Ground-breaking ProAm Race and Test Event seeks to return Dunkerque to its roots as a European kiteboarding hub

GKA ProAm Race and GKA Test Event 2024
29 Aug—01 Sept, Dunkerque, France

The GKA is launching a major new kiteboarding initiative, featuring a ProAm race and gear testing opportunities, that seeks to bring back the northern French port of Dunkerque to the kiteboarding hub in Europe that it once was.

The twin events over four days in late summer are part of an ambitious multi-year plan to bring together kiteboarding enthusiasts and the industry for a vibrant celebration of our sport on the historic North Sea strand.

The GKA ProAm Race and GKA Test Event, which will run side-by-side, will seek to unite kiteboarding amateurs, professionals and the industry in an effort to advance the sport and make it more inclusive.

The heart of the GKA Test Event will be a buzzing village of stands for the kite brands from around the world to show off their latest developments.

Kiteboarding jamboree

The focal point of the village will be a stage for pro-rider interviews and brand seminars to inform and enthuse the amateur kiteboarders and the visiting public about the sport.

Visitors will also have the chance to test all the brands’ newest advances in equipment—be it kites constructed from the latest materials; new shapes in twin-tips, surfboards and hydrofoils; or the freshest offerings in control bars and lines.

The core of the kiteboarding festival is a series of races which will be open to professional and amateur riders, with the registration for entries set to begin in early May. The exact format of the races over the event’s four days is yet to be finalised by the GKA sports’ team.

But the focus of the ProAm Race in Dunkerque will be on fun, with the hope the event will become a big kiteboarding jamboree, mirroring other popular events staged in France.

‘Celebration of kiteboarding’

The intention is that the ProAm Race and Test Event will turn Dunkerque’s North Sea waterline into a riot of colourful activity, a fitting backdrop for the land-based kiteboarding festival.

GKA CEO, Dr Jörgen Vogt, is delighted to team-up with Dunkerque for this ground-breaking new initiative that will push forward the fortunes of kiteboarding in one of its biggest markets.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to bring together our sport’s greatest riders and the industry in a celebration of kiteboarding,” said Dr Vogt. “We sincerely welcome this chance, with Dunkerque, to drive kiteboarding in France and beyond to new heights.”

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Samuel Cárdenas

Spot Info: Dunkerque
Dunkerque boasts almost 15kms of wide, sandy beaches that are a kiteboarding paradise on the North Sea. It is suitable for all levels of kiteboarders, who can find spots to launch and land easily, depending on their skill level.

The average maximum daytime temperature in Dunkerque in August is around 22.9°C (73.22°F). Usually, it is the warmest month of the year. The average minimum temperature goes down to around 13.6°C.

North-east or south-west winds are the most prevalent in Dunkerque. At the event site, those equate to a cross-onshore for the north-easterlies, and cross-shore in the south-westerlies. You can expect some kickers. The average winds range from 13-18 knots, with some days pushing to more than 25 knots.