Kiteboarding: ready for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games | Photo: IKA/Icarus Sailing Media

Kiteboarding has been selected as one of the four sailing events in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Executive Committee confirmed that kiteboarding will be tested for potential inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

"This is an important development in our Olympic journey and we are excited that young kiteboarders will be given the first opportunity to showcase their talent at the 2018 Youth Olympics," expressed Mirco Babini, president of the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA).

"Young athletes now have a serious goal to strive for, and as many of our top sailors will be in the right age range for the Youth Olympics, we are sure that the highest performance will be guaranteed. This is going to be a terrific event for both competitors and spectators alike."

IKA's Formula Kite has been picked as the official Olympic equipment over Twin Tips and Foil Boards. The format for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be based on the short track format tested in the 2014 Sailing World Cup Final, in Abu Dhabi.

"Formula Kite provides a stable equipment platform across the world. Even in the lightest wind conditions, we can showcase high-performance sailing and display the sport at its best," explains Markus Schwendtner, CEO at IKA.

"Twin Tip Racing remains our grassroots racing equipment, and we continue to race hydrofoils experimentally without equipment limitations. For the Youth Olympic Games, however, it's important to use equipment that is readily available so that National Federations can kick off their athlete programs quickly and with certainty. This is why ISAF has selected Formula Kite."

The 2018 Youth Olympics will feature an event for the best 12 male and best 12 female competitors in the world aged between 15 and 18 (born between January 1st, 2000, and 31st December 2003).

ISAF has also confirmed that kiteboarding will be included in the 2019 World Beach Games, in Sochi, Russia, alongside windsurfing. The World Beach Games will be the third biggest sports event in the world after the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.