Formed as a united, independent body by the vast majority of kitesurfing’s most established brands, it is the goal of the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) to represent the interests of the kite-sports industry and to support and promote the interests of all professional kite riders.
SECRETARY GENERAL: DR. JÖRGEN VOGT
As a lawyer with a background in political lobbying as well as professional windsurfing, Jörgen combines his passion for kitesurfing with an expert ability in the boardroom.
1st CHAIR: TILL EBERLE
Till runs North Kiteboarding, the biggest brand in kitesurfing, and is responsible for bringing many innovations in the sport to market. Based in Germany, his vision is to bring the kitesurfing industry to work together towards a common goal of safe development and growth.
2ND CHAIR: ROBBY NAISH
Multiple World Windsurfing Champion, pioneer of kitesurfing, head of Naish Hawaii and extreme sportsman, Robby has vast experience at all levels of competition, as a competitor, sponsor, mentor and consultant.
3RD CHAIR / TREASURER: CLINTON FILEN
Clinton, from Cape Town in South Africa, is MD and head of design for Airush and Starboard surf. Technically minded and extremely focused on sustainability in the sport, Clinton has had great success in uniting the industry towards the GKA’s goals.
AT THE CORE:
The GKA advocates that kiting as a sport can be done in all countries in harmony with nature. This includes the feasibility of professional kiting competitions on beaches that are suitable for this purpose. The GKA also works to create positive relationships with all national kiting associations as with the various professional kite sports organizations.
The kite sport industry aims to provide reliable information about market developments and to provide riders with a platform to achieve the goals of GKA. The GKA’s main objective, however, is to ensure that kitesurfing continues safe practice through the development and implementation of equipment standards.
Although the Global Kitesports Association wasn’t founded as an organisation to run competitive world tours, the GKA is an alliance that consists of most of kiteboarding’s main brands, so it is naturally in their interest to ensure that a healthy, ambitious and aspirational, professional competitive scene continues to flourish in all kiteboarding’s disciplines.
At the end of 2016, the GKA was handed the rights to run World Championship tours in the expression disciplines of kitesurfing. In 2018 the GKA enters its third season running the Kite-Surf World Tour (for wave and strapless freestyle) and will launch for the first time the GKA Big AIR World Tour. The GKA has handed over the rights to Freestyle competition to the KRU (Kiteboarding Riders United). The IKA continue to run the racing classes.
THE GKA EVENT CREW:
Meet our dynamic team who work hard to ensure that each World Tour event runs as a success for the athletes, sponsors, local organisers and sport as a whole through positive media output.
Kitesurfing is an incredibly invigorating sport to practice and also one of the most visually inspiring activities to capture the imagination. One of the main purposes of the Association is to support and encourage a friendly co-existence with special-interest groups, such as environmental protection groups, the tourism industry as well as the kite sports industry. The GKA aims to use kitesurfing’s broad and naturally healthy appeal to raise awareness of current environmental issues.