CONTACT: Tel. +49 (0) 172 29 22 807 |


Global Kitesports Association e.V.

Gärtnerstrasse 89

20253 Hamburg


You can reach the GKA office from 27.7. until 30.8.2017 only at the following telephone number: +49 (0)151 18728895



Mission Statement

The Global Kitesports Association 

(GKA) as representation of interests of the kite-sports industry supports and promotes the interests of all (professional) kite riders.


Secretary General:

Dr. Jörgen Vogt



Till Eberle (1st Chairman)

Robby Naish (2nd Chairman)

Clinton Filen (Treasurer)

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26. AUGUST 2016




The GKA Freestyle Rider of the Year award was an initiative developed by the member brands of the Global Kitesports Association, to find the all-round freestyle kiteboarding athlete of the year. 


The Global Kitesports Association (GKA) was founded in August 2014 by most important kitesurf brands worldwide – there are 13 in total. The main goals of the GKA are to keep the beaches open for practicing kitesurfing in harmony with nature, to make kitesurfing even safer and to support professional kitesurfing on a spectacular, sustainable and reliable level. 


As a result of the 'fight' between IKA and WKT and the disaster in the freestyle championship tour in 2015, the brands discussed whether to pull out of professional freestyle kitesurfing completely, or to create an overall title that was independent of all the ongoing political discussions between the parties involved. 


The GKA and its members decided to choose the second option and created the GKA Freestyle Grand Slam Tour with the eventual champion called 'Rider of the Year' at the end. 


In doing so, the GKA wanted to ensure that there was continued support from the industry given to those individual event organisers who (regardless of the activities of world tour associations), have staged legitimate, financially sound and clean individual events for whichever 'world tour' over several seasons. 


Labelled as 'Grand Slam' events, the following events count towards the ranking for this year's GKA Freestyle Rider of the Year awards:



Red Bull King of the Air

Mondial du Vent at Leucate, France

Wind Voyager Triple-S, Cape Hatteras, USA

MaiTai Cabarete Invitational

Pringles Kitesurf World Cup, Fehmarn, Germany




Riders are allowed to discard one event in the series and points are allocated as follows:


1st = 0.7 points

2nd = 2 points

3rd = 3 points 

30th = 30 points


*Non attendance scores maximum points plus 1


When four men finished joint first as the contest wasn't completed in Leucate they were awarded 2.4 points each, (0.7 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 9.7 divided by 4 = 2.4).


When six women finished joint first as the contest wasn't completed in Leucate they were awarded 3.5 points each. (0.7 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 = 20.7 divided by 6 = 3.5)



Aaron Hadlow leads the way, having started his season off with another win at the Red Bull King of the Air



The league table at the moment lies as follows:


Alex Pastor: 43.4 total points  

Aaron Hadlow: 46.7 

Carlos Mario: 52.4  

Liam Whaley: 56  

Posito Martinez: 60  


Non-attendance points are included in the table above. All riders are registered in Germany for the event this week, so if we take away the discards to get a more accurate view, it looks like this:



Aaron Hadlow: 15.7 

Alex Pastor: 20.4  

Carlos Mario: 27.4

Liam Whaley: 31

Posito Martinez: 35 


So, as you can see the Germany event takes on a real importance in deciding the eventual outcome of the GKA Freestyle Rider of the Year title. 


For Aaron Hadlow to win: he needs to just finish ahead of Alex Pastor and not more than 11 places below Carlos Mario. 


For Alex Pastor to win: ideally he needs to win the event, finishing on 21.1 points, and needs Aaron to finish in 6th or below. 


For Carlos Mario to win: he's going to need to win the event and have Aaron finish in 13th and Alex Pastor in 8th. 


See the full list of rankings here: GKA Freestyle Rider of the Year Rankings


Follow the World Kiteboarding League in Germany here: World Kiteboarding League website


Bruna Kajiya holds a commanding lead in the women's after an impressive return from injury this season



Currently the table looks like this and is more clear cut:


Bruna Kajiya: 7.2 total points

Paula Novotna: 14.5

Hannah Whitely: 15.5

Estefania Rosa: 16.5

Pauline Valesa: 19.5



For Bruna to win: Bruna won in Cabarete and shared joint top spot in Leucate – where the event wasn't completed and so the top six girls shared an average 3.5 points). She also finished third at the Triple-S. As long as Bruna doesn't finish more than 7 places behind Paula, or 8 behind Hannah, she will win.


See the full list of rankings here: GKA Freestyle Rider of the Year Rankings


Follow the World Kiteboarding League in Germany here: World Kiteboarding League website

Separately, the GKA also run the Wave & Strapless Freestyle Tour this year that sees a mix of freestyle and wave events over the next few months, eventually resulting in the crowning of a GKA Wave & Strapless Freestyle Rider of the Year. This year's events are at: Tarifa (complete), Sotavento (complete), Mauritius in September, Dakhla in October and Fortaleza in Brazil in November.


More updates soon. For more news, please follow the GKA:

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For more information, contact: 


For more info on the GKA and the Grand Slam series, visit