Kite Cross: a discipline close to the beach | Photo: PKRA/Toby Bromwich

Kiteboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. That is why the new physical activity has seen many changes in few years.

Kite Cross is the name of the new discipline that will be competed by the best world kitesurfers. It incorporates the former side-disciplines as BoarderX, Slalom, Long Distance, Crossings etc. into a new format with official world ranking and championship title.

The idea is to have the kite contests close to the beach and in front of enthusiasts and TV stations. The rules will be based in a simple K.O. elimination system, in order to be easily understood by everyone.

The International Kiteboarding Associations (IKA) believes Kite Cross will deliver "maximum excitement, interaction and enjoyment for spectators".

Courses are generally based around downwind or figure-eight slalom courses (with or without obstacles to jump over), but can include any number of variations, some of the most dramatic of which include including long distance and between the island style races for the entire fleet. The spectacle of up to one hundred riders blasting across a start line, at over thirty knots, to do battle over miles of open water has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

The majority of competitions will be held on downwind slalom courses with or without obstacles in a multiple single elimination format, where only a number of competitors advance from round to round.

You can check the official rules for Kite Cross, HERE.

The dates for the 2011 world and continental championships (champions decided in one-off events) are to be published in the beginning of January 2011.