“It’s like a gladiator arena when you’re in the water.” – Nick Jacobsen
One of my favourite times of the year is slowly approaching: The Red Bull King of the Air! This is by far the best Kitesurfing event in the world and this year it has managed to become even better with an exciting new location! Instead of Big Bay, the 6th edition of the King of the Air is going to be held at Kitebeach, which has much stronger wind, bigger waves and more space on the beach. Check out more details of the exciting new venue → HERE
The event Sportive Director, Sergio Cantagalli, had this to say about the new venue: “As the aim of Red Bull king of the Air is to continuously push the level of extreme kiteboarding, one of the key factors to be considered at an event of this nature is: where to possibly get the most radical and extreme conditions, to give contestants the best opportunity to perform at their limits.”
For those of you who are not familiar with the event, the King of the Air competition is about going as extreme as possible – this means the highest, riskiest jumps, crazy yet controlled tricks that are performed as high as possible and an extreme overall impression.
When will it be held?
The competition will be held on the windiest day between the 27th of January and 11th of February. Let’s hope it happens over a weekend so that those who haven’t taken off work can also go check out the action.
For the last 2 years I have been reporting for Kitesoul Magazine, but for this years event I have decided to focus all my energy on my blog. So be sure to keep an eye out on this blog for articles and interviews during the event.
Can’t make it to the event?
For live updates during the King of the Air, make sure you are following me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, where I will be keeping you all updated with live results and interviews! Anything specific you want to see during the event? Let me know!
The Riders are:
Aaron Hadlow (UK); Ruben Lenten (NL); Lewis Crathern (UK); Steven Akkersdijk (NL); Lasse Walker (NL); Oswald Smith (RSA); Reno Romeu (BRA); Jerrie van de Kop (NL); Jesse Richman (USA); Kevin Langeree (NL); Aurelien Petereau (FRA); Joshua Emanuel (RSA); Marc Jacobs (NZ); Ross Dillon Player (RSA); Antonin Rangin (FRA); Sam Light (UK); Gijs Wassenaar (NL)
(The rider list is made up of the top eight riders from the 2017 event, plus the top nine from the ranking of the online video competition as well as wildcards.)
Unfortunately one of my favourite riders and last year’s King of the Air, Nick Jacobsen, recently broke his ankle! So he will sadly not be able to compete. Here’s what he had to say about the event, “It’s like a gladiator arena when you’re in the water. The beach is full of people and the pressure is high from your sponsors and audience.”
Who will be crowned the King of the Air?
It’s anyone’s guess.. Top contenders Jesse Richman and Kevin Langeree are returing to the competition after taking a break last year due to injury. South African rider, Joshua Emanuel, is feeling confident after winning the Red Bull Megaloop challenge in Holland and setting a new Woo height world record. One of my local friends at kitebeach, Ross Dillon Player, also has his eyes set firmly on the prize. Video entrants, Marc Jacobs and Sam light, have competed before and are not to be missed. Will Aaron Hadlow become the King for the 3rd time? It goes without saying that they all want it bad.
Who do you think will be the next to reign?