The visual story of Red Bull King of the Air 2016 in black and white.
Bright, multi-coloured kites, boards and gear. Colour-coded lycra competitor’s vests. Matching flags. 13 000 spectators in summer uniform. A day at Red Bull King of the Air is a dazzling affair of many flashy hues.
Photographer Tyrone Bradley took a step back and documented it in monochrome.
Capetonian Oswald Smith – who was recently crowned SA freestyle champ – throws some style as he launches into his Round Three heat, mid afternoon on Sunday 7 February 2016. No matter what, you can count on Ozzy to throw some style.
The gear took a beating
Ozzy would eventually crash out of the comp in Round Three – going down awkwardly and breaking his binding. Disappointed. You could say that…
Got your back
Ozzy’s ‘pit crew’ scramble to replace the binding on his board to try get him back in the mix.
Sam Light (UK) studies the conditions ahead of his Round Two heat. Half of the elimination Round Two was completed on the Wednesday prior, with the remaining two heats taking place on Sunday. Sam – an early favourite – was upset in this round, going down to New Zealander Marc Jacobs.
When you’re the favourite there is always a lens in your face. Aaron Hadlow (UK) looks past all the attention to focus on the job at hand during an early round heat.
Flying the flag
The passionate Cape Town crowd came out in droves – some 13 000 strong on Sunday afternoon. Here’s some Saffa love for Denmark’s Nick Jacobsen.
Standing room only
Supporters appreciate the hot action from the water’s edge.
A rider preps his lines ahead of an early round on Sunday.
“This sport is even heavier on the body than I thought,” commented photographer Tyrone Bradley (who has a long history in BMX) after the event. “Most riders wear knee braces. Some even have two…”
What’s that cliché about dynamite?
Diminutive ripper Jesse Richman from Hawaii, animated and amped as ever upon hearing his made (yet another) final. Jesse eventually finished second (he won in 2013).
Dani Di Placido (Aaron Hadlow’s better half) – chief of the champ’s back-up crew; sounding board number one and most vocal supporter – on seeing her man land something mental. Again. You’d think she’d be jaded to his theatrics by now.
Then there were four
2014 Champ and massive crowd favourite Kevin Langeree hits the water for the final against Aaron Hadlow, Jesse Richman and Reno Romeu. Langeree eventually finished third.
Media be mates
The media welcoming committee as Jesse Richman exits the water after another crazy performance. It’s a small, core community and industry is the kiting one – all smiles and high-fives on the beach.
Jesse Richman salutes the elements for providing the goods in which to stage arguably the best big-air kiting contest ever.
All hail the king
Aaron Hadlow put together a clinical, calculated performance, punctuated with variety and an extreme level of difficulty to reclaim his crowd. Did we mention he went high…