The KPL excites us alot. Finally some larger order to the growing number of park events around the world and some sort of structure to the number of big name pro’s heavily focused on this part of the sport. It could be argued that the bigger name guys typically are in this space of the sport and until now one off events game some basic bragging rights but not much more. The KPL has more than the potential to give rankings, it can shape the way these events are run and give some consistency and professionalism to them going forward and that’s good for us all. Brandon Scheid has been amongst the development of this concept from the get-go and gave us the inside scoop on kiteboarding’s newest competitive organization. One that at least for now can really claim to be: by the riders, for the riders!
Brandon Scheid gives Freedom the Inside Word on The KPL
FKM: So tell us a bit about the KPL, how did it come about?
BS: The Kite Park League is a governing body of like minded riders that agreed this year to participate and orginize a global slider championship. After years of talking over beers, the park style riders finally decided to take the responsibility for their own kite future by organizing a “world tour” of slider events.
I would say the idea has been around for awhile, more of a murmur, but this winter in Palawan a few key riders decided to finally get thoughts in motion. Since those first “meetings” we organized a union of riders that would vote on matters critical to the slider events and riders.
FKM: Who are the instigators?
BS: Eric Rienstra, Craig Cunningham, Sam Light, Colleen Carroll, Alexander Lewis-Hughes, myself, and a hand full of others we key in getting some of the initial thoughts on paper.
FKM: What is the purpose?
BS: The goal of this group is to promote and grow the park presence in the kiteboarding world.
FKK: How will the events be weighted?
BS: There will be five sanctioned existing events that will be counted towards an overall ranking.
The five events are as follows: Blue Palawan, Triple S, Hood River Slider Jam, Rail Masters, and Rhosnieger Park Jam. There is a total of two throw outs, and all the events are weighted equally. So the winner would be the guy/girl with the highest places in three out of the five events. Currently we are not throwing our own events, just using the results from five pre-existing qualified events.
FKM: Long term where do you see Park fitting within the sport? Given the logistical difficulty of riding Park how can the average kiter relate to it like they may relate to other areas of the sport?
BS: I think much like park riding in snowboarding it is here to stay in kiteboarding. Although many riders will never interact with rails, its good for our sport to broadcast a great image for kiting into the action sports world. Also, many of the top riders in the “pro” kite world love hitting rails so its something you will see more of in the sport. I think it is a logistical issue for most areas, not a lack of interest that makes park riding hard. However in all the continents on the earth you can find rails for kiteboarding, even in the middle of nowhere. So the desire is there!
FKM: Has this changed your current path or has it just validated the direction you’re heading? Do you expect more Park focused pro’s to emerge or are they already doing it regardless?
BS: With this new organization we have just solidified our niche of the sport. I think this side of the sport was something I was always drawn too, so I would be doing the same thing with or without this tour. Hopefully it will help bring more exposure to our side of kiteboarding and inspire a whole new generation of rail shredders.
You can view the full announcement statement below or visit the site here: