Posts Tagged ‘World Tour’

34 riders registered for the GKA Gran Canaria 2019 at Playa de Vargas. The first World Tour event on the island is officially opened. Check here the report.

GKA Report:

Wednesday 12th June 2019
Words: Matt Pearce / Photos: Svetlana Romantsova

34 riders, 25 men and nine women, arrived at Playa de Vargas today to register for the GKA Freestyle World Cup Gran Canaria and to get a feel for the spot in pumping 25 knot + winds.

Although Gran Canaria has already rightfully earned its place in windsurfing lore over the years due to the many events that have been held at the legendary Pozo, which is just a couple of kilometres from here, there’s never been a World Tour kiteboarding event on the island before now.

That’s all about to change this week though, with a dependable looking forecast and the overall tour leads up for grabs at what’s still an early stage in the competitive calendar.

The main event will run across the next four days from Thursday until Sunday and the judging criteria will be split between wakestyle / freestyle and big air depending on the conditions. This ‘open format’ gives the riders the chance to ride to the day’s conditions, and so it looks like tomorrow’s opening heats will be freestyle-focused with 20 knot winds on the forecast.

If the famous Canarian ‘Alisios’ trades fire in full force though, we could well be looking at a big air blow out later in the week!

Carlos Mario currently leads the men’s division, but Maxime Chabloz will be hot on his heels after narrowly losing out to the Brazilian in the finals at the first event of the year in Leucate back in April.

Liam Whaley is also here, fresh off the back of a storming performance and a fourth place finish at the Red Bull Megaloop last weekend in the Netherlands. He was already looking very tuned into the conditions and was firing on all cylinders during today’s warm-up session.

In the women’s division, the top spot is wide open at this event due to current tour leader Francesca Bagnoli’s absence and Mika Sol, Bruna Kajiya and Hannah Whitely are just some of the riders who’ll be vying for their chance to climb higher up the overall rankings here in Gran Canaria.

With the opening ceremony complete and the event now officially underway, the action will begin tomorrow morning with a first possible start at 10:00.

It’s a big week coming up! Be sure to stay locked into GKA channels on social media and look out for daily video updates once the heats start rolling.


The World Kiteboarding Championships (WKC) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) are now one new unified World Tour. From 2019 onwards, the GKA will represent the professional freestyle kiteboarding and professional wave-kitesurfing.

Read here the GKA press release:


The world of professional freestyle kiteboarding competition has seen many changes in the past years, lending 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 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 & 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.


Watch Annabel van Westerop enjoying her time spent in Brazil, while she trains for the WKL world tour of freestyle.

Camera: Diego Giannicola, Tommy Pianta, Sem Kluyver
Edit: Annabel van Westerop
Music: All We Know – The Chainsmokers (ft. Phoebe Ryan)


Last year Aaron Hadlow made his comeback to world tour competition after suffering a knee injury, and spending some much needed time freeriding with the crew. Now, after placing a strong 3rd on his first year back he is now settled, back into the flow and ready to give the World Title another go. Could this be his 6th World title in 2015?

Watch him exploring new spots in South Africa during off-season trainings.

Karolina Winkowska finished the year as 2013 PKRA Vice World Champion, having great memories from last year world tour. Watch a short wrap up video presenting some of her best performances and see how she takes the sport and the competitions seriously.

Jakub Winkowski
Alexander Lewis-Hughes

 Hola Kitesurfer, die PKRA 2012 war ein voller Erfolg – Karolina Winkowska ging bei den Damen als Siegerin hervor und wir zeigen euch heut ein paar Momente daraus. Doch bis zum Titel und dem entscheidenen Glücksmoment war es ein Jahr voller Reisen um die Welt, es gab 11 Wettbewerbe zu absolvieren, dutzende von Heats zu [...]
Hola kite-mates, die neuen Weltmeister im Freestyle der Reef Kitesurf PKRA World Tour 2012 von Neukaledonien sind  keine anderen als Karolina Winkowska und Youri Zoon. Karolina gewann im Kampf gegen Bruna Kajiya – welche sich ein hartes beeindruckendes  Match  mit voller Intensivität, Entschlossenheit und hoher Konzentration lieferten. Doch am Ende kann es nur eine bessere [...]

Bringing the Ponta Preta Kite Surf Pro to a close, today concluded the KSP’s inaugural three-stop 2011 Kite Surfing World Championship Tour.

“We had insane conditions on tour this year,” said KSP rider and Vice President Sky Solbach. “ We scored the most perfect surf ever seen in competition in Mauritius and the longest waves on the planet in Peru. Unfortunately Mother Nature did not cooperate in Cape Verde, but we still had a blast in the Super Sessions here.”

Due to the bleak swell forecast for the remainder of the 10-day holding period, yesterday, the KSP rider’s committee decided along with KSP organizers to end the competition early following the two Super Sessions in varying conditions.

According to the KSP contest rules all 24 men at this Cape Verdean tour stop received an equal number of points (4,365), which go toward the 2011 World Championship title. The 12 female riders each earned 5,265 points. Overall, 64 riders from 20 countries competed on the inaugural KSP Tour.

Kicking off at 7 p.m. last night at the beachside venue of Odjo d’ Agua in downtown Santa Maria, KSP officials awarded the Cape Verde Super Session winners and crowned the 2011 World Champions.

In the women’s Super Session Overall, Kirsty Jones (UK/North) took first, with Adriana Harlan (Hawaii) placing second and Kristin Boese (Best/Germany) coming in third. On the men’s front Airton Cozzolino (Italy/North) took first, with Bear Karry (USA) and local wild card winner Jose Djo Silva (Cape Verde/F-One) coming in second and third, respectively.

The prize giving then turned to the coveted World Championships, the culminated results from the One Eye Kite Surf Pro in Le Morne, Mauritius, the Pacasmayo Kite Surf Pro in Pacasmayo, Peru and the Ponta Preta Kite Surf Pro in Santa Maria, Cape Verde — held at three of the best kite surfing locations in the world.

On the women’s podium, 9-time World Champion Kristin Boese (Germany/Best) took third place, with Marie Gautron (France/Naish) coming in second and the young Portuguese rider Ines Correia taking the World Championship title.

The men’s podium saw 2010 Kitesurfing World Champion and winner of the second KSP Tour stop in Peru, Guilly Brandao (Brazil), in third place and local Cape Verdean hero Mitu Monteiro (F-One) in second. However, it was Airton Cozzolino (Italy/North), winner of the first tour stop in Mauritius and second place finisher in Peru who stole the crowd’s hearts. In an emotional interview, the native Cape Verdean could not fight back his tears of joy after being carried onto the podium by his local crew and graciously accepting his first ever World Championship trophy in front of his home crowd.

“I am so happy. Thank you to everyone. It’s a dream come true,” said the near-speechless Cozzolino.

The 2012 KSP World Championship Tour schedule will be released on February 1, 2012. Once again, the lineup of venues promises world-class exotic locations across the globe to showcase high-performance kitesurfing in the world’s best waves by the world’s best riders.

Congrats to Airton Cozzolino and Inês Correia, the 2011 KSP World Tour champions!!