Get ready for a showdown royal! The new 2023 GKA Freestyle contest format is beyond epic! The opening event in Qatar was a visual feast as riders unleashed their stunning tricks in a battle for glory. Think of it as a thrilling game of KITE where riders push each other to their limits, but instead of matching tricks in a game of KITE, riders watch each other perform and strategies their counterattack.
Riders rotate in their heat taking 40-second turns to perform their seven tricks, with the top four counting tricks making up their final score. The variety component adds an extra layer of excitement as riders can earn up to seven bonus points for performing four unique trick families. Between their trick, riders were coming to the shore and checking the real-time digital scores on their friend’s phones. Riders were learning mid-heat what was working and what wasn’t.
This season opener marks the start of a new era and provides a platform for new riders to challenge the reigning champions. In the case of the exciting women’s final here in Qatar, it was a chance for 35-year-old veteran Bruna Kajiya to put a stamp on her strategic contest riding skills and riding versatility. So get ready for the most exciting freestyle year in pro tour history!
—John Bryja, Publisher, Kitesurfing Magazine
Photo: America’s Mikaili Sol congratulates Bruna Kajiya on a well-ridden victory at the first GKA event of the 2023 season, the Qatar Freestyle Kite World Cup. romantsova photo