The Red Bull King of the Air is the biggest kiteboarding competition of the year. This prestigious event hosts 18 of the best riders from around the world in one of the most extreme locations – Cape Town, South Africa. The riders push themselves to go as high as possible while throwing the most extreme tricks. Aaron Hadlow has won the event two years in a row (2015, 2016) with the Megaloop KGB. Nick Jacobsen takes the crown in the 2017 Red Bull King of the Air with his one-footed boogie megaloop.
To be the King, you need to be innovative and come up with an extreme trick nobody has done ever before. The trick needs to be big, meaning you go as high as possible. It also needs to have a technical factor making it something difficult to accomplish. The megaloop is one of the most signature extreme tricks in kiteboarding so adding a variation in addition to a megaloop is what most King of the Air riders are after.
Aaron Hadlow won the King of the Air event two years in a row with the Megaloop KGB, but what is a Megaloop KGB? A Megaloop KGB is when you jump, throw a megaloop while rotating backwards then while in the air you stop your rotation and do a backside 360 with a handlepass in the opposite direction.
Nick Jacobsen won this years competition with the one-footed boogie megaloop. This trick requires the rider to throw a megaloop and while the kite is looping through the power zone to stick one foot out of the straps and do an inverted front rotation.
Training for these extreme tricks carries an extraordinary risk. Most riders will migrate to Cape Town a few months before the competition to adjust to the extreme conditions. It’s common for them to be riding in wind in excess of 30 kts and waves up to 10 ft high. This year, two of the riders had to back out due to injuries leading up to the competition.
King of the Air
To be crowned King of the Air is the most prestigious title in kiteboarding. It shows execution of some of the most extreme and technical tricks of kiteboarding. This years winner, Nick Jacobsen, proved he had the technical skills and commitment to fly high and push the level of kiteboarding one step further.
If you missed the 2017 Red Bull King of the Air you can watch it by clicking the link below: