Let the Air Games Begin

Published on March 15th, 2018

Before the microprocessor consumed the consumer and youth sports became an industry, kids might be found on a windy day ripping across an empty parking lot, sailing their skateboards with bedsheets.

These early kites have now been transformed into a unique corner of World Sailing’s jurisdiction as it oversees all things to do with competitive sailing. The two organizations which fulfill this responsibility are the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA).

Whereas the IKA is in charge of course racing, the GKA manages expression events such as big air and freestyle. While there are only so many ways to race around buoys, there is little evidence that the creativity of today’s kiteboarders is slowing down.

In 2018, the GKA Kiteboarding World Tour will stage a series of World Cup events that will put the wow factor and spectators’ enjoyment at the heart of the action. Wild and dynamic performances will take the best of all aspects of twin-tip freestyle kiteboarding and at the end of the season World Champions will be crowned.

The essence of the tour is to find the most complete twin-tip rider out there, however, the basis of each judging category primarily calls for as much height as possible. After that, the show will come down to each rider’s interpretation and how they want to display their vision for where an all-round show of explosive riding can go in the given conditions.

The Categories:
• Regular jumps (spins, grabs – anything goes, as long as it’s high)
• Board-offs
• Kite loops
• Handle-passes

By developing a format with four different and diverse categories the visual show will always be dynamic, explosive and exciting. By allowing riders to omit one category of trick, there’s still scope for them to specialise without having to sacrifice their own distinct riding styles, so we expect to see some of the sport’s biggest stars throwing down in their own trademark style.

One male and one female rider will prevail and this tour will bring together the world’s best riders to open all our eyes to what’s possible when inspiration from all corners of the twin-tip spectrum merge as one into Air Games.

The Conditions:
The competition will run in any winds of 15 knots and above, so riders need to be prepared to switch up their performances. As the winds increase, the overall height factor will score more highly, while at the lower end of the wind scale, judges will be rewarding more technicality, while still expecting as much height and amplitude as possible.

The Events:
April 17-22: Mondial du Vent; Leucate, France
June 27-July 1: Tarifa, Spain
July 9-15: Kiteboarding World Cup; Cabarete, Dominican Republic
More events: TBC

For more information… click here.


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