How to afford the PKRA Kitetour ?

October, 2014   //   by Chase Hasch   

What this post is about:

chase-hasch-professional-kiteboarder

This post is the research and observation of me (15 year old kiter Chase Hasch), after winning my last 3 events in the Gorge, USA and Squamish, Canada I would love to go on the PKRA Worldtour, but I have been asked by my Dad (who is unfortunately not rich) to show him how to finance the whole trip to 10 locations around the world.

What this post is not:

This post is not me whining, crying or complaining, this post is not about criticizing the PKRA or any other kiteboard or kitesurf event or tour. And this post is not about a bratty white kid complaining about how unfair his very fortunate life is.

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The Expenses

extra-baggage-airline-fees

I am very fortunate to have two homes. Maui, Hawaii and Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Most of the 10 PKRA WorldTour Events are in Europe. Which means using Cabarete as starting point makes the most sense. Unfortunately the events are often spaced out a month or more apart which makes it more expensive to stay in

Europe at one event venue until it is time to fly to the next event. It seems cheaper to fly home between events.

Airfare from Cabarete (POP) to Frankfurt (FRA) is $1000 round trip. Going from Frankfurt anywhere in Europe or Egypt etc is about $500. Excessive baggage charge is $350 per round trip for one board bag and one bag.

Cab, Transportation and Lodging is on average $120 a night. A 7 day event is $840. Plus food $35 a day is $245.

Costs:
Flight: $1500
Bags: $350
Lodging: $840
Food: $245
TOTAL: $2935 (minimum cost per event)

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Prize Money

asp-surf-tour-paycheck

The most obvious source of making money for any professional athlete that comes to mind is of course winning “prize money”. Who doesn’t dream of being handed a check for half a million dollars on some tropical beach.

Reality check: A PKRA event has an average prize purse of $40,000. The tour rules (available here) clearly show the payout breakdown percentages.

Assuming a $40K PKRA Event prize purse – here is how much the winner to fifth place make in winnings:

1st $5900 (maximum earnings per event)
2nd $4020
3rd $3000
4th $1900
5th $1224

Anything below 3rd place is not going to cover the travel expenses of $2935 per event.

I know it is not a fair comparison, however the men’s first round losers on the ASP Surf Tour make $7K. Which means losing in the first round of an ASP Surf Event still makes you more money than winning a Kite World Tour Event. Again I am not complaining I am just stating facts here. By the way, the winner takes home $100K by the way. Read the ASP rules here Appendix 1 Page 70 if you are interested. Image above – ASP Pro Surfer Owen Wright with a $300,000 check after winning the ASP NewYork event.

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Magazine Coverage

kiteboard magazines

Getting your pictures printed in magazines is undoubtably awesome. But how much does it pay? If you just get your picture into the magazines then any pay or bonus must come from your sponsors, because it is advertisement for them and ideally your sponsors contract includes something about that. I’ve heard, numbers somewhere between $1500 for a pic and $3000 for a cover shot.

We all know that Social Media and Internet are quickly killing off the few magazines that are left. Which means it is a bit of a stretch to count on that income, maybe a few times a year if lucky.

It is certainly possible to write a story for the Mags and sell it to them. I cannot quote exact deals but I have heard $3K for a travel story.

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Sponsor Money

sponsor-money-kiteboarding

Kiteboarder’s seem to be very secretive when it comes to “money talk”. I do understand that talking about money can create tension especially if the sponsor is not transparent about what they pay each of their athletes, if anything at all. Interestingly, we are probably talking about laughable amounts of money here compared to other sports and professions who seem to be a little more chilled about “money talk”.

I am very fortunate to have great sponsors and would like to use this post to express my gratitude and thankfulness for their supporting.

I’ve heard of brands cutting $1500 to $2500 monthly paychecks to their team riders. I have also heard some sponsors matching the competition earned prize money as a reward system.

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Summary

Anything below a 3rd place during any World Tour Event will not cover the travel expenses.

Sponsors will want to see results first. But it is very costly to proof yourself on the world tour such as the PKRA or KSP Tour.

Winning all events would result in a yearly winnings (income) of $29,000. (Equivalent to $15 an hour when working a normal job). Not the kind of pro athlete career you can retire on.

Bottom Line: Everyone has fun, but nobody gets rich!

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I am open to suggestions and comments contact me :)

Kites & Boards by:

Chase Hasch Cabrinha Kites

 

Harness & Wetsuit by:

Chase Hasch NP Harness and Wetsuits

 

Cardio and Fitness by:

Chase Hasch Cardio and Fitness

 

Fueled by:

Chase Hasch Gorditos Cabarete Dominican Republic

 

Vitamins & Supplements:

Chase Hasch Vasayo

 


Beach Kudos:

Chase Hasch and Susi Mai

 


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