North Kiteboarding is proud to announce their continued partnership with Red Bull South Africa, as the Official Kiteboarding Sponsor of Red Bull King of the Air 2020 – the biggest and most badass kiteboarding contest in the world.

King of the Air is not for the faint-hearted. Here, the world’s 24 best and most extreme Big Air specialists go head to head, competing for the coveted African mask. Three of North’s International Team Riders; Nick Jacobsen, Marc Jacobs and Jesse Richman, return to Kite Beach, Cape Town to battle it out during the wind window from 1st to 16th February.

Jesse Richman performs during the Red Bull King of the Air Super Session in Cape Town, South Africa on February 6, 2019. // Ydwer van der Heide / Red Bull Content Pool

In keeping with the constant innovation of the event, the competition format has changed for 2020, seeing four “Fly to Red Bull” winners, along with 14 video entry winners, competing in rouncs One and Two of Red Bull King of the Air. These rounds will take place at a mobile venue, which offers the best conditions on the day, either the Witsand/Misty Cliffs area or Kite Beach, Blouberg. From there, the winners will advance to Round Three to take on the top six riders from the 2019 Red Bull King of the Air Event.

North Brand Manager Mike Raper is extremely proud to be able to get behind such an important event and support the industry once more.

According to North, “The King of the Air offers us a wonderful partnership with Red Bull – pushing the limits of the sport.  It is thrilling to watch the athletes challenge themselves and each other to come up with even more extreme moves.

“Our fingers are crossed for 30-40knots of wind so we can see another strong event this year, and we wish our three North riders in the competition the best of luck. With the scoring being based on 70% height and 30% extremity, this competition pushes even the most extreme riders to their limits. We are excited to see all the kiting public of the world tune in to the live cast.”

Prize giving during the Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday 6 February, 2019 // Ydwer van der Heide / Red Bull Content Pool

In last year’s event, around 9000 people lined Kite Beach to watch the remaining six riders contest the semi-final and final, as the Cape Doctor wind blew a whopping 30 knots.

Both Jesse Richman & Nick Jacobsen had an outstanding performance in their first 2019 heats whilst debuting the new range of North equipment. Jesse landed an insanely high back loