An all-star list of previous champions, local favourites and up-and-coming hotshots will do battle at Kite Beach in Cape Town on the windiest day between January 30 and February 14 when Red Bull King of the Air returns in 2021. Here is all you need to know:
– The most prestigious Big Air kiteboarding event in the world sees the top three finishers from 2020, the winner of the Fly to Red Bull King of the Air Qualifier Series satellite event and video entrants fight it out.
– 2020 saw Hawaiian pocket rocket Jesse Richman edge past fellow former champions Nick Jacobsen of Denmark and Briton Aaron Hadlow to claim his second crown with all three back to claim a stake at the throne alongside fearsome three-time champion Kevin Langeree.
– Dutch legend Langeree won Cold Hawaii Games in Denmark in September – the only event in the Fly to Red Bull King of the Air Qualifier Series that ran in 2020.
– Joining them will be new names thanks to the success of the video entry process where judges selected on the same criteria as if they were performing live in person.
– Sportive Director Sergio Cantagalli revealed: “The sport is definitely becoming younger. We were honestly amazed and didn’t expect such a large amount of new talented riders sending in video clips. It was a challenge for the panel. Our aim is to reward the most complete big-air rider in the world. That rider needs to bring the complete package of height, power, extremity, technicality and innovation on the day. This had to come through in the videos too.”
– Richman, 28, who also won in 2013, added: “Now that we’ve pushed the envelope on height, we’re going to see technicality come back into the game big time.”
– Other riders to look out for are Dutch duo Lasse Walker and Steven Akkersdijk, Spaniard Liam Whaley, South African Joshua Emanuel and Kiwi Marc Jacobs – who won the ‘Woo Highest Jump of the Day’ in 2020.
FULL RIDER LIST
Top three from 2020
- Jesse Richman (USA)
- Nick Jacobsen (DEN)
- Aaron Hadlow (GBR)
Fly to Red Bull King of the Air Qualifier Series qualifier
- Kevin Langeree (NED)
Rest of the fleet (in alphabetical order)
- Steven Akkersdijk (NED)
- Angely Boullot (FRA)
- Tom Bridge (GBR)
- Airton Cozzolino (Cape Verde)
- Ulrich Edgar (FRA)
- Joshua Emanuel (RSA)
- Val Garat (FRA)
- Janek Grzegorzewski (POL)
- Arthur Guillebert (FRA)
- Stig Hoefnagel (NED)
- Marc Jacobs (NZ)
- Giel Vlugt (NED)
- Lasse Walker (NED)
- Liam Whaley (ESP)
Photographer Credit: Tyrone Bradley and Tyrone Bradley /Red Bull Content Pool