From 27 January to 11 February the world’s kitesurfing champs will descend on Cape Town to compete in a big air kitesurfing contest of world renown. The best of the best will face each other to determine who the King of the Air is. During the competition period the legendary Cape Doctor hits wind speeds of over 30 knots. Contestants are provided with perfect swells to wow the judges with their best extreme maneuvers.

In this year’s competition the top nine kiteboard champs from last year will go up against nine new riders that were chosen from video submissions. Watch them master the waves and see who can walk away with the sought-after title. An exciting new location has been announced for this year’s competition. Kite Beach, Blouberg, will offer riders more consistent wind speeds. Be prepared to see bigger and bolder moves!

The Competition: History

The first Red Bull King of the Air was hosted in Maui in 2000. The Hawaiian island’s famous windsurfing spot, Ho’okipa, was perfect for the riders to show off big air moves. Back in the day, kite technology was still in its infancy, the raw power of the kites leaned to the dangerous side.

The event was hosted in Maui five years in a row as the biggest annual kitesurfing event. But as the sport went through its growing pains, a lot of pro riders lost interest in big air maneuvers. The competition started to feel like same old year after year.

But then new equipment breathed fresh wind into kitesurfing’s sails and the elite riders became more interested in honing their skills, showing off style and technicality. The focus on the moves did entail that most tricks were performed closer to the water, almost like wakeboarding or normal surfing.

Around 2007/08, a few kite surfers like Ruben Lenten became jaded by the state of kitesurfing competition formats. They started experimenting with wind speeds to test the limits of kitesurfing equipment. Hunting for stronger and stronger winds, they began trying to go higher and further. Previously these conditions were seen as “unride-able” winds.

The more comfortable these riders became with testing their skills against the wind, the more they experimented. Soon the “mega loop” was born. This is the moment the rider forces the kite into a huge loop, oftentimes the kite going underneath them while in the sky. These can be done up to 40 feet high. The challenge is then to maneuver the kite right-side up again before the rider lands.

In 2012 Ruben Lenten and a few other passionate kite surfers launched the Red Bull Len10 Megaloop Challenge, hosted in Big Bay, South Africa. Lewis Crathern (UK) took the title that year. And so the Red Bull King of the Air competition was revived after eight years in hibernation.

In 2013 the competition had 24 of the world’s best kite surfers compete for the title of King of the Air. The competition attracted the most extreme big air specialists and they all flocked to Big Bay to show off their skills. Jesse Richman from Hawaii made it to the top after eight hours of epic kitesurfing action. And the rest is history. The Red Bull King of the Air competition brought kitesurfing back to its roots, reviving the essence of the sport.

The Competition: 2018 Lineup

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Big names such as Ruben Lenten, Aaron Hadlow and Kevin Langeree are part of this year’s lineup of the world’s best riders. The competition works on a “flag out” format. Each round four riders hit the waves and by the end of the round the lowest-scoring rider gets “torched”. Thereafter the scores go back to zero and the clock is reset. Last man standing is crowned the king. The weather-window opens on the 27th of January and the competition will kick off on the first day with perfect conditions.

kevin-langeree-red-bull-king-of-the-airTips for the most epic KOTA experience:

  • You will look up at the sky a lot, remember your sunglasses
  • The African sun is potent, put on strong sunscreen
  • Pack in enough snacks and drink lots of water
  • Bring comfortable seating with you
  • Don’t be afraid to show your appreciation, hoots from the crowd will put extra wind in the riders’ sails
  • Be ready to experience the most extreme big air kitesurfing contest in the world!

The Riders

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 Petreau (FRA) | Joshua Emanuel (RSA) | Marc Jacobs (NZ) | Ross-Dillon Player (RSA) | Antonin Rangin (FRA) | Sam Light (UK) | Gijs Wassenaar (NL) | Liam Whaley (ESP)

arron-hadlow

This will be next level kitesurfing, an epic experience is guaranteed. Last years’ champ Nick Jacobsen (@nick_jacobsen) has suffered an unfortunate injury and won’t be competing this year. The Danish daredevil broke his fibula in South Africa while training, moments before the event kick-off. He’s put his money on Lasse Walker (@lassewalker) as a big possibility to snatch up the title this year.

lasse-walker-red-bull-king-of-the-air

Jump in on the discussion: #kitesurfing

Can’t make it to the beach to enjoy the epic kitesurfing action?
Not to fear, you can watch it live on redbull.tv

https://www.redbull.tv/live/AP-1U1TZN5ZH1W11/red-bull-king-of-the-air

The Judges

Alex Vliege | Gregory Thijsse | Reinier Korstanje | Vita Vitezskav Adamicek | Arek Jerzelkowski |Chris Bull

To crown the King of the Air hawk-eyed judges will critique style and technique, rating all the fancy maneuvers that riders will use to try impress them. Who will be the last man standing?

