Red Bull King of the Air 2016 update: The event is on Stand-by

It’s that time of the year again. Where 24 of the world’s best and bravest riders flock to South Africa for one of the biggest kitesurfing events – the Red Bull King of the Air. It will take place in Big Bay, Cape Town on the first windiest day during the next two weeks.

Red Bull king of the air

Half of the chosen riders are known as the world’s most progressive riders – they are also the top 12 competitors from the previous year’s event. The rest of the riders are the winners from the video contest, with two of them being wildcard entries. The riders are from across the globe, with the youngest rider, Willem van Der Meij, being only 18 years old and the oldest, Alex Pastor, at 35 years old. Amongst the group there are also 3 from South Africa. And of course, last year’s winner Aaron Hadlow, will also be taking part to try and preserve his winning title as the King of the Air.

It’s not all about the height. Contrary to the popular belief, the event winner is not simply the one who jumps the highest. Points are also awarded to style and execution, variation, power, smooth landing and the vertical and horizontal distance travelled during certain moves. So the judges will be keeping their eyes on every aspect of the rider’s performance.

Red Bull king of the air

Kitesurfing is not often the greatest spectator sport, due to the blowing wind and sand chasing the non-kitesurfers off the beach. This is one event where the spectators choose to make a huge exception. Once the chosen competition day arrives, hundreds of people will be hugging the white sandy beach and piling into the beachfront restaurants to get a piece of the action.

The event is currently on stand-by while they wait for a windy day, which might this Wednesday the 3rd January 2016.  Red Bull is yet to issue a final call. They are hoping to hold the event in over 30 knots, which is a usual occurrence for Cape Town’s signature South-East wind, so the performances will be extraordinary and the spectators will be wowed beyond belief.

Michelle Hayward