These are the world’s best big air kiteboarders who will compete for the title of King of the Air.
Every year Cape Town and her prolific South-Easter plays host the world’s best kiteboarders. For the past three years, they have competed in what is largely considered to be the pinnacle of big air kiteboarding, Red Bull King of the Air.
With the competition – due to take place at Big Bay on the windiest day between the 30th of January and 14 February – an epic list of riders has been announced to compete for the 2016 title.
Back to defend his title, will be Aaron Hadlow (GBR).
“I only really prepare once I am here in Cape Town,” explains Hadlow of the unique format of the event. “I use the extremely windy days to test equipment and get back into the swing of things, once January comes around I focus on it a bit more during the weeks leading up to the event.”
“It is all about time on the water and confidence in the strong winds. On top of that I will spend some time strengthening my body at the gym.”
Hadlow has spent the year since his win back on the world tour. “Freestyle being was my main focus, I really put a lot of time into that,” he says. “I did well again so I am happy with my riding at the moment.”
Hadlow won’t have it all his own way in 2016 however. Jesse Richman (USA) and Kevin Langeree (NED), both previous winners are set to return in 2016.
The rest of top 12 from Red Bull King of the Air 2015 return with the exception of crowd-favourite Ruben Lenten, due to illness. The remainder of the field is then made up from video contest entries (selected by the judging panel) and two wildcards.
Two-time World Kiteboarding Champion Youri Zoon (NED) and South Africans Oswald Smith and Andries Fourie are amongst those who will compete.
Aaron Hadlow (GBR); Kevin Langeree (NED); Jerrie van de Kop (NED); Jesse Richman (USA); Nick Jacobsen (NED); Steven Akkersdijk (NED); Sam lIGHT (GBR); Billy Parker (USA); Lewis Crathern (GBR); Tom Hebert (FRA); Antonin Rangin (FRA), Andries Fourie (RSA); Marc Jacobs (NZL); Lasse Walker (NED); Reno Romeu (BRA); Willem van de Meij (NED); Ariel Corniel (DOM); Oswald Smith (RSA); Gijs Wassenaar (NED); Sam Medysky (CAN); Youri Zoon (NED), Alex Pastor (ESP); Graham Howes (RSA); Oli Sweeney (GBR); Sebastian Barg (GER); Stuart Downey (RSA); Tom Court (GBR).