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King of the Air

King of the air

Red Bull King of the Air, the annual big air kiteboarding competition that is driving riders to the limits. Every year Kite Beach in Cap town, South Africa is home to one of the biggest and badass kite surf contest out there; King of the Air (KOTA). In this competition riders can show there biggest, highest and extreme tricks they can preform. The kite contest is only held with enough wind to ensure the high level of action during the event.

Red Bull King of the Air 2021

Normally the King of the Air is held in the beginning of the year (January or February) due to Covid the event is Postponed till Q4 of 2021. The wind window is now set on 13 November – 3 December 2021. The 18 riders for the KOTA 2021 are:

RiderCountryResult KOTA 2020
Jesse Richman USAWinner
Nick Jacobsen DEN2nd Place 
Aaron Hadlow UK3rd Place 
Kevin Langeree NED
Steven Akkersdijk NED
Angely Bouillot FRA
Tom Bridge GBR
Airton Cozzolino Cape Verde
Ulrich Edgar FRA
Joshua Emanuel RSA
Val Garat FRA
Janek Grzegorzewski POL
Arthur Guillebert FRA
Stig Hoefnagel NED
Marc Jacobs NZ
Giel Vlugt NED
Lasse Walker NED
Liam Whaley ESP

This global event with riders form all over the world. there are 10 different country’s participating with 5 entries from The Netherlands, 4 from France and 2 from Great Britain. What can we expect this year? More no-footers mega loops? Who will win the Crown this year?The king of the air 2021 will be streamed live again. so stay tuned for up-communing news, data and live feed.

How King of the Air competition work

Redbull King of the air is the leading big air kiteboarding competition. The target is clear: get big, bigger, biggest. The competition is held in different heats of 2-4 riders on the water at the same time. When the green flag goes up, they have 5 minutes to show there best tricks. Tricks will be scored on:

  • Height of the trick
  • Difficulty of the trick
  • Diversity of the tricks in the heat

Where the heights of the trick counts for 70% of the score, so bigger is better! You can get style points of points lost due to crash or a butcheck on the landing.

Af the end of the heat the rider with most points from the 3 highest scoring tricks wins the heat. The rider wil advance to the next heat till there is a clear winner of King of the air, worthy of the crown.

King of the Air 2020 Recap and results

Jesse Richman is the winner of the King of the air 2020. The contest was held in one day with the perfect conditions. The 7 hours long kite boarding competition had 34 heats and Jesse Richman come out on top!

Nick Jacobson was the runner op in 2nd place and won the Mystic Trick of the day and the highest Woo score. Nick Jacobson won the Mystic trick of the day due to a perfect kite-loop board-off with was scored a 9.02. He had also the highest jump of the day with a whopping 22 meter.

To complete the king of the air 2020 results Aaron Hadlow became 3rd.

Watch the action of the Red Bull King of the air replay 2020 here:

Watch the Recap of king of the air 2020 here in the Highlights:

History of the event

The King of the Air first started in 2000. The contest was held in Ho’okipa, Hawaii And was always a big air competition. The first woman to won the contest was Susi Mai. The competition was held a few years in a row and stopped for a while. In 2013 the King Of the Air event was resumed and from this point forth it was held in Cape Town and was called Red Bull King of the Air. Since then it is an annual kite boarding competition to push the sport and the riders to the limits. Every year KOTA is the place where the most dangerous tricks are being preformed in a competition. True this type of event the sport is evolving if going bigger and bigger.

Learn more about the History of KOTA here

Previous years and winners of the event

The winners form the previous King of the air events all in one overview.

YearWomenMen 1stCountryMen 2ndCountryMen 3rdCountry
2020Jesse RichmanUSANick Jacobsen DENAaron Hadlow UK
2019Kevin Langeree NEDJesse Richman USALiam Whaley SPA
2018Kevin LangereeNEDLiam Whaley SPALewis Crathern UK
2017Nick Jacobsen DENAaron Hadlow UKRuben Lenten NED
2016Aaron Hadlow UKJesse Richman USAKevin Langeree NED
2015Aaron Hadlow UKKevin Langeree NEDJerrie van de Kop NED
2014Kevin Langeree NEDRuben Lenten NEDSteven Akkersdijk NED
2013Jesse Richman USANick Jacobsen DENSam Light UK
2005Susi Mai (USA)Ruben LentenNED
2004Susi Mai (USA)
2003Susi Mai (USA)

Watch the Recap of the King of the air 2019 here:

Watch the Replay of King Of the Air 2018

More events:

Want to see more event like this? Check out: Red Bull Megaloop
Or want to see a lot more kiteboarding action? Watch the best kitesurf movies



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