mikaili Sol. True to herself, Bruna demonstrated consistency, power, and style throughout the competition. One of the standout moments for her was the huge Slim Chance in her final heat, earning a 7.83 from the judges. After the event, Bruna said “I’m just stoked to have landed all my tricks. I was super-powered on my 6m and that kite moves super fast. I handled the conditions and I’m thrilled to finish in second place.”



Carlos Mario, Gianmaria Coccoluto, Juan Rodriguez, Manoel Soares podium

Riding like a champion

Manoel Soares, currently riding without a title kite sponsor, rode powerfully throughout the event-winning every single heat except one where he finished second to Coccoluto. On top of that, he barely crashed and finished most heats with seven out of seven total scores! His smooth, clean landings and incredible kite control as he sent it to the moon while landing powerful tricks, ensured his first-place finish.



Mikaili Sol kiteboarder colombia

Pushing the limits

If there’s one word to describe Mikaili Sol’s riding, it’s powerful. She goes big, rides with confidence and is pushing the level of the women higher and higher at every event. During the semi-final heats she was consistently well-above the other competitors. However, in the finals she kept spectators thrilled by chasing Bruna throughout the heat, eventually overtaking the 3x World Champion to come out on top to start the defense of her 2021 title with a win. We can’t wait to see what she lands in 2022, having been the first woman to land a double handle-pass in competition at the end of last year!!



Click here to see the full 2022 GKA Kite World Tour calendar of events!

The post ‘Moments’ Gallery – GKA Freestyle World Cup Colombia appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

All photos: Svetlana Romantsova   Report: Gemma Hamaini

It was another perfect day for the GKA Hydrofoil Freestyle World Cup in Fortaleza, as the wind was pumping at 20-22 knots and the top hydrofoil freestylers in the World were ready to put on a show for the completion of this competition. The criteria remained the same, with the athletes given 15 trick attempts, with the top 4 scores counting. Congratulations to Charles Brodel from France for taking the event win and becoming the Men´s Hydrofoil Freestyle World Champion and, also,  Maike Elisa Mueller from Germany for taking the event win. 

Women’s Elimination

Yesterday we did a single elimination for all four women. Where Maike Elisa finished first, Samuela Mule second, Kylie third, Aurore Gineste fourth. These were not the final results as they would all have a second chance today to climb up the double-elimination ladder and win the event.

Kylie Zarmati from the USA managed to defeat Aurore Gineste in Round 2, and then went on to face Samuela Mule for Round 3. Samuela started strong, gaining good scores for her first-ever competition, but Kylie managed to gain the advantage with some good tricks that allowed her to advance to the next round.

The women’s final was action-packed as Kylie Zarmati battled with Maike Elise, both athletes wanting to steal the crown here in Fortaleza. Maike managed to fight her way to the very top, gaining an overall score of 12.57 points, and securing a first place on the podium.

“I’m really tired,” said Maike. “The wind really dropped during my heat, so it was hard work but I really did my best. I’m so excited about this result. Thank you to all of my friends who have helped me get here today.”

Men’s Elimination

Men’s Round 3 was completed yesterday, where Robin Stewart from the USA advanced over Joselito del Rosario from the Dominican Republic. Robin advanced to the Semi-Finals joined by Charles Brodel from France, Cesar Natoly also from France, and Maxime Desjardins who defeated Fred Hope in an extremely close heat. 

Men’s Semi-Final 1 was first in sequence today, where Charles Brodel went up against Robin Stewart. Charles was unstoppable with solid scores throughout his heat. He finished with an overall score of 24.54 points and locked down his spot in the final. 

The second semi-final was between Cesar Natoly and Maxime Desjardins, both young riders from France. Maxime was smashing out trick after trick and gaining a strong lead at the start. Natoly was riding strapless, so both athletes were really adopting a different style during this heat. Finally, it was Maxime Desjardins who pushed that little bit harder in the final moments and advanced to the final, with his powerful moves really gaining the judge’s attention. 

The Small-Final between Cesar Natoly and Robin Stewart had to be re-run due to a technical issue. Both athletes were riding strapless which added an extra dimension of difficulty. It was an extremely close heat with both riders performing with control and style. It all came down to the final moments, where Natoly could unfortunately not catch up in points, and Robin won the heat giving him the 3rd position finish for this event.

Men’s finals

The final was an intense match-up between
Charles Brodel and Maxime Desjardins. As Maxime had explained earlier in the competition, Charles has always been a big inspiration for him and one of the main reasons that he got into Hydrofoil Freestyle. This made the final even more exciting. Charles showed his experience and confidence from the very start. He rode with plenty of control and showed great speed and variety in his array of tricks. Young athlete Maxime battled his way through with some impressive trick attempts but failed to land several of his tricks. It was a valiant effort but it was Charles Brodel who stole the win, throwing out trick after trick, and having a great time whilst doing it. Charles Brodel is our new GWA Hydrofoil Freestyle World Champion, with a winning overall score of 30.02 points. 

“I’m super stoked to win this event. I’ve been training a lot for this,” said Charles. “I loved sharing the final with my close friend Maxime, and I know he is going to continue doing really well.”

GKA Hydrofoil Freestyle World Cup Fortaleza top 4 results:


1st Maike Elise Mueller

2nd Kylie Zarmati

3rd Samuela Mule

4th Aurore Gineste


1st Charles Brodel

2nd Maxime Desjardins

3rd Robin Stewart

4th Cesar Natoly

It’s been an incredible week of action for this new, rapidly-evolving discipline, and we look forward to seeing even more incredible tricks next year, as each rider is really helping to push the sport further and further each season. 

Thank you to our event organizers, crew, and amazing athletes for making this year’s event such a success, and we look forward to returning to the shores of Fortaleza next year once again.

Tomorrow, the action continues with the GWA Wingfoil World Tour and on Sunday we will have the Best Trick Session. So keep an eye on our Socials as we will have more action coming soon!

The post GKA Hydrofoil Freestyle World Cup Fortaleza | Superfoil Brazil | Day Four appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

All photos: Svetlana Romantsova   Report: Gemma Hamaini

Hydrofoil freestyle is still a relatively new discipline that is evolving rapidly and allows riders to kite at unique locations where the wind is much lighter. 

There are 12 men and 4 women of 9 different nationalities registered to participate at this event this week, where the forecast is looking very positive for each day of competition. Last year it was Fred Hope from the USA who topped the podium and won the GKA Hydrofoil Freestyle Championship title, and this year he will again have to face accomplished athletes such as Charles Brodel and Maxime Desjardins who will each be looking for a podium finish here at this event. The men will be competing here for the GKA Hydrofoil Freestyle World Championship title. 


“I started kiting at age 13. I rode a twin-tip, then switched to a surfboard, and then finally started hydrofoiling in 2015,” said Fred Hope. “I started doing jumps, riding with straps, and then started riding strapless in 2017, and I never really went back. I love just trying to figure it out, as it’s such a new discipline. I live in Hood River and then travel to Baja in the winters. They are both really great spots.”


“I started kiting when I was 13 years old, and then started foiling just a few years ago,” said Maxime Desjardins. “I started because my father and sister started. Then my sister’s boyfriend, Charles Brodel, started doing Hydrofoil Freestyle which I thought looked really spectacular. I decided to try it and loved it. This is my first competition, and I want to show the world what I can do on the water. I think that this discipline is going to get bigger and bigger, as we can do so much in really light wind.”

On the women’s side there is Samuela Mule from Italy, Aurore Gineste from France, German rider Maike Elisa and Kylie Zarmati from the USA who will all go face to face to battle the podium positions. The women were released from the competition today, and they will commence during tomorrow’s competition. As there are only 4 women registered to compete at this event, they will not be able to compete for a World Championship title, as that requires a minimum of 6 participants. 

“I started hydrofoiling about 1.5 years ago,” explained Maike Elisa. “I was living in Cabarete, and the wind was often quite light. This allowed me to ride with a lot less wind, and really have fun with it. I started and after a while, I really fell in love with this discipline. I was inspired to start with freestyle as there were so many good riders in Cabarete, such as Joselito del Rosario, who is also here competing. To see what is possible on a hydrofoil is amazing, because anything that you can do on a twin-tip or a surfboard, you can do on a hydrofoil as well.”

