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The International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) has selected Sôvée, a patented ecocompatible sunscreen made by London-based Aethic, as its official sunscreen. The announcement comes hot on the heels of a global wave of media coverage that once again brought attention to the damage being done to coral and marine life by over 3,500 sunscreen products worldwide.
The new collaboration will take flight with immediate effect, and Aethic products will be first available for public testing on the next IKA event, the North American KiteFoil championships in Los Barilles, Mexico, during the famous Lord of the Wind competition from 12-17 January. All race committees, juries and expression judges will be equipped with Sôvée for personal sun protection.
Sôvée will be IKA's technical partner for all world racing competitions including the 2016 Kitefoil GoldCup, and the 2016 Kiteboarding World Championships in Freestyle, Big Air, Wave Riding and Slalom.
The International Kiteboarding Association is the sole and exclusive rights-holder for the World and Continental Championship Titles in all kiteboarding disciplines. Kiteboarding is a growing watersport with an estimated 1.5m kiteboarders worldwide and sales of equipment reaching in excess of £210m.
Leading championship kiteboarders such as Sofi Chevalier, Annelous Lammerts, Katja Roose, Kelly Schouten, Annabel van Westerop and Hannah Whiteley have unanimously found Aethic Sôvée to provide the best sun protection with strong organic skin replenishment, whilst still enabling good grip on the kite-bar. It also keeps vision clear as the formula is no-sting.
Says Markus Schewendtner, IKA Chief Executive Officer: "It should come as no surprise that a product that is so good for marine life is also good for skin. The fact that Aethic is the only brand that went to the trouble of developing and validating the Sôvée formula scientifically, makes it the obvious choice for us."
Tests with an approved protocol were carried out to gauge a range of ingredients for their eco-compatibility (biodegradable is not enough) and rejected those regularly chosen ingredients such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide which harmed marine life (a recent Spanish study corroborates this finding). A final, complete formulation passed the same tests leaving coral and mussels intact. The formulation has subsequently been granted a patent, making Sôvée the only product to have true scientific proof as a basis for its claims.
Adds Allard Marx, Aethic CEO: "Having the IKA select Sôvée is a great fillip. Kitesurfers are out in intense sun conditions and love the ocean. They set a great example and we hope many more people will use Sôvée to prevent damage to both skin and marine life now".