A to Z of King of the AirThe world’s most badass, big-air kiteboarding contest is back in February 2020! Red Bull King of the Air will take place when conditions are most favourable between 1 and 16 February. It is big-air kiteboarding on another level.

In preparation for this extreme event, here follows an easy A to Z guide with everything you need to know to enjoy the action to the fullest:

Air – Red Bull King of the Air is like no other kiteboarding contest, featuring the most select group of riders, known as ‘big air’ specialists.

Big Air – The judging criteria is simple: The idea of this extreme kiteboarding contest is to see who can go the biggest, highest and furthest.

Cape Town Tourism – The event is proudly supported by Cape Town Tourism. Each year the city sees thousands of visiting international kiteboarders take to its beaches. And, each year the city assists in hosting a world-class event in one of the most iconic cities in the world

DON’T – Walk on the dunes. Please. They are sensitive, respect the no-go zones and watch from the beach.

Easy – to get to Kite Beach on event day the easiest access is without a doubt through MyCiti buses and Uber. Parking is limited and the roads will get congested.

Food – Will be available at the numerous restaurants along the beachfront.

Got the T-shirt – Or hat or hoodie…Official Red Bull King of the Air merchandise will be available in very limited quantities on event day at Kite Beach

Hot – The action will be and the temperature. But, as the evening progresses and the wind continues to pump it will get chilly on the beach. Bring a windbreaker and a blanket.

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – Join in the conversation with us on @redbullza (Instagram), Red Bull South Africa (Facebook) and @RedBullZA (Twitter).

Janek Grzegorzewsky – Due to an ankle injury suffered while skydiving, Grzegorzewsky was forced to withdraw, making space for first reserve, Ewan Jaspan (AUS).

Kevin Langeree – Langeree (NED) is the defending champ. In 2019 he claimed his third title at the prestigious event at Kite Beach, making him the winningest big air rider on African soil.

Local boys – 2020 will see the biggest contingent of local riders ever in the event. Look for Ross-Dillon Player, Stuart Downey, Oswald Smith, Joshua Emanuel and Jason van der Spuy to go huge.

Mademoiselle – Angely Boullot will become the first-ever female contestant in Red Bull King of the Air after she received one of the wildcard slots. The other went to Kitesurf world champion in wave riding and strapless freestyle Airton Cozzolino (Cape Verde).

No – alcohol will be served at the venue. Please do not bring your own alcohol onto the beach either.

Open-air – There is no designated seating, beach vibes rule.

Parking – Will be highly is limited! Please share rides, use Uber (or other taxi options) and MyCiti to get to the beachfront as mentioned earlier. If you do need travel in a car, please only park in designated parking bays. Cars parked illegally will be fined & towed.

Qualifiers – Along with the 12 video entry winners and two wildcards, four more qualified through the Fly to Red Bull King of the Air Qualifier Series – a global tour of “approved events” that run the same format and judging criteria of Red Bull King of the Air. The winner of each qualifier gained an automatic slot. (Stuart Downey; Ross-Dillon Player; Luis Alberto Cruz; Lewis Crathern)

Rounds 1 and 2 – These 18 riders (mentioned above) will compete in Rounds 1 and 2 of the event. From those two rounds (which will take place at a mobile venue offering the best conditions during the Weather Window) only 12 will advance to Round 3. Round 3 will take place at Kite Beach and will be open to spectators.

Southeaster – The event team is looking for winds at an average of (at the very least) 25 knots (46km/h) to start with. The ideal forecast will see the famous Cape Doctor pump at 35 to 37 knots (65 – 69km/h) though. Only when conditions are perfect will the ‘on’ call be made. Stay tuned to the website for the 48-hour pre-call.

Technicalities – Elimination heats are run on a a ‘flag out’ system. All riders will have different coloured competition vest on when they hit the water. Each rider/colour is related to the same colour flag. As a rider gets flagged-out (the lowest score at the midway point of the heat), that colour flag will come down and the rider is eliminated.

Unique – Did we mention Red Bull King of the Air is a standalone event. It has become so prestigious a discipline that some riders are now training all year just to win this one event.

Vibe – Bring it! The riders thrive on support and will push the limits even further if the crowds get behind them.

Weather Window – The event window opens on 1 February and closes on 16 February. Rounds 1 & 2 will be run at a mobile venue during this time, with Round 3 onwards taking place at Kite Beach.

Xtreme – You know it. You’re unlikely to see this kind of Big Air kiteboarding action anywhere else.

You know now – The athletes will go huge. With judging based on two criteria: 70% Height: ‘Go as hard and high as possible. The height in combination with extreme moves is a priority, but we will also take the horizontal distance travelled in account, combined with certain powered moves’ is the word from the judging panel. That, plus 30% Extremity. ‘Controlled extreme high moves. Think about extremely powered and/or extremely technical, or ultimately a combination of this as long as it is performed on a proper height.’

Zero – There are no limitations on the equipment riders can use (in terms of kites, boards and lines).

What: Red Bull King of the Air

Where and when: Bloubergstrand, Cape Town from 1 to 16 February 2020

WS