“I started kiteboarding about 15 years ago, but I started hydrofoiling about 5 years ago, just because it looked like a really fun new thing to try,” said Kylie Zarmati. “I got into freestyle because I want to inspire more women to get into it. I ride strapless and it’s so fun. This is my first competition. Hydrofoiling is great as it gives you the opportunity to ride in much lighter wind.”




Rounds 1 and 2 for the men were completed for this first day of competition. The action commenced at 2.30 pm local time, with wind speeds of 12 to 18 knots. The riders were given 9-minute heats, with 15 trick attempts, and the 4 top scores counting. The judges were looking for height, execution, commitment, and innovation. 

“So we are mixing two different styles since we have strapless and strapped riders battling in the same heats,” explained Head Judge Mallory de la Villemarque. “We’re looking at the technicality of the moves riders do, the speed they have in and out of the moves, the height they get (especially for strapped riders), and landings are quite important as well. When riders manage to land moves with their board not touching the water they get rewarded especially when the trick is technical.”



For Round 1, the winning athletes advanced directly to Round 3. The remaining riders got a second chance in Round 2. Locking down their positions directly to Round 3 were Joselito del Rosario, Charles Brodel and Oliver Pasche and Fred Hope. The most spectacular performance of the day went to Charles Brodel in Heat 2, where he achieved an overall score of 24.07 points, including 8 points for his Double Front Board-Off. Fred Hope from the USA also showed some innovative tricks, including his Lazyboy, a front roll landing seated on his board, which scored him 7.43 points.

The eliminations started during Round 2, where riders had to win their heats in order to advance. This is where the riders started to feel the pressure to perform if they wanted to remain in the competition. It was Robin Steward, Reed Brady, Cesar Natoly, and Maxime Desjardins who managed to advance over their competitors. All four riders will now prepare to continue the battle in Round 3 tomorrow.

Tomorrow, the action continues with the first possible start for the Hydrofoil Freestyle at 1 pm local time. 

Be sure to follow our live-stream, live-ticker, and live-scoring on our website:

Check our Instagram stories for regular behind-the-scenes updates throughout the competition.

The post GKA Hydrofoil Freestyle World Cup Fortaleza | Superfoil Brazil | Day One appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

Report: Gemma Hamaini   All photos: Svetlana Romantsova

Finals day in Cumbuco, Brazil, was nothing short of spectacular! The top riders in the World gave a breathtaking performance for both the Men’s and Women’s finals. The battle for the Cumbuco podium positions was a fierce one, which saw the athletes give their all on the water.

Men’s Semi-finals

Men’s semi-final 2 was first in sequence, with the men riding on 13-14m kites. The judging criteria remains the same as previous days, with 7 trick attempts and the top 4 scores counting. Maxime Chabloz was once again unstoppable for the semi-final, locking down solid scores trick after trick. Gianmaria Coccoluto started strong but struggled towards the end of his heat, crashing his last 4 trick attempts. Juan Rodriguez also had a good start but was unable to keep the strong rhythm going on his final trick attempts. He, unfortunately, was unable to advance. Manoel Soares missed only one trick attempt and performed a well-executed array of tricks. He finished in 2nd position and clinched his spot in the final together with Maxime Chabloz. 

Men’s Finals

The finals saw Swiss rider Maxime Chabloz go up against the top three Brazilian riders: Carlos Mario, Erick Anderson, and Manoel Soares. The action was outstanding from the start, with each rider opening with massive tricks. Slim 7’s, Double Heart Attacks, and 319’s were all thrown out, and that was just the warm-up. All riders remained so close together in points right until the last round of tricks. The crowds on the beach of Cumbuco were going absolutely crazy for the final moments of the heat, where the podium positions would be decided. Carlos Mario left everyone speechless with his final trick, an outstanding Heart Attack 7 scoring a perfect 10 points. Carlos once again showed the World that he is the king of freestyle kiteboarding, and he is back on top. Maxime Chabloz was so close to claiming the win, but his final trick score fell slightly short, and he had to settle for second place here at this final event of the season. Erick Anderson finished in 3rd, delighted with his podium position, and Manoel Soares, who rode incredibly well during this ultra-competitive final, finished the event in 4th position.

