The IKA, the ISAF and the KTA – Whats it all about?
The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) is kiteboardings international class association under the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). With more than 130 countries national governing bodies driving ISAF it oversees and governs the sailing world from national events, to oceanic and world racing, including all Olympic sailing. From this base the IKA has become kiteboardings official world governing body for competition and as such the sanctioning authority for all recognised world ranking kiteboard competition from national through to the world pro tour levels.
Briefly during 2012 Kiteboarding was selected for the 2016 Olympic Games as part of the ISAF Sailing slate, unfortunately in a last minute reversal of decision kiteboarding did not quite hold onto its Olympic slot, but is now being strongly tipped for full inclusion in the 2020 Olympics instead. The IKA also oversees kite speed racing with kiteboarders holding some of the fastest speed records for any wind power craft on the water. Kiteboarding also boasts a long established and respected freestyle world pro tour (PKRA) and is about to launch a new world pro wave riding tour (KSP) something for everyone making kiteboarding one of the most versatile and accessible watersports out there at the moment.
In was in early 2008 that ISAF recognised kiteboarding as a sailing class through the newly founded IKA. In doing so it provided kiteboarding with new standing and recognition from the mainstream sports world as well as from within the extreme sports scene. From this point the IKA now acts as the sanctioning body for all the competition formats be they surf, speed, freestyle or race, structuring the worldwide points ranking system that gives all kiteboarders the opportunity to see how they stand in relation to everyone else who is competing in their discipline.
Through its recognition by the IKA the KTA is sanctioned as one of its Continental Tour Partners. Currently there are only two tours operating at this level, with the KTA being sanctioned for the Asia region and the KTE within Europe.
This sanction primarily enables the KTA to establish the Asian Freestyle Champions through its Asian Tour circuit, along with open nationality KTA Tour champions in freestyle, course race RB (raceboard) and TT (twin-tip) classes. The KTA is further sanctioned to run the Asian Course Race Championships and the 2013 World Course Race Championships along with supporting National Kiteboarding Associations and endorsing national level competitions through its Open Events programme.
The KTA ethos has always been one of growth of the sport through a strong grassroots development, which is one that the IKA is creating the stepping stones for – from local level competitions, to national series, onto continental tours and regional championships, right up to world championship events, the pro tours and hopefully if things go kiteboarding’s way the Olympics also.
For further information on the governing and sanctioning bodies check out their websites www.internationalkiteboarding.org & www.sailing.org”