The GKA Distance Battle

Monday 15th June
Location: Hamburg
Words: Kate Chandler | Pictures: Ydwer van der Heide 

The GKA Kite World Tour, like almost every sporting event on the planet has been put on hold due to the worldwide pandemic but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. Say hello to the newest event on the kite circuit – The GKA Distance Battle, a global video competition!

The GKA Kite World Tour Distance Battle is a video based competition. A selection of the world’s best strapless and twintip freestyle riders from around the globe have been invited to compete from their home spots, filming themselves during 5 minute heats. These unedited videos will be sent to and judged by the official GKA judges in a live streamed video event format, with live scoring, live judges, and live commentary.

This is an interactive event and this is where we need your help! Each discipline will have wildcard entries for both male and female competitors, we need your votes to decide who will compete in the event. The GKA Distance Battle is the first of its kind in kiteboarding, an online and interactive kiteboarding competition and this is your opportunity to help us make history. Vote for the rider you would like to see battle it out with the best athletes in the world. Check out wildcard entries and cast your votes here. Voting starts today!

There are some exciting names on the wildcard lists, like Jesse Richman, Moona Whyte and Paula Novotna! The first competition will take place on August 3rd. The winner of each round will advance into the next round, with new videos, pre-submitted by the riders to be judged live.

The competition will broadcast live online, and on-demand on the GKA website. It’s like a GKA Kite World Cup event, just the competitors are spread out around the world! VOTE NOW!


Each live show will have 4 heats and broadcast time will be roughly an hour, including exclusive riders’ interviews, breaks and heats. We will be running 3 live shows for Twintip Freestyle and 3 live shows for Strapless Freestyle.

Our live show host, Jo Ciastula will be in contact with the riders via live video chat during the heat broadcasts and there will be live scoring ladders so you can keep track of the score. So for the first time ever at a GKA event we will be able to hear the riders‘ thoughts on their performance as it’s happening during the heat!

We will be running 3 live shows for Twintip Freestyle and 3 live shows for Strapless Freestyle.

Event Calendar:

June 15 – Riders and Wildcards announced

June 21 – Wildcard voting ends

June 22 – Event teaser and start list announced

June 23 – Kick off for heat filming

July 25 – Deadline for heat entry video

Aug 03/30 – Broadcast of live shows commence.

Find out the pre-seeded athletes and more information on the GKA Distance Battle page here


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