“I’m really happy with second place,” said Maxime. “I mean, you always come here to win, but Brazil is such a challenging place to actually win. There are so many amazing riders here. The conditions are always good and everyone always shows their best. I’m definitely going to work hard for next year, and I will work on my big air skills.”

The final results for this event are: 

1st Carlos Mario

2nd Maxime Chabloz 

3rd Erick Anderson

4th Manoel Soares

Women’s Finals

The Women’s Final was an exciting mix, with our current World Champion Mikaili Sol looking to defend her title, going up against Rita Arnaus, Nathalie Lambrecht, and 3x former World Champion Karolina Winkowska. All four women rode consistently for the final, pushing each other to go further with each trick attempt. Mikaili Sol managed to gain a lead above her competitors, landing a Slim 5 scoring 9 points, as well as a massive 315 amongst her trick attempts. Rita Arnaus pulled together a spectacular heat, scoring 9 points for her powered Heart Attack. Karolina Winkowska landed several clean tricks proving how very experienced she is in competition. Her scores, however, were not quite enough to catch up to Mika and Rita. 

Mikaili finished the heat with a spectacular 317, scoring another perfect 10 points. It was an outstanding heat, where she cruised back to the beach as the 2021 GKA Freestyle World Champion and the winner of the GKA Freestyle World Cup Cumbuco. Yet another impressive accomplishment for this young athlete with a very bright future ahead of her. Rita Arnaus claimed 2nd place, a great reward for all of the hard work and commitment that she has put into her training this year. Karolina Winkowska claimed the 3rd podium position, an unreal come-back to her first freestyle competition in many years. Nathalie Lambrecht may not have made the podium, but she rode solidly for her first-ever final and finished this competition in 4th place.

For Mikaili Sol, it is yet another title, even though this final was a close call as Rita could have snapped up the win with her last trick attempt. “I was feeling a bit of pressure, and wasn’t getting the scores I wanted, “ explained Mikaili. “It all came down to Rita’s last trick, where she didn’t get the score she wanted. From there, the pressure was off, so I decided to go out and do a 317, and it was one of the best ones I have ever done in my life. I’m super stoked and happy for everything that has happened here at this event.”

“I felt really good,” said Rita. “That’s the most important part for me. I just wanted to do my best and enjoy the final to the maximum. I didn’t really realise that I was so close to Mika until my last trick, when I realised that I really had to just go for it. I went for a KGB, I missed the pop a little bit but I did my best. Mika is riding so well, it really inspires me to push myself. I hope to beat her one day, not too far away!”


The final results for this event are:

1st: Mikaili Sol

2nd: Rita Arnaus

3rd: Karolina Winkoska

4th: Nathalie Lambrecht

So once again, 16-year-old Mikaili Sol takes the win of both the GKA Freestyle World Cup Cumbuco together with the 2021 GKA Freestyle World Championship title, and Carlos Mario claimed the win today for this event, celebrating with hundreds of fans on the windy shores of Cumbuco. This location is always a spectacular place to finish the final event of the season. 

The action is not over yet, as we will again be LIVE tomorrow with a super-session. Be sure to follow our live-stream, live-ticker, and live-scoring on our website:

Check our Instagram stories for regular behind-the-scenes updates throughout the competition.

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The action continued in Cumbuco, Brazil, as we progressed through the semi-finals, and crowned our new Men’s GKA Freestyle World Champion.

It was a rainy and stormy start as we headed into Day Three of action in Cumbuco, Brazil. The full Men’s and Women’s Eliminations were completed in 16-18 knot winds, showcasing the World’s very best freestyle talent, and with a new World Champion crowned.

Women’s Elimination 

Women’s Round 4 was first in sequence, where Nathalie Lambrecht advanced to the semi-finals together with former World Champion Karolina Winkoska. 