Events team:

Olaf Van Tol (contest director) | Sergio Cantagalli (sportive director)

To find out more about the competition, visit redbull.com

https://www.redbull.com/za-en/events/red-bull-king-of-the-air

Redbull King Of The Air 2018

The Cape Town kitesurfing movie you have all been waiting for has finally been released and you can all enjoy all 22 minutes of it.

Check Cape Town Confidential out below, which features Cabrinha team riders exploring our beautiful Cape Town beaches and kitesurfing spots.

There has been a lot of hype around it on Instagram lately.

The film features team riders Liam Whaley, Red Bull King of the Air Nick Jacobson, Keahi de Aboitiz, Graham Howes & James Boulding.

Cabrinha & Dirty Habits are pleased to present Cape Town Confidential. A movie by Anders Kruger and Cabrinha Kites at the Cabrinha South Africa end of season party.

When: 17th of March: TODAY!

Where: Desperados Bar (Eden On The Bay, Big Bay)

Drinks from 18:30

Movie from 7:30

To get a taste of the full length feature that will be premiered tonight check out the Switchblades & Fireball video Cabrinha recently released.

Switchblade/ Fireball

Head to www.cabrinhakites.com to win your 2017 Switchblade + Fireball package.We sent our international team to Cape Town with a set of Switchblades & Fireball control systems. Our aim? To prove this is the most versatile setup on the market. #Fireball #Cabrinhakites

Posted by Cabrinha on Monday, 13 March 2017

 

Learn more about the event here: Cabrinha End Of Season Party 2017

Matthew getting some fins free in an awesome session at Melkbos.

Rider: Matthew Petter-Bowyer

Instagram: @mattevis

Facebook: Matthew Petter-Bowyer

Photographer: Bruce Weatherspoon @dr.stoke

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Check out this short video of Cabrinha Team Rider JJ Boshof hitting some winter kiting in Milnerton and Strandfontein.

Filmed by Kyle Cabano and Kyle Fletcher

Music: “Burn Down The System” by “Collie Buddz”

Check Out Our Youtube Channel Here

When life gives you lemons – in Cape Town’s case the Southeaster wind, a.k.a. the Cape Doctor – you make lemonade; or, even better, you host the Red Bull King of the Air kiteboarding competition. The competition attracts the best kiteboard riders in the world, who take on the treacherous Cape of Storms elements for the chance of being crowned the Red Bull King of the Air.

This year’s competition, held for the fourth consecutive year at Big Bay in Cape Town, saw 24 kiteboarding pros battle it out in front of 13 000 people for the highest and furthest jumps, as well as the most innovative, technical, and risky tricks and combos.

Riders have a two-week period in which they wait for the two days with the most favourable conditions, which include strong winds and high swells (Red Bull gives you wings, but strong winds and big waves help as well). The first round was held on 3 February when the Southeaster picked up to 30 knots. Although all 24 riders are pros, the first day separated the good riders from the brilliant ones. All three local boys (Kruger, Smith, and Howes) made it through to the second round at the end of the first day. Conditions seemed favourable for most of the day, but during Heat 9 in Round 2 the wind abated and the competition was postponed.

Red Bull King of the Air Explanation

The competition resumed on Sunday, 7 February, when the wind picked up again. Riders were treated to some of the strongest winds and highest swells in the competition’s 9-year history and some anticipated that the Cape Doctor would be doing more breaking than healing. In Heat 9 this seemed all too apparent when Sam Light, with 5 minutes to go in the heat, wiped out and was dragged downwind like a rag doll. Luckily he relaunched with no injuries.

Local rider Andries Fourie made it through to Round 3 thanks to some huge loops and secured himself a spot in the semi-finals. Oswald Smith, also a local, was up against some really impressive talent in his heat, including the 2014 King of the Air, Kevin Langeree. Smith gave his best, but came down hard on the water when attempting a kite loop KGB. He was carried back to shore and thus his run in the competition ended.

The next two heats also promised much with two previous champions competing. Defending champion Aaron Hadlow came second in his heat, while 2013 champion Jesse Richman came out on top in his heat, both securing their places in the semi-final.

As expected, the semi-finals, with three previous champions, provided exciting stuff. In the first semi-final, Lasse Walker, attempting a huge mega loop, crashed hard in the water and the safety boat had to be deployed. Fortunately he did not suffer any major injuries, although he did get some water in the lungs and a painful reminder that even the pros can become the playthings of the elements. In the next semi-final, Lewis Crathern, who dominated the previous heat and much of the competition, got taught that same lesson when he wiped out from a height of 20 metres at the start of the heat. Unfortunately he didn’t get off as lightly as Walker and he was later put in a medically induced coma. This tragic event meant the end of one of the more impressive riders in this year’s competition, but certainly not the end of him competing in future competitions.

In the end, the three previous champions – Aaron Hadlow, Kevin Langeree, and Jesse Richman – together with Brazilian Reno Romeu, made it to the final. After some really impressive loops by all four, Reno was flagged out, leaving it to the other three champions to battle it out. With all three tasting a second win, they risked life and limb to pull off their most impressive moves.

At the end of the day, Kevin Langeree was awarded the Mystic Move of the Event and the $1000 prize for his kiteloop front roll inverted one footer, but it was defending champion Aaron Hadlow who secured first place, becoming the first two-time champion in the history of the competition.

Wind, waves, water, and a few walloping wipe-outs made the 2016 competition one of the best ever. With these conditions, the famous Capetonian hospitality, and the spectacular backdrop of Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope will live up to its name; giving fans of kiteboarding hope that this competition (and the sport) will continue to grow year after year, draw larger crowds, and inspire young daredevils to take on the challenge to become the next Red Bull King of the Air.

Red Bull King Of The Air Winners

Cabrinha team riders Graham Howes and Nick Jacobson just dropped a new video on Facebook showing them exploring some new spots in South Africa.

Any ideas where they are riding. Let us know in the comments section below.

Nick and Graham Explore New Kitespots

Nick Jacobsen and Graham Howes exploring Epic new spots along the South African Coastline. Drone Footage: Craig Howes / Cape Town CityAdditional Footage: Anders KrugerEdit: Louis Laursen Cabrinha

Posted by Dirty Habits on Thursday, 11 February 2016

 

Drone Footage: Craig Howes / Cape Town City
Additional Footage: Anders Kruger
Edit: Louis Laursen

So I went down to Jerrys Burger Bar to go get my entry form and my free burger! I have to admit I was a bit worried going into that competition, not ever having done big air competitively.

We got there on Saterday morning and the wind was fairly strong. There were 16 juniors competing and I was for sure one of the smallest! I won my first heat on my 7m Chaos jumping 11.4 meters. I went straight into the final, by which time the wind had picked up to screeching average of 32 knots. Luckily I had my 4.5m Drifter.

I was walking upwind to start my heat not even being to hang on to the kite. All I can say is we started the heat upwind of Kitebeach and all of us ended up at Pakalolo’s. My dad came to fetch me and brought me back up, we waited for prize giving and I ended up with a 10.1 meter jump.

That put me in 5th position out of 16 compeditors!

Thanks to Cabrinha, Mystic and SAKA for hosting a great event.

Cape Town’s Big Bay area is a mecca for watersports. But it’s kitesurfing, in particular, that’s really caused Big Bay to boom.

On any of the Mother City’s many windy days, the bay is festooned in the colourful kites of those taking advantage of the feisty south-easterly to get their sporting fix. Come summer, the area attracts loads of professional kiters, drawn to the international kite-boarding hot spot.

It’s easy to see why. First, there’s the 10-30 knot wind. Then there’s the wide, pristine beaches, set against picture-perfect views of the city and Table Mountain. There’s also the annual Red Bull “King of the Air” kiteboarding competition, held in Big Bag, which draws huge crowds. And there are cool bars, restaurants and chill spots to hang out at along the coast.

