The Red Bull King of the Air 2021 is back with a bang after being postponed from its traditional slot. This highly anticipated event is the premier big air Kiteboarding competition featuring the best athletes from around the world.
Riders are judged based upon the height of their jumps, variety of tricks, and style, and will be showcasing their cool skills at Kite Beach in Cape Town on the windiest day between November 18 and December 3.
But will there be a new heir to the extreme big-air kitesurfing throne?
The 2021 squad was originally composed of the Top Three finishers from 2020: the winner of the Fly-To Red Bull King of the Air satellite event as well as video entrants.
The 2020 event saw Hawaiian Jesse Richman out-class past champions Nick Jacobsen from Denmark and Aaron Hadlow from the UK to secure the win.
Jacobsen and Hadlow have confirmed participation in the thrilling event, but Richman will be absent from the 2021 action. “For years, I’ve wanted to combine my two favorite disciplines, Big Air with Big Waves… I’ve centered my life around King of the Air for almost a decade…. With the 2020 win, I felt a sense of accomplishment and the completion of a chapter,” he said in a heartfelt Instagram post.
“This year I’m turning down my spot at the event and giving it to the next rider in line. I’m so excited for the next generation of big air Kiteboarders to step up and show the world what they have got.
“No one wants to see me up on that podium again; we all want to see something new and exciting. Someone new. We are here to have fun and make the world a better place for those who come next. I welcome the next generation to step up and make us proud, to assist in the natural evolution of our sport,” Richman expressed.
His withdrawal opened up a spot for the next in line, and Michael Mac Donald is ready to bring the South African spirit. The up-and-coming local will be joined by three-time King, Kevin Langeree, who won the Cold Hawaii Games in Denmark in September 2020, the only event in the Fly-To Red Bull King of the Air series that took place during the qualification period.
There’s an extensive list of new names to keep an eye out for, thanks to a successful video entry process. And the panel of judges made their selections by judging riders on the same criteria as they would if they were performing live during the event.
The Red Bull King of the Air is not only a big air contest, but the aim is to crown the most complete big-air rider in the world – the one rider that brings the complete package of height, power, extremity, technicality, and innovation to the table on the day will be the new King!
To get to know the previous Red Bull King of the Air winners and the event’s impact on big air kiteboarding, watch ‘Kings of the Air’ on Red Bull TV. The event will also be showcased on this platform.
For more information on the event, the participating riders and the judges, head over to www.redbullkingoftheair.com.