The KSP (Kite Surf Pro) is a world tour that is designed to feature the world’s best kitesurfers riding the world’s premiere waves. 2011 was the tour’s first year and featured three events held in Mauritius, Peru and Cape Verde. Each event showcased 24 of the world’s best male riders and 12 superstar female kiters.
Aiming to model itself after professional surfing’s ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals), the KSP pushed the evolution of kitesurfing to new levels and it quickly became clear that this tour was something special.
Something to watch on this year’s tour is the shift from “strapped” riding to “strapless” kitesurfing. Meaning: no more straps on the board. At the 2011 event in Peru, the entire fleet in the men’s field rode strapless and many girls followed suit.
Losing the straps makes kitesurfing strikingly similar to surfing and will surely capture the interest of the already mainstream surfing crowd.
Here’s the press release from the governing body of the KSP revealing the tour details:
Maui, Hawaii February 1, 2012: Following a groundbreaking and highly successful inaugural season, which pushed competitive kite surfing to epic new heights, the KSP is pleased to announce its widely anticipated 2012 World Championship Kite Surfing Tour schedule.
Featuring world-class venues, the KSP Tour once again promises nothing short of the most phenomenal surf conditions for the world’s kite surfing elite to battle it out over the coveted IKA-sanctioned World Championship title. All four Kite Surf Pro events will feature a 10-day holding period and a $ 15,000 prize purse.
The KSP Tour will kick off at Europe’s kite surfing mecca, Guincho Beach in Cascais, Portugal, from June 1 to 10. The side-onshore wind conditions at Guincho’s right-hand beach break will surely expose the progressive new school aerial movement, bringing it to the forefront of competitive kitesurfing for the world to witness.
Stop two will take the KSP back to 2011’s kickoff location, Le Morne, Mauritius for the One Eye Pro, scheduled September 7 to 16. A long, left-hand reef break famous for its strong side-offshore winds and barreling, near-perfect, head-high to quadruple-overhead surf, One Eye will keep this year’s crowd on edge, waiting to see what conditions it dishes up especially after last year’s jaw-dropping spectacle.
Next up, Europe’s secret kite surfing jewel and home to one of the planet’s biggest waves, Ireland. Running from October 19 to 28, Ireland’s Kite Surf Pro will incorporate a unique mobile format, capable of showcasing each day’s action at the choicest of locations on the country’s wild and swell-abundant west coast.
Bringing the KSP’s 2012 tour to a close, Maui’s legendary North Shore will host the pinnacle of the Kite Surfing World Championship Tour the Ho’okipa Kite Surf Pro running November 29 to December 8. One of the world’s most highly regarded wind and wave locations, Ho’okipa is generally reserved as a surfing and windsurfing only venue.
The Ho’okipa Kite Surf Pro will mark the first-ever World Championship kite surf competition at the infamous Hawaiian reef break.
“I really don’t think we could have wished for a better and more well-rounded tour for the 2012 season,” says Tour President Kristin Boese. “It is going to be exciting to see which riders will do best in all the different conditions. We managed to meet the demand of the riders to add a side-onshore beach break to the calendar with the event in Guincho. We are just as excited about the Ireland event that is going to be a total box of chocolates with amazing potential. And Ho’okipa and One Eye are without a question two of the places that we had on our wish list from the very first talks about the tour.”
“I am also really looking forward to working with our amazing group of local organizers that have already become such a strong part of the KSP,” Boese continues. “We are all so excited to see what incredible treasures await us in 2012.”
As reigning World Champions Airton Cozzolino (Italy/North Kiteboarding) and Ines Correia (Portugal) defend their titles amidst a field of 24 men and 12 women at each Kite Surf Pro event, an International Surfing Association-accredited panel of judges will once again score the year’s next-level riding.
With 20 countries represented on tour last year, 2012 will surely draw a wide range of talent from across the globe.
Featuring a live webcast with live scoring, 2012’s Kite Surf Pro events will broadcast the heat-by-heat action around the world in real time. Additionally, the new season will also bring another round of Fantasy League, with some major prizes up for grabs.
2012 KSP World Championship Tour Schedule
June 1 to 10 Cascais, Portugal
September 7 to 16 Le Morne, Mauritius
October 19 to 28 West Coast, Ireland
November 29 to December 8 Maui, Hawaii, USA
For more information go to KSP.