Friday 17th April
Words: Kate Chandler
If you missed “On StandBy with Jo” on Wednesday, don’t worry, we’ve got GKA Tour Manager Tom Hartmann with us again today, for the “Meet the Team” series.
Tom has been with the GKA since 2018 but he’s no stranger to World Tours, having competed on them and managed one for over a decade. Find out how a former professional windsurfer got into kitesurfing, and now manages the World Tour in-between living the highlife on one of the world’s most infamous wave-blessed islands.
Like many kiters Tom comes from a windsurfing background, which also means he’s been with kitesurfing from the very beginning. He first picked up a kite back in 1999 but at the time his focus was on competing on the Windsurf World Tour in both Freestyle and Waves, which he did for 8 years.
His competing days came to an end when he suffered a serious shoulder injury which put him out of action for a year. At the same time the European Windsurf Freestyle Pro Tour were looking for a new head judge, and as Tom was a well respected athlete, and had judged many local competitions in the past, they approached him to see if he had any interest in the role. Tom saw the offer as a way to stay part of the sport he loved while recovering from injury and accepted.