Matchu Lopes: the 2016 GKA Wave and Strapless Freestyle Tour champion | Photo: GKA

The inaugural 2016 GKA Wave and Strapless Freestyle Tour is over. Matchu Lopes and Milla Knesse have been crowned the season's champions.

The first edition of the circuit organized by the Global Kitesports Association invited some of the best wave kitesurfers to compete in four dream events in Tarifa, Sotavento, Mauritius, and Dakhla.

The decisive stop in Morocco saw Keahi de Aboitiz and Airton Cozzolino putting out a magnificent spectacle in the final, with plenty of creativity and power surfing.

In the end, it was up to the judges to decide who would raise the trophy. After much debate, they announced the winner and Aboitiz increased his run of undefeated events in Dakhla to four.

"So happy to make it my fourth win here in Dakhla. It feels amazing to be back on top after coming back from injury. Can't wait to see what next year brings!" expressed Keahi de Aboitiz.

However, it was Matchu Lopes, the rider from Cape Verde, who conquered the overall Grand Slam Tour title.

"It's hard to sleep during the competition, but sleeping after winning a title is much much harder! I still can't believe it. I'm taking this one with me," added Lopes, who was later honored by Cape Verde's prime minister.

2016 GKA Wave and Strapless Freestyle Tour | Top 5

1. Matchu Lopes (CPV)
2. Airton Cozzolino (CPV)
3. Paulino Pereira (POR)
4. Jan Marcos Riveras (DOM)
5. Ralph Boelen (FRA)

It is one of the sport's most forgotten disciplines. The stand-up bodyboarding movement had its heyday between the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it continues to be an exquisite art.

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