World Kiteboarding League: the official freestyle and big air world tour for 2017 | Photo: WKL

The World Kiteboarding League (WKL) will crown the official 2017 freestyle and big air world champions.

Professional kiteboarding is once again about to change. The Global Kitesports Association (GKA) has handed the rights for running world cups and world tours in the freestyle and big air disciples to Kiteboarding Riders United (KRU).

As a result, KRU's World Kiteboarding League will be the official world tour for 2017. There will be at least four events per year in both disciplines and separate rulebooks for both divisions.

"This new structure means there will be one World Champion being crowned per discipline which will draw the public's attention back to the riders who truly deserve it," stated Jörgen Vogt, secretary general of the GKA.

World Sailing, the world governing body for the sport of sailing, decided in November to split kiteboarding's governance into two separate organizations - the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA), and the GKA.

Under the new format, IKA will be responsible for racing competitions, while GKA will crown freestyle, wave, and big air world champions.

"The freestyle competition kiteboarding will grow again to its full potential. The sport has a lot to offer, and we will make a solid foundation for the next generation, to make a sustainable living out of it," concluded Alex Pastor, Youri Zoon, Liam Whaley and Bruna Kajiya, members of the KRU board.