About the GKA
Formed as a united, independent body by 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 and recreational kite riders.
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 granted the rights to run World Championship tours in the expression disciplines of kitesurfing, and international competitions were established and organised. In 2018 the GKA entered its third season running the Kite-Surf World Tour (for wave and strapless freestyle) and has launched for the first time the GKA Kiteboarding World Tour.
The GKA granted license to the KRU (Kiteboarding Riders United) to hold the official freestyle competitions. Freestyle competitions were held in 2018 by the World Kiteboarding Championships under license of the GKA. The IKA continue to run the racing classes.
2019 brought about big changes for the entire world of professional kiteboarding.
All competitions in expression disciplines are now under the management of the Global Kitesports Association, and the GKA is proud to be able to lend its name to the GKA Kite World Tour, in which the disciplines Freestyle (with a twin tip kiteboard) and Wave/Strapless Freestyle (with a surfboard) have found a home.
This development means a secure and sustainable future for professional Kitesports competitions in the hands of a responsible, experienced and trustworthy organisation.
Legal Situation: GKA Licensed by World Sailing
World Sailing awarded ‘World Championship’ status to the GKA Kite-Surf World Tour after just one successful, clean and transparent Wave & Strapless Freestyle season, uniting riders, the industry and sponsors with its strong vision for the future.
Kiteboarding on water is a discipline of sailing, and as such falls under the jurisdiction of World Sailing, which is the International Federation for sailing in all of its forms recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Associations of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) and Sport Accord.
From 2017 the GKA was sanctioned by World Sailing to run World Championships and World Cup events in the kiteboarding expression performance disciplines of wave, strapless freestyle, big air and twin-tip freestyle as well as slider/obstacle events. As part of the Special Events Agreement between World Sailing and the GKA, World Sailing can authorise the GKA to allow other professional event organisations to run events in the expression disciplines on its behalf.
Dr. Jörgen Vogt, Secretary General of the GKA emphasises, “The GKA’s objective will always remain the long-term growth and best interests of the sport. The GKA looks forward to work in harmony and good faith together with all kite-sport stakeholders – especially with the athletes – to build a positive and inclusive culture.”
Find more on World Sailing here.