Busting huge airs – it’s that simple and complicated all at the same time.
Red Bull King of The Air is the most prestigious big-air kiteboarding contest in the world. The event sees Cape Town’s Big Bay play host to an elite selection (invited and through a rigorous entry process) of the world’s best kiteboarders as they go head-to-head in a unique ‘flag out’ competition format.
The competition has a two-week weather window which starts on Saturday 21 January, within which riders face-off only once conditions are perfect – a consistent south-easterly wind of over 30-knots and enough swell running from which to boost their mind-bending aerial manoeuvres.
And, it is these aerial tricks which will decide the winner, although, the judging is slightly more complicated than simply seeing who gets the highest.
“We have simplified the system as much as possible,” explains Red Bull King of the Air Sportive Director, Sergio Cantagalli. “The idea behind this is to help the public and followers understanding the ‘complex’ judging criteria of the event.’
Cantagalli outlines this criteria: “We want to see the riders going as high and extreme as possible, while being in control and stylish throughout the trick. In addition we are looking at variation in the different tricks that they perform.”
“This should result in the most complete extreme big air rider on top of the podium,” he says.
Of course perception differs and with such a high level riding and the variety of riding styles at play both riders and viewers could interpret ‘big air’ differently.
So then, to simplify the 2017 judging criteria
– Judges will look at following categories: Extreme Big Air and Overall Impression.
The Overall Impression of the Extreme Big Air performance scores will be determined by combining:
“Go as hard and high as possible. The height in combination with extreme moves is priority, but we will also take the horizontal distance travelled in account, combined with certain powered moves.”
“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.”
– No limitation in maximum number of moves/combinations attempted per heat (including crashes) or repetitions for the same jump.
– Only the three best tricks of the whole performance will be counted and will form part of the final result.
– When performing repetitions of the same move, the best one will be taken in account in the final score.
– Variety within the best three moves is a key-factor, as focus is to award the most complete “Extreme Big Air” rider.
– A fourth score (unique score) for overall impression of the entire performance will be given at the end of the heat, this score will be determined by considering a combination of different factors such as: technical difficulty / style / variety / execution / risk / show / innovation, this will be added to the total score (and could make the difference)
– The average of these four scores will make up the final score.
– Tied competitors’ heat scores shall be broken in favour of the competitor with the highest single score. If the tie remains then it must be broken in favour of the second highest score. In case the tie still remains it shall be broken in favour of the rider who has the higher score of Overall Impression.