GKA: the Air Games will combine big air with freestyle kiteboarding | Photo: GKA

The Global Kitesports Association (GKA) announced the launch of the Air Games, a new World Tour that combines all kiteboarding styles.

While the World Kiteboarding League (WKL) struggles to keep the freestyle discipline up and running, the GKA decided to develop a big air-inspired circuit focused on high jumps and maneuvers.

The GKA Kiteboarding Air Games World Tour will kick off in 2018 with three events held in Leucate, Tarifa, and Cabarete. The goal is to get the wow factor and spectators' enjoyment at the heart of all the action.

"The spirit of the tour is to find the most complete twin-tip kiteboarder out there. Nevertheless, the basis of each judging category primarily calls for as much height as possible," the GKA notes.

"Then, the show will come down to each rider's interpretation and how they want to display their vision for where an all-around show of explosive riding can go in the given conditions."

The Format and The Future

All performed tricks will be judged over four categories. At the end of each four-man heat, each athlete's best three tricks from three different categories will count toward the overall score.

The four judging categories are regular jumps (spins, grabs, etc.), board-offs, kite loops, and handle-passes. GKA believes that the new format will have a grand impact on the spectacle

The 2018 Air Games will feature both male and female kiteboarders. Each contest only runs in winds of 15 knots and above. More wind power will demand higher jumps from the riders.

Pro kiteboarding is changing once again. In the near future, the freestyle and big air disciplines might blend into a single riding category.

The truth is that GKA is already referring Carlos Mario, Jesse Richman, Tom Hebert, Kevin Langeree, and Aaron Hadlow as some of the potential stars of the new discipline.

2018 GKA Kiteboarding Air Games World Tour | Schedule

Mondial du Vent, Leucate, France: April 17-22
Tarifa, Spain: June 27 - July 1
Cabarete Kiteboarding World Cup, Dominican Republic: July 9-15

The full schedule for the 2018 European Skimboarding Cup (ESC) has been released.