Rita Arnaus has been unstoppable since the start of this event, and her heat today for the semi-final 1 was another reflection of all of the hard work and effort she has been putting in her training. She advanced to the finals with a solid overall score of 26.07 points, together with Nathalie Lambrecht from Sweden who had a close fight with Pippa van Iersel for that much-desired spot in the finals, which is the first final ever for the Swedish rider. 

Semi-final 2 saw another dominating performance from Mikaili Sol, who blasted right into the heat landing a Slim 5 and scoring 9.50 points. She locked down her spot in tomorrow’s finals, and will be joined by former World Champion Karolina Winkowska, whose return to freestyle competition has been well rewarded. Karolina gave us a glimpse of the talent and style that gave her 3 x World Championship titles, and it will be exciting to see her performance in tomorrow’s finals. This unfortunately left another former World Champion, Bruna Kajiya, eliminated from the competition as she struggled to land various trick attempts, costing her valuable points. 

The battle right now for the World Championship is between Rita Arnaus & Mikaili Sol. In Sol ends up in 4th position, Mika can become World Champion.

Men’s Elimination

Round 5 was full of surprises, as only two riders from each heat could advance to the semi-finals. Heat 1 was all about the Brazilian super-duo – Multiple World Champion Carlos Mario and Manoel Soares, who boosted trick after trick, with Carlos winning the heat and clearing the way to the semi-finals. Manoel Soares dropped an outstanding 9.33 Heart Attack 7 to finish things off. 

Heat 2 continued with another strong Brazilian performance, this time for Erick Anderson, who pulled out a great overall score of 31.7 points, securing his spot in the semi-finals. The drama however was high between the remaining three riders of the heat, as Jeremy Burlando fought hard in order to remain in the competition and still have a shot at the World Championship title. Sadly, his final Slim 7 left him short of points, and Juan Rodriguez from Colombia advanced over him. Juan has been riding well since the start of the competition, and this heat really solidified his position as one of the top current athletes. One of the major upsets of the day saw the current World Champion Valentin Rodriguez eliminated from the competition in Round 5, a strong contrast from his winning performance here two years ago. 

Gianmaria Coccoluto from Italy showed significant evolution in his riding for Heat 3, where he advanced to the semi-finals joined by Louka Pitot from Mauritius, who performed well despite the fact that he is suffering with a foot injury.

All focus shifted to Heat 4, where Arthur Guillebert needed to place himself in the top three in order to be crowned World Champion. This was not an easy feat given the top contenders he was facing. Maxime Chabloz dominated the heat opening with a massive score of 9.03 points. Arthur struggled to find his focus, and dipped in and out of 4th position, but on his final trick attempt, he managed to catapult himself into 2nd place, allowing him to claim the 2021 Freestyle World Champion title, a well-deserved first for this well-rounded French rider. 

Men’s Semi-Finals
It was an intense match-up of powerful riders for semi-final 1. The wind conditions were lighter than the previous rounds, with the men riding 13-14m kites. The level was extremely high throughout with each rider throwing down powered trick after trick, each trying to go harder than the other. Carlos Mario was absolutely on fire, proving that he is back in action and fully recovered from his previous injury. Always receiving immense support from the public here at his homespot of Cumbuco, his riding today was a classic Bebe performance that reminded us of why he has won so many World Titles in the past. He advances to tomorrow’s finals, and is joined by fellow Brazilian Erick Anderson, who came in 2nd close behind him, landing all but one of his trick attempts. Arthur Guillebert, our new World Champion, unfortunately, crashed 4 of his 7 attempts, and could not advance further in this event. Louka Pitot also struggled during this heat with his current injury that made it hard for him to successfully land all of his attempts.

The wind, unfortunately, dropped during the second men’s semi-final, but the action will be back on tomorrow, with the first possible start called for 12:30 (GMT-3). Today we crowned our new Men’s Freestyle World Champion, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to see who will be our new Women’s World Champion. The event will continue with the men’s and women’s finals, so we can see who will become King and Queen of Cumbuco! Re-watch the Livestream of day 3

Be sure to follow our live-stream, live-ticker, and live-scoring on our website:

Check our Instagram stories for regular behind-the-scenes updates throughout the competition.

