Posted by  Craig Sawyer   in       5 years ago  

Aaron Hadlow became the first rider to win two Red Bull King of the Air titles, taking back-to-back victories at Big Bay in Cape Town in February. The event is heralded as the biggest one-off event on the kiteboarding calendar and is certainly the most radical.

Kiteworld editor and Kite Show host Jim had the privilege of commentating on the live stream, closely analysing each aspect of the event. The event is extremely popular, Red Bull estimate that their live stream will get 100,000 views on demand now, but with that increased reach comes wider speculation over the result. The crowd on the beach loved the pure simplicity of approach that Kevin rode with, and perhaps were lost when it came to appreciating Aaron’s technicality – but Aaron is always the master of adjusting his riding to what the contest rule book demands.

This is the fourth year of the current guise of the King of the Air since it was reborn in Cape Town in 2013. Always epic and having had only spells with truly strong winds in the past, all our hopes for pretty much the entire contest (not just the final rounds) to be run in solid 35+ knot conditions with huge ramps were realised for the first time this year. Big Bay delivered in epic proportions. Adding risk for the riders, it also brought added possibility to the scale and execution of manoeuvres. The warrior mask trophy awaiting the winner had never been more appropriate.

In this chapter we hear from the top three riders, all of whom have won the event before, to get their take on how the event played out, and how it should be nurtured for the future.

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