But kitesurfing isn’t just for adventure tourists, athletes or those into extreme sports. Anyone, of any age, can join in the fun.

Why you should consider kitesurfing

  • It offers a full-body workout. Kitesurfing includes both a cardiovascular and resistance element, so it helps you get fit and tone. Expect a strong core and upper body.
  • It improves your co-ords and concentration. You have to keep an eye on the wind, and make snappy decisions on navigating and jumping. This helps train you to have better reaction times to situations overall.
  • It gets you closer to nature. The sun. The wind. The surf. Need we say more?
  • It’s the ultimate in Zen. Kitesurfing is a great way to de-stress after a long day, and it forces you to be more mindful. In a video explaining why he loves the sport, Richard Branson said: “There are very high powered people − like Larry Page from Google and others − that kitesurf, and I think they do because they see it as therapeutic, as well as a lovely way to keep body fit.”
  • You become part of a community. The kiteboarding community in Cape Town is a warm and welcoming one.
  • It’s the closest you’ll get to actually flying J

Take kitesurfing lessons

Keen to give kiteboarding a go? If so, you’ll need proper instruction. In the video mentioned above, Branson said: “You need a sympathetic person to spend four or five hours teaching you, then you’ve got a lifetime of pleasure ahead.”

He’s right, but the exact number of hours of training you’ll need may vary. Ideally, you need at least six hours. At Cabrinha, we have lessons for beginners and advanced kiters, and we offer these lessons daily, both in Big Bag and in Langebaan – a great place for beginners to start.

Lessons include all equipment needed and our instructors are fully qualified through the IKO (International Kiteboarding Organisation). Our instructors use radio helmets for water lessons, to maintain communication at all times, and in the group lessons, there are two people per instructor. Personalised attention is guaranteed. Here’s a breakdown of our main offerings that can be found on our kitesurfing school page:

Type: 2 Hour Group Intro Kitesurfing Lesson
For first-timers to learn the basics of wind, safety, equipment, setting up and flying the site.
Cost:
R790 per person

Type: 4 hours Group Beginner Kiteboarding Course
A more comprehensive offering, it includes all the lessons from the 2-hour course (above), in addition to more advanced kite-flying skills (kite launching and landing; getting power from your kite).
Cost: R1580 per person

Type: 2 or 3 hours Group Body Drag Kiteboarding Lesson
Once you have basic and advanced kite-flying skills, you need to learn about how to use your kite’s power for a body drag (moving in the water if you’ve come off your board). Body dragging is a crucial kitesurfing skill.
Cost: R790 per person

Type: Langebaan Board Riding Kiteboarding Lesson
In the flat and shallow Shark’s Bay, you’ll learn how to get up on your board and improve your riding skills.
Cost:
R1580 (4 hours) to R2 370 (6 hours) per person

Type: Premium Private Kitesurfing Lesson
One-on-ones ideal for those wanting to learn fast or as a refresher for kiters whose skills have gone a bit rusty.
Cost: R790 per person per hour

Type: Beginner Kiteboarding Course
The aim of this intensive immersive course is to get you on the board quickly. Over three or four days, you’ll get 12 hours of instruction.
Cost:
R4265 per person (or R4740.00 if you pay in advance – a discount of 10%, and if you buy the new season’s equipment from the shop, the course fee is waivered)

Cape-Town-Big-Bay-Kitesurfing

Photographs by Mandi Ireland Photography.

 

So this this season SAKA made their first stop of the tour in Cannon Rocks, 100km north of PE.

After bareley surviving the 10 ½ hour drive with my mental brother, we arrived at the beach to find perfect, flat and warm conditions and I knew it was going to be worth it!

Cedric and his team partnered up with SAKA to pull off a great first leg with some proper prize money and great spot prizes too $$ J  The improved performaced of the re-designed Chaos really boosted my freestyle and gave me much more confidence to go bigger and higher.

Knackered after two days of tight competition I ended up coming 3rd  for Junior Pro Freestyle and managed to take the win in Junior Pro Wave!

Thanks Don and Grant for kicking  my season off with a bang!! (your support makes all the difference)

 

Ben-Rootman-2016

Ben-Rootman-Cabrinha-2015

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