Big awards night to honour kiting greats

Published 24th April 2023 by Ian MacKinnon


  • Prestigious gala evening to recognise athletes’ kiteboarding excellence for second successive year

  • Event features three new awards’ categories celebrating  growing influence of the sport

Qatar Airways GKA Awards, Teatro Municipal Alameda, Tarifa
3 June, 2023

The Qatar Airways GKA Awards, kiteboarding’s biggest and most prestigious event to honour achievements in our vibrant sport, is to take flight for a second straight year in Tarifa, Spain.

Kiteboarding’s greatest athletes, their breathtaking achievements on the water and in the air, and outstanding contributions to the sport will be recognised at a gala evening at Tarifa’s Teatro Municipal Alameda on 3 June.

The great and the good from the kiteboarding world will be on hand, along with most of the sport’s leading athletes. The awards ceremony is timed to coincide with the much-anticipated competition of the year, the Qatar Airways GKA Big Air Kite World Championships, during its holding window from 26 May to 16 June, with the action playing out on Tarifa’s Balneario beach.

In a nod to the expanding sport’s growing importance and breadth, three new award categories for this second year bring the total to nine. Now the iconic statuettes—the Oscars of kiteboarding—will acknowledge even wider achievements.

To  encourage the widest possible participation from all corners of the globe, everyday kiteboarders and members of the public are being given the opportunity to vote for their heroes—sometimes unsung heroes—in a process that was open from 1-16 May.

“With the continued support of Qatar Airways, we’re absolutely delighted to honour the greatest feats and contributions in our sport at the GKA Awards for the second successive year,” said Dr Jörgen Vogt, CEO of the GKA. “The expanded line-up of awards  this year is a true reflection of what a huge success this event has proved to be.”

New awards this year will feature categories for the Lifetime Achievement (Legends) Award, the Photo of the Year Award, and the Video of the Year Award.

The other award categories building on last year’s success include the Female Rider of the Year, the Male Rider of the Year, the Womens Move of the Year, the Mens Move of the Year, the Rookie of the Year, and the Social Contribution Award.

Here are the categories in full. Click the link to cast your vote.

Female Rider of the Year

Male Rider of the Year

Women’s Move of the Year

Men’s Move of the Year

Rookie of the Year

Social Contribution of the Year

Photo of the Year

Video of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award (Legends)

Voting is now closed for the Qatar Airways GKA Awards, organised by the Global Kitesports Association.  The winners of the awards that recognise excellence in the field and celebrate the hard work and dedication of professionals who have made a significant impact in the kite industry will be revealed on 3 June, in Tarifa. 

words: Ian MacKinnon
images: Samuel Cárdenas


Image for Stage set for Big Air world title fight in Tarifa

Stage set for Big Air world title fight in Tarifa

Planet’s best kiteboarders back in Balneario for second year to battle for GKA Big Air titles as world championship competition window opens

Read this article
Image for GKA Youth Worlds confirmed for Tarifa

GKA Youth Worlds confirmed for Tarifa

One-stop Youth World Championships to crown winners in Freestyle and Strapless disciplines while offering kiteboarding clinics

Read this article
Image for Winners crowned at epic Lords of Tram

Winners crowned at epic Lords of Tram

Spain's Liam Whaley re-energised by victory as Big Air world champion Mikaili Sol keeps title defence on track with win

Read this article
Image for Women battle elements at Lords of Tram

Women battle elements at Lords of Tram

Teenage Big Air world champion Mikaili Sol comes out firing at opening of GKA world cup in France as Angely Bouillot poses biggest threat

Read this article