So what are the differences between the Global Kitesports Association and GKA Kite World Tour?
The GKA Kite World Tour runs two disciplines: Freestyle and Wave / Strapless-freestyle – and at the end of the season crowns the most complete male and female riders on a twin-tip and on a surfboard. The GKA Kite World Tour is run by the GKA Event GmbH of which the GKA is one shareholder. The Global Kitesports Association (GKA) on the other side takes care of the development of kite-sport industry matters.
You have a doctors degree in law but you work in the kitesports industry. How did you combine those two things?
Well, I wouldn’t say, that I work IN the kitesport-industry, but I work very closely together with the GKA member brands and I represent their interests. I also take care of the professional and non-professional riders’ interests and the general development of the sport. My lawyer background helps me a lot in negotiations with legislators, but also with all the contractual partners of the GKA Kite World Tour.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced within your work for the GKA and still continue to face?
That is a difficult question. Generally, I would say that the good side is sometimes also the bad one. The high emotions that come along with some topics and a kind of ‘take it all easy-beach-attitude’ in various kite business matters are sometimes very difficult to handle. Fulfilling everyone’s interests, when some are very different, is certainly one of the biggest challenges. Running the GKA and the Tour cannot be considered as a job, though; it has to be a passion. If you don’t do it with passion you will definitely fail and give up. I very often get asked why I do all this when there are much easier ways to earn money with less work. The answer is always the same: it’s my passion.
Besides running the GKA and the Tour, do you do anything else?
No, not anymore. Before I started running the GKA I was the CEO of a medium sized production company, I also worked as a lecturer for labor law at a university and as voluntary judge at the Hamburg court for trade matters. The GKA and the World Tour actually needs the work force of ten people. So there’s no chance to do anything else, if you like it done well and reliably.