Collegiate Kite Series


Events will be run throughout the calendar school year for the East and West coasts. This will be comprised of 3 types of event:

1) Tour stops - Unlimited in number where CKA riders and teams can gather points to be eligible to be invited to the their Regional final

Flexibly run to ensure windy events. These are fun to encourage rider participation

2) Regional Championships determine the CKA rider and team seedings for Nationals

To earn a spot at your Regional Championship, a team or individual must compete in at least one tour stop ind order to attain a score. Scores are cumulative so competing at more then one event will better their seed for Nationals. Even if a school competes at 2 events and places 3rd at both, they will be seeded higher then a school who only rides one event and gets 3rd. Therefore the more you compete, the better seed you will get. Top school gets top seed in finals. The top 8 teams will be invited to the Championships by March 31st 2014 and have until April 15th to secure their spot with registration and an entry fee of $300 (we can discuss this closer to the time). After April 15th any spots open will be given to the next team to turn in the entire entry fee.

3) Nationals determine the overall CKA rider and team winner

Set date and location before July 1st. Teams will be notified before April 1st so that they can apply for funding from their school and make arrangements.

Every team that paid registration fees and participated in a qualifier will be invited to the College Kite Championships. First 16 teams to pay entry fees for College Kite Championships will be the ones to go. The brackets will be filled out according to your national ranking at the time. Therefore if the number 2 team is the highest ranked team to compete at the Championships they will be bumped to the number 1 seed. Teams not only ride against each other at each event but also against the rest of the country. Since there is a consistent scoring system in place and all events are scored the same, CKA staff determines who is ranked where according to overall score and rider ability. No team is GUARANTEED a spot at nationals. You must fulfill all the requirements. Teams riding more then one event will have a better chance at being placed top 16. Teams can only bring 8 riders to nationals. There is no specific division requirement. Bring your strongest riders.

National tour example




Example Location


East Coast

Tour stop #1


St Petersburg, FL


East Coast

Tour stop #2


Cocoa Beach, FL


West Coast

Tour stop #1


San Diego, CA

IVKC – UCSB / USD / Cal Poly

East Coast



The Florida Keys


West Coast



Santa Barbara, CA

IVKC – UCSB / USD / Cal Poly




Hatteras Island, NC / or South Padre Island, Texas



Any combination of Divisions will be run at each event

Freestyle-  This genre consists of wakestyle maneuvers.  Judging will be based on the whole heat. More consideration will be given to unhooked maneuvers as well as maneuvers with low, powered, kite positioning. Falls do not penalize riders although the trick will not be considered by the judges. A specific, extensive list of judging criteria for this genre will be composed.  

Heat time: 10 minutes

Wave/surfstyle-  The attempt here is to mimic and expand upon the beautiful sport of surfing.  More consideration will be given to a contestant that rides strapless with the same skill as a contestant with straps, as well as unhooked in comparison to hooked-in.

Heat time: 12-15 minutes

Dangle = Kiteloop/Big Air/Hang Time etc.- This is a specialty genre that is designed to get the crowd involved and stoked.  This genre is run only if time and conditions allow.  Freestyle and Wave events take priority and will be completed first. Specifics should be decided on event day.

Heat time: 5-7 minutes

Downwind Sprint/Short Race- This is another specialty genre that will be run only after primary results are gathered. It is an event run for rider participation. It will be a race that is not equipment specific and does not require any additional safety/judging methods (such as boats).  Freestyle and Wave events take priority and will be completed first.

There should be a minimum of 4 contestants for each division and a maximum of 16.  If there are more than 16 contestants and time and conditions allow, a qualifier round may be run.  The surfstyle and freestyle events will be double elimination


A riders meeting will be held before the first heat to go over contest specifics, safety etc. Riders who don’t make the meeting could  be punished in points with only one warning given.

The contest area should be clearly marked with flags and/or buoys. Event coordinator/head judge will determine if a rider is within the boundary area.  If a trick is initiated inside the contest area, it should be scored.  Heats should be run one-on-one with either two or four kiters in the water.  Each contestant should be clearly displaying a colored jersey or kite model/colors. Heats should begin and end with a siren and flags should be used to give time estimates. Green flag is heat is on, Yellow flag is five minutes left (and a short siren) and red flag is heat off. Kiters may enter the water with the start horn and any trick initiated (or wave caught) before the end horn should be scored.

Kiters returning from a finished heat should give right away to kiters entering the water.  Kiters returning form a finished heat should not perform any maneuvers-just kite back to the beach.  No kiters should be riding when its not their heat.

Interference penalty of  -5 points (out of the possible 50) will be charged to any situation in which the kiter with the right of way is prevented from initiating or completing a maneuver.

An event committee should meet the night before or the morning of the contest to discuss specifics of the event location and running the contest.


Each contestant is required to judge a heat. There should be one permanent head judge that supervises, answers any questions, and has the final say on heat specifics (if a trick was landed, or if initiated the boundaries). These head judges should head the area of their expertise.

There should be one judges for every CKA team. No single school should ever have a majority number of the judges. Each judge will score the contestant’s overall performance for the whole heat as well as 1 of the 5 preceding categories below.  Judges should judge a different category each heat to keep alert. Performance should be judged from the following categories:

1. Power- Height and intensity of maneuvers.  Kite positioning in window during tricks. Speed into and out of tricks

2. Difficulty- Includes the risk, skill, and precision involved  

3. Style- The originality of the maneuvers and the smoothness of tricks

4. Variety- Not repeating tricks, performing tricks switch, completing a variety of tricks

5. Execution- Control of maneuvers, length and difficulty of grabs, landing

Each category should be scored out of 10 by one judge

Overall performance- How the rider put everything together.  The overall intensity and uniqueness (ratio of falls to smooth landings)

Out of 10-scored by all judges.  Averaged to produce a score on a 10 point scale.

Perfect Score= 60

Riders who are controlled but consistently push the limits will improve their score.

Notes should be made throughout the heat on specific tricks, falls, balls, etc.  After the heat, each judge should consider their notes and their overall impression to make a decision.  Someone (head judge or tabulator) should check over the “math” and come up with the final results.  Contestants should be able to see the sheets on request.

School Rankings:

For Freestyle, Surfstyle and Dangle divisions, points are awarded for the individuals with the highest 3 scores which are then allocated to their respective CKA Team.

For the Racing division, scores are awarded to the teams with the highest average individual placements

Points are allocated as follows:

Men                                Female

1st place        3 points                1st place        6 points

2nd place        2 points                2nd place        4 points

3rd place        1 point                        3rd place        2 points

For each team, points will be summed across all divisions and are used to determine the overall CKA Team rank. Not only does this system favor the teams with best riders, but also the most riders. Note also that it is possible to attain more points at windy events where many divisions are run.

Example Team scores

2nd place freestyle (womens)

3rd place surfstyle (mens)

2nd place dangle (mens)

1st place race (mens)

2nd place race (womens)

Overall score = 4+1+2+3+4 = 16 points

The World Surf League (WSL), coordinates the annual tour of professional surf competitions including the men’s and women’s Championship Tours (CT), the Qualifying Series (QS), the Longboard Championships, the Junior Championships, the Big Wave Tour and the XXL Big Wave Awards.

There aren’t too many complicated rules in professional surfing, but we do have a few that are worth getting to know as you watch the sport. The rules are in place to ensure the safety of the athletes, the fairness of competition and, ultimately, to promote the best surfing on the planet in the arena of live competition.

Below we’ll describe the basics and for those who want to really dig into every detail, please feel free to download the full rulebook linked at the bottom of this page. Note the following do not apply to the XXL Big Wave Awards.

Judging and Points

Events are comprised of rounds and those rounds are made up of heats with anywhere from two-to-four surfers looking to lock in their two highest-scoring waves -- both out of a possible 10 points for a possible 20-point heat total. A panel of five judges scores each wave on a scale of one to ten. For every scoring ride, the highest and lowest scores (of the five judges) are discounted and the surfer receives the average of the remaining three scores. There is no limit on the number of waves that will be scored, but the two best scoring waves (each out of a possible 10) are added together to become a surfer’s heat total (out of a possible 20).

Judges analyze the following elements when scoring waves (not for Longboard or BWT Events):

Judging scale:

[0.0 – 1.9: Poor]

[2.0 – 3.9: Fair]

[4.0 – 5.9: Average]

[6.0 – 7.9: Good]

[8.0 – 10.0: Excellent]


After each event surfers are awarded points based on their respective placing and the better they perform, the more points they get -- on the Championship Tour (CT), first place gets 10,000 points, second place gets 8,000 points and so on. These points are added together to create the CT Rankings. At the end of the year, the male and female surfers at the top of the Rankings will become the WSL Champions.


The surfer with priority has the unconditional right of way to catch any wave they choose. Other surfers in the heat can paddle for, and catch, the same wave, but only if they do not hinder the scoring potential of a surfer with priority. A surfer loses priority once they catch a wave and/or a surfer paddles for but misses a wave. If two or more surfers catch a wave, the first surfer to make it to the take-off zone will get priority.


A surfer who hinders the scoring potential of a surfer with priority over them will be given an interference penalty. In most situations, this means that their heat score will be calculated using only their best scoring wave. Except for BWT, if a surfer causes two interferences during a heat they will be disqualified from the heat.

Heat Restart

Except for BWT, if no one catches a wave during the first 10 minutes of a heat then the Head Judge has the power to restart the heat.

The full Rule Book can be downloaded here.

Anti-doping Policy

The WSL’s Anti-Doping Policy was instituted in 2012 and you can view it here. The policy covers use of both performance-enhancing and illicit substances and applies to surfers and their support staff. WSL tour staff are also bound by the Policy.