The post GKA Freestyle World Cup Cumbuco | Super Kite Brazil | Day Three appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

Report: Gemma Hamaini   All photos: Svetlana Romantsova

The riders were pumped and ready to go for an early start during day 2 of the GKA Freestyle World Cup Cumbuco, with approximate wind speeds of 14 to 17 knots. First in sequence was Men’s Round 3, where the winners of each heat advanced directly to Round 5, and those placing 2nd and 3rd would get a second chance in Round 4. The judging criteria remained the same as yesterday: Pure freestyle format. Riders had 7 trick attempts, with the top 4 scores counting. 

Men’s Round 3

The freestyle action was intense from the start, with the riders ecstatic to be back competing in Cumbuco. Men’s Round 3 saw Carlos Mario proving that he is back in business, landing an outstanding Double Heart Attack 5 scoring 8.60 points, and advancing directly to Round 5. Joining him were Manoel Soares, Jeremy Burlando, Valentin Rodriguez, Louka Pitot, Gianmaria Coccoluto, Maxime Chabloz, and Arthur Guillebert. With the top riders having locked down their Round 5 positions, the focus turned to Round 4 where the remaining riders needed to finish 1st or 2nd to advance.

Men’s Round 4

The battle intensified for Men’s Round 4, as riders had to qualify in 1st or 2nd position if they wanted to remain in the competition. Heat 1 was a tight race between Juan Rodriguez from Colombia and Dominican rider Posito Martinez. Both athletes finished with almost equal points, allowing them both to advance but eliminating Ewan Jaspen whose great style and execution, unfortunately, weren’t quite enough to top the scores of the other competitors. Veteran competitor Val Garat was also eliminated after crashing 4 of his 7 trick attempts. This means that both Val and Ewan are now out of the title race. 

Round 4, Heat 2 saw Erick Anderson put on a strong performance showing how comfortable he is riding on home territory, landing an impressive Slim 7 scoring 8.47 points. Anderson has always achieved good results at this event, and this year seems to be no exception. He was joined by fellow Brazilian Guilherme Costa with both advancing to Round 5. 

Alex Neto is another veteran on the World Tour, and for Heat 3 he stormed his way through landing all of his trick attempts. He advanced to the next round joined by another young Brazilian rider, Matheus Mendez. 

For the final heat of Round 4, Italian rider Matteo Dorotini advanced and passed through to Round 5 together with Egyptian rider Karim Mahmoud, who just managed to advance over 13-year-old Davi Ribeiro.

The pressure is high as the World Championship titles are still up for grabs, with the closest race being between Arthur Guillebert and Jeremy Burlando. If both of these riders reach the semi-finals, whichever one of them places higher will be crowned World Champion here in Cumbuco. If neither of them advance to the semi-finals, then the door opens for Posito Martinez and Karim Mahmoud. With all of this still at play, the stage is set for an intense few days of action here in Cumbuco.

Women’s Round 3

The winners of Round 3 advanced directly to the semi-finals, making it a highly competitive round from the very start. Rita Arnaus from Spain wasted no time and grabbed her spot in the semi-final beating 3x World Champion Karolina Winkoska during Heat 1. Rita landed a powered Heart Attack scoring 7.57 points, which boosted her overall score to a solid 27.61 points.

Pippa van Iersel always performs well at this location, and today was no exception as she advanced over local rider Estefania Rosa and Holly Keenan from the UK, by throwing down a clean KGB scoring 7.30 points.

Former World Champion Bruna Kajiya stormed through Heat 3, with her Slim Chance scoring 7.76 points, allowing her to advance over Claudia Leon and Alejandra Torres, who will have to fight for the second chance in Round 4.

The highlight of the day came during the final women’s heat of Round 3, where current World Champion Mikaili Sol scored a perfect 10 for her 317, a first landed for women in competition. She cleaned up with a total heat score of 33.43 and secured her spot in the semi-finals. All other competitors from this round get a second chance in Round 4.

“Honestly, I did not think I was going to make that!” said Mika. “I missed the pop completely, and just thought, okay, I’m going to go for it anyway. I was just as surprised as you guys were!”

The first possible start for tomorrow has been called for 10.30am, as the action continues here in Cumbuco, Brazil. With the World Titles still up for grabs, anything can still happen!

