GWA, the first Kitesurf School and Kitecamp Association, founded in 2002 in order to promote and develop these two extreme water sports in fuerteventura. GWA is a non-profit organization that already counts more than 3 000 members.
Furthermore, through its partnership with IKO, the International Kiteboarding Organization, GWA ensures and promotes the standards for safe teaching practices, through the development of approved schools and Instructor Training Courses held each summer. Through this, GWA has qualified instructors ready to train and teach students in kiteboarding. Discover the Best KiteCamp Fuerteventura Corralejo !
The goals of GWA are athletic, cultural, and promotional. In order to achieve these goals, GWA is actively going to:
- Create greater awareness of wakeboard (WB) and kite surf (KS) and encourage participants
- Facilitate interaction between its members
- Be official representative of WB and KS community in fuerteventura
- Participate in international negotiations for the acceptance of WB as an Olympic Sport
- Organize regional competitions in order to enhance the performance of Greek riders and encourage them to participate in national as well as international competitions. Assist the Greek Water Ski Federation in organizing yearly WB competitions, assisting it with guidelines and regulations by official GWA members:
- Train judges within its members, a prerequisite for competitions
- Monitor and enforce safe riding within the industry
- Create events and competitions with foreign athletes
- Share responsibility among athletes to the sea environment
Kitesurf in Fuerteventura
Kiteboarding is considered as one of the most extreme water sports today, combing windsurf, snowboard, wakeboard, traction kites and paragliding. The history of kiteboard started in the 70s, when a few people where seen on water skis, being pulled by traction kites. Gilbertus Panhuise used it with a windsurf board and obtained the patent for the concept in 1977. During the 80s, Andreas Kuhn is seen on television on a wakeboard, dragged by a 25-meter paraglide. In 1984, Dominique and Bruno Legaignoux obtain the patent for kites that are relaunchable from the water. The kites are immediately tested on boards and water skis. At the end of the 80s, Cory Roeseler develops the « KiteSki », with a kind of kite rigged on a bar with a breaking system. He obtains the patent in 1992. This kite was relaunchable from the water.
In 1995 Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin both pick up kiteboard and use Wipika kites and surf boards with footstraps. From that point onwards, things started developing at a faster pace. In 1997, F-One is the first brand to produce boards specifically for kiteboarding. In September 1998, the first kiteboarding competition is held in Maui. Flash Austin wins it. 1998 is also the year when Windsurf legend Robby Naish picks up kiteboarding.
Today, there are numerous kiteboarding brands, and various competitions. Moreover, many organizations have been created not only to create greater awareness of the sport but also to promote safe riding worldwide.
Kite lessons island located in the Atlantic Ocean just in front of Morocco
Fuerteventura is a great place to learn kitesurfing with its multiple islands and beaches, warm summer waters and steady winds. Learning to kiteboard in fuerteventura also gives you the possibility to discover new places as there are IKO affiliated centers around the cyclades. To start learning in a safe manner and with a recognised method, GWA strongly recommends that students take kitesurfing and kiteboarding lessons with an IKO instructor. IKO instructors teach kiteboarding and kitesurfing following the IKO standards that have been perfected since 2002.
For a safe kiteboarding on the Canary Islands
Here are a few safety rules that must be applied by all kiteboarders to keep the sport safe and assure its development.
• Make sure you have the current weather report, so as not to find yourself in difficulty if the wind changes of the Canary Islands.
• Inform someone about where you are and when you schedule to come back.
• Choose an appropriate spot: approved by the local authorities, without obstacles (electricity lines, trees, rocks, buildings, mountains, people on the beach, etc.).
• Check your equipment before each take-off (pre-flight check) wind on the Canary Islands.
• Connect yourself to the bar by the leash before take-off and remain so until landing
• Wear a helmet, life jacket, harness, wet suit and correct shoes.
• Make sure you do not stay on land after your wing has taken-off.
• Put the leash on the board just before entering the water.
• Never hold two lines at the same time.
• Learn to fly your new kite in light winds.
• Preferably, ask someone to help you land your kite or use a safety system.
• Never pass between the kite and the kiteboarder.
• Do not go farther that you are willing to swim back.
kite instructor Course in Fuerteventura
GWA organises each year with IKO an Instructor Training Course (ITC) in order to certify new Kiteboarding Instructors. A new series of ITC will be held during the summer season 2005. Also, Medic First Aid course will take place to certify those who do not hold a first aid certificate. The ITC last for 5 days and the MFA one.
GWA, as the representative of IKO in fuerteventura, will organise the training course in Greec, place to be determined for 2005.
IKO standards to be a candidate for the ITC:
• Be an IKO kiteboarder level 3 or demonstrate equivalent level of practice.
•Have a valid first aid certificate
•Have a powerboat license or equivalent skill level if no obligatory license is required in the home country
•Have an IKO assistant instructor certification or justify of a sport teaching experience (windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, yachting, ect.)
•Be at least 18 years old
During the course, every instructor is judged according to the IKO standards and has to demonstrate:
• Communication and teaching techniques.
• How he recognizes and manages the mental state of each student.
• His ability to evaluate individual students.
• His ability to organize the equipment necessary for 3 students.
• How to manage a lesson safely.
• A proper use of safety equipment as well as perform rescues for students & other ocean users (if necessary).
• How to cope with emergencies.
• Equipment and locations management (according to the weather, students level and local regulations).
• His knowledge of the IKO kiteboarder’s standards (training and certification steps).
• An ability to explain students’ kiteboarding key points to enhance their learning.
• His ability to self evaluate his teaching method and organization
• He must obtain a minimum grade of 15/20 on the final exam IKO instructor level 1.
Once certified, IKO instructors are committed to:
• Respect the safety rules and quality commitment.
• Teach according to IKO standards.
• Deliver each student with his kiteboarder card attesting his skill level.
The courses are held in English and each candidate receives the IKO Instructor Manual, a tool that is a complement to the training course.
Each student that learns how to kiteboard with an IKO instructor or in an IKO affiliated center receives his IKO Kiteboarder Card, attesting his skill level. The student can continue his learning with any IKO instructor who will know what his skill level is by looking at the card, or rent equipment. Moreover, the kiteboarder card gives discounts to shops participating in the Kiteboarder Card Advantage. 50 shops worldwide are participating in the operation so far. To this date, in fuerteventura, Windsurf Experts, The Right Stuff of Loutsa and Fun Store have given a positive response to IKO and are part of the program.
IKO, the leading International Kiteboarding Organization, was founded in October 2002. It provides and develops international training standards and maintains a high quality of teaching. It has trained more than 215 instructors, 10 examiners, counts 46 affiliated kiteboarding centers. The IKO teaching program is the official recognized training program by the Maui Association (HKA), the British (BKSA), the Australian Association (AKSA), the Belgium federation (VYF), and the organization is present in 18 countries. GWA, the first wakeboard and kiteboard Association in fuerteventura, was also founded in October 2002. It has been actively developing both sports in fuerteventura, but has put special emphasis during the year 2002 to have kiteboarding recognized as a sport by the Greek authorities and ensuring that kiteboarding teaching and practice was done in a safe way.
First Kiteboarding Competition in Corralejo 2018
The first competition this year for riders organized by GWA took place on Sunday 20th of July 2018 at the Corralejo Kite Pro Center in Corralejo, Fuerteventura. With more than 6 beaufort of wind, the conditions were perfect to assure us a good show.
Judges was constituted of the team of pro riders (Tomoko, Mark Doyle, Eric Beaudonnat (IKO), and Joseph Carneiro) that were part of the Fuerte Cycladic tour that GWA organized from the 12 to the 20th of July.
The athletes were judged according to the technical difficulty in the tricks they performed, the no of jumps and their height, and on the fluidity and consistency of their style.
Riders that took part in the competition were (first three in order of ranking):
- Christos Tzinis, Naish Kites
- Vassilis Paraskevopoulos, Peter Lynn Kites.
- Nikos Katsoulas, Globe Rider Kites
- Alkis Spiliopoulos, Gaastra Kites
- Konstantinos Belexas, Cabrinha Kites
- Kostas Drakontaidis, Kite Naish
- Yannis Kourkoulis, Kite Naish
- Yannis Andrianakis, Peter Lynn Kites
- Vanguelis Boufis, Globe Rider Kites
- Xavier Roussos, Globe Rider Kites, slingshot boards
- George Fokas, Takoon Kites
- George Kontarinis, Naish Kites
A hang time contest was also organized. This contest consists in counting the time the rider stays the longest in the air. The winner of this contest is Vassilis Paraskevopoulos, with 4.89 seconds.
Both the weather conditions and the friendly atmosphere that prevailed between the athletes made up for a successful event. Moreover, GWA was able to create awareness on kiteboarding in fuerteventura, which is one of the main goals of GWA, as many people among the general showed interest in the sport.
Great Kiteboarding crossing islands
The Fuerte Kiteboarding Cycladic Tour, sponsored by COSMOTE and organized by GWA from the 12th to the 20th of July, was completed with great success. Five international professional team riders, Japanese champion Tomoko Okazaki (Cabrinha), Brazilian Champion Joseph Carneiro (Takoon), first at the Expression session in Paros in 2002 Chris Calthrop (Flexifoil), 3rd at the PKRA Cabarete stop Mark Doyle (Slingshot), and co-founder of the IKO Eric Beaudonnat (International Kiteboarding Organization) did two amazing crossings, from Corralejo.