Kiteboarding: the expression 'world champions' has owners | Photo: IKA

In kiteboarding, the expression "world champions" has owners. And the battle for earning the right to crown world champions has never been so heated up.

The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) has registered worldkiteleague.com - a very similar name to what surfing's worldsurfleague.com - and announced their very own IKA Kiteboarding World Championships.

The seven-stage circuit plans to crown champions in Freestyle, Big Air, Wave, and Slalom. The grand final is scheduled to Brazil between 10th-18th December 2016, and the whole process has been negotiated between the so-called Kiteboarding Riders United (KRU) and IKA.

"After negotiations between KRU and IKA earlier this week, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to ensure a bright future for professional kiteboarding," the official IKA statement tells.

"The talks also involved the organizers of the upcoming events in El Gouna, Leucate, Dakhla, Fuerteventura, and Fehmarn, so that there is a joint understanding of the cooperation between the riders union representing the world’s best riders and the sanctioning authority for the only official World Sailing recognized Kiteboarding World Championships."

IKA notes that athletes are not allowed to participate in events that are not sanctioned by IKA and World Sailing. The organization promises a full media team, live scoring system, a judging team led by Leo Rose, and Lewis Crathern in the commentary booth.

"We'll have a World Tour after all. I've got to fed up with how things went last year with VKWC. I still didn't receive my prize money (and plenty other riders and crew members neither) and tons of other issues," expressed pro kiteboarder, Christophe Tack.

"I've burned out on the whole competition thing, so I'll focus on my own project this year, perhaps compete in a few events if possible. Stoked on the World Tour, nevertheless. Kiteboarding needs this and deserves this."

How will the former VKWC/PKRA riders react to the new circuit led by IKA? How will the World Kite Tour (WKT) respond to IKA's competition format?

2016 IKA Kiteboarding World Championships | Schedule

Round 1: El Gouna, Egypt | 20th-26th March
Round 2: France | 15th-22nd April
Round 3: Morocco | June
Round 4: Canary Islands | 31st July - 6th August
Round 5: Bozcaada, Turkey | 16th-21st August
Round 6: Germany | 26th August - 4th September
Round 7: China | November
Final: Brazil | 10th-18th December