Be sure to follow our live-stream, live-ticker, and live-scoring on our website:

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The post GKA Freestyle World Cup Cumbuco | Super Kite Brazil | Day Two appeared first on GKA Kite World Tour.

All photos: Svetlana Romantsova

The GKA Kite World Tour is excited to be back in Brazil for the final Freestyle stop of the year. The GKA Freestyle World Cup Cumbuco at Superkite Brazil is taking place next to the Duro Beach Hotel in Cumbuco.

In total 43 riders, 29 men and 14 women of 19 different nationalities registered to compete at the second and the last stop of the GKA Freestyle World Cup in Brazil

To everyone’s surprise Karolina Winkowska (POL), three times Freestyle World Champion, signed up to compete at this event after taking a long break from the competition scene. Tour veteran Paula Novotna (CZE), will not be competing at this event as she decided to focus on the wingfoiling and competing at GWA Wingfoil World Cup in Fortaleza straight after this event. Also, Hannah Whiteley (GBR) has decided not to compete, even though she finished third at the last event in Tarifa.

At the moment, any of the top five women Mikaili Sol (BRA), Pippa Van Iersel (NED), Rita Arnaus (ESP), Claudia Leon (ESP), and Nathalie Lambrecht (SWE) can be crowned as the World Champions this year.

Let’s not forget that the GKA Freestyle World Cup Tarifa was the first competition with Pure Big Air Format due to extreme weather conditions (40+ knots wind). In case you want to look back at the event in Tarifa click here to read the Aftermath article.

On the Men’s side, we can expect to see some well-known Freestyle riders like Valentin Rodriguez (COL),  Gianmaria Coccoluto (ITA) and Carlos Mario Bebe (BRA), fighting for the top positions here in Brazil. Even though, Arthur Guillebert (FRA), had shown that he can handle any conditions thrown at him as he claimed the first World Cup title of his career in Tarifa. Keep an eye on Jeremy Burlando (ESP), Ewan Jaspan (AUS), Posito Martínez (DOM), Valentin Garat (FRA) as they have enough points to get to the top and claim the World Champion Title.

“We are definitely going to see a very exciting last freestyle event in Brazil and we are not used to getting to the final stop of the year with so many different possible scenarios for the World Titles.” – says the Head Judge, Alvaro Onieva.

At this event, we have a pure freestyle format due to the lighter winds. Meaning that 4 tricks from 4 different trick families count from 7 attempts. Riders take turns to perform one trick in 45 seconds. 

Men’s Round 1 and 2

Today we started with the Men’s heats first at around midday. We saw a great performance from 13-years-old Brazilian groom Davi Ribeiro (BRA) who was throwing 319’s during his first heat allowing him to advance straight to Round 3 along with Carlos Martinez (DOM), Manoel Soares (BRA) and Jack Rieder (CAN). In Round 2, riders got a second chance to regain their positions, where Guilherme Costa (BRA) and Matheus Mendez (BRA) showed their best and managed to get through to Round 3.

Women’s Round 1

Women’s heats started in the late afternoon with a bit lighter winds than during the Men’s heats so ladies were on 10-13m2 kites. We managed to complete only Round 1 where a newcomer Holly Keenan (GBR) surprised everyone with some great riding and advanced straight to Round 3. Also, 3 times Freestyle World Champion Karolina Winkowska (POL) signed up for this event and scored the highest trick score of the day 7.73 by landing an Inverted Slim Chance. Tomorrow, we’ll continue with the Women’s Round 2 where a Brazilian Luiza Crispim will face Nina Font from Spain.

Skippers meeting has been called for 7:30 am tomorrow, with the first possible start at 8:00 am. 

Unfortunately, all live-stream gear and crew bags got lost on the way from Morocco to Brazil so we are trying to find a solution and do our best to get the live-stream started as soon as possible. Meanwhile, follow the live-ticker and live-scoring on our website:

Check our Instagram stories for regular behind-the-scenes updates throughout the competition.

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With only 15 years old, Brazilian Mikaili Sol is the 2019 GKA Freestyle World Champion!

Edit by Oliver Umpierre