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GKA Big Air World Championships Tarifa 2022

GKA Big Air World Championships Tarifa 2022
GKA Big Air World Championships Tarifa 2022


GKA Big Air World Championships – Tarifa 2022

by Chris Chaplow

The GKA Big Air World Championships takes place in the long event window from the 20th of June 2022 to the 6th of July on Playa Lances Sur opposite Balneario.

This championship is one of the international events of the GKA - Global Kitesports Association- World Tour circuit, which in 2022 visits 20 cities around the world. In the Tarifa event, The Qatar Airways GKA Big Air World Championships is the biggest Kitesurfing event ever staged! There are   three modalities: freestyle, strapless and hydrofoil.  

In addition competitors and fans can enjoy the Kite Expo (trade fair) where 21 brands have stands and a series of lectures and presentations take place. This runs from the 21st to the 26th of June 2022 on the beach-front by the BIBO Beach House, at Playa Valdevaqueros.  

Additionally a magazine has been published for this event. View a copy online.

Event report and updates

Friday 1st July

Strapless Women Big air starting at 14.00 hrs.

Thursday 30th June 2022

After a lay day today, tomorrow (Friday) looks set for a return of Levante winds, picking up in strength from lunchtime onwards. Skippers meeting is at 11.30 hrs so first posible First possible start is 12.00

Wednesday 29th June 2022

As light winds are forcast all day, Wednesday is a lay day for the competition. Next opportunity for competition wind is looking like Friday.

Tuesday 28th June 2022

There is a switch in the wind directioin today as expected. A light levante (easterly offshore) is blowing. Crew are setting up at the Balnario site. Riders meeting took place at 13.00 hrs when the wind was around 15-18 knots, still too light to start running the competition. Judges are keen to run the competition in only optimal conditions (roughly around 25-35 knots). The Judging criteria was announced; 3 tricks count with 10 trick attempts. Judges have decided to put priority on mens strapless big air and then move into the womens twintip big air! In the end there was still not enough wind to run the competiton.

Sunday 26th June 2022

Hydrofoil Big Air Format. The morning started with a skippers meeting with the judges to eplain the Hydrofoil Big Air Format for the day. Heats will run for seven minutes with three minute transitioinsbetween them. Riders have 10 trick attempts with three counting towards their score. Judges will also award and overall impmression score based on the rider's style and expertese. Seven riders are competing in the Hydrofoil Big Air Format; Charles Brodel, Maxime- Luan Desjardins, Joselito Del Rosario, Maxime Chabloz, Jamie Overbeek, Alex Soto, Fin Flugel. This competition started at Valdevaqueros Beach at 13.30 with a 12 knot 'Poniente' (westerly on shore) wind.

In semi final number one it was Alex Soto vs Jamie Overbeek. Alex opted for the inflatable kite which wasn’t giving him the same height and float as Jamie was getting on his foil kite. Jamie was making all his landings on his tricks landing a very nice Backroll board off with a great amount of height. Jamie managed to take the win over Alex.

In semi final number two we had Maxime Chabloz against current world champion, Charles Brodel. Charles was looking very comfortable on the water landing some technical manouvers with plenty of height. Unfortunantly Maxime could not match Charles’s performance and Charles advanced to the finals!

The final started at 15.50 hrs and was between Charles Brodel and Jamie Overbeek.

Hydrofoil Big Air Format results:
1st Charles Brodel (FR)
2nd Jamie Overbeek (NL)
3rd Maxime Chabloz (SZ)
4th Alex Soto (DOM)

Live You Tube stream can be watched and the scoreboard followed on the Big Air World Championship Tarifa page of the GKA website.

Kite Expo (located on the beach-front by BIBO Reataurant at Playa Valdevaqueros opened at 11.00. This is the last day of the Expo. Presentations start at 11.00 with Parque Natural, followed at 12.00 Dakhla Attitude Natural, at 12.30 with F-one presentation, at 13.00 with Willow River - Tonkin with his presurfed project, at 13.30 with FKB presentation and finally at 14.00 with Duotone Presentation.

Saturday 25th June 2022

Kite Expo (located on the beach-front by BIBO Reataurant at Playa Valdevaqueros opened at 11.00. Presentations started at 14.00 with Parque Natural, Ocean Rodeo with Richard Myerscough, Palau Project with Jerome Cloetens, Slingshot Frozen T-Shirt contest, North NGA Giveway.

Friday 24th June 2022

There are a series of techical talks on the main stage at the Expo today. The schedule is 15.00 hrs  Duotone Kiteboarding with Matchu Lopes, 15.30 hrs – Onys presentation. 16.30 Dahka Hospitality Group. 17.00 hrs North Kiteboarding with Marc Jacobs, Nick Jacobsen and Jesse Richman. 17.30 hrs FKB rresort. 18.00 Airbrush.

Thursday 23th June 2022

At the expo the 'official' opening ceremony took place at 13.00 hrs. An event for the Mayor of Tarifa and the Regional tourism Minister.

Wedneday 22st June 2022

Kite Expo (located on the beach-front by BIBO Reataurant at Playa Valdevaqueros opened at 11.00. Presentations scheduled were 14.00 Laura Balboa and Francesca Viladecans on Coastal protection, 15.00 Matchu Lopespresenting Duotone Kiteboarding products, 16.00 Flysurfer Olly Bridge and Luke McGillewie on Mojo Pure and at 15.00 a Freewing presentationi including the new NitroWing.

Tuesday 21st June 2022

Kite Expo (located on the beach-front by BIBO Reataurant at Playa Valdevaqueros opened at 11.00. The Official riders’ registration opened at 14.00 hrs and the Opening Ceremony took place on the the main stage at 16.30 hrs. This was followed by the Rider’s first competition briefing.

While there is a light wind forecast for the next few days, there was no rush by the organisors to start the event. There are 61 riders from all over the world ready to compete.

Background information

Big Air means jumping high and long and is possibly one of the most spectacular forms of kitesurfing. It always manages to excite the general public especially those who are not familiar with the discipline.   In this event points are awarded by height of jump, type of trick, style and reception of the jump.

More than 70 riders have confirmed their presence, for the three disciplines, from different nationalities such as Portugal, Australia, USA, Hawaii, Germany, Cape Verde, Italy, Brazil, South Africa, France and of course Spain.

Locals Liam Whaley, Jeremy Burlando, Lorenzo Casati, Kiko Roig Torres, Matchu Lopes, Nicolás March and Claudia León are competing.

Kiteboarding’s biggest event is set to explode with the first official world titles for Big Air Kiteboarding in Freestyle-Twintip, Strapless and Hydrofoil disciplines.

Freestyle - Twintip

The discipline where competitors perform powered tricks with a Twin Tip board attached to their feet. Twin tip means the bi-directional board used by a freestyle competitor.


The strapless is the modality where the riders sail on a board similar but smaller than a surf board but without any type of anchors to hold the riders feet on the board. It is difficult to imaging until you see it with you own eyes.   When a strapless board used in freestyle it does provide the participants with support.  


The hydrofoil is the ultimate competition for riders who love freestyle. A small hydrofoil wing under the board lift the bard and the rider just out of the water and the speed of travel increases. In this environment the riders will be able to let rip with their creativity and leave the judges and the public open-mouthed.

Awards Night

 On the evening of 26 June there was an awards gala with prizes for the best rider (male and female) and the best stunt (also in the male and female category). There was also be a special award for the best social media contribution.

If you can not come to Tarifa keep up do date with the event scoreboard and live stream on the GKA Kite World Tour website.

Kite Surfing Lessons in Tarifa

Book Kite Surfing Lessons in Tarifa

Tarifa Championship Competition Reports


Competition: Playa Los Lances Sur, near Balñario Beach Club Chringuito (Calle Segismundo Moret)

Expo: BIBO Beach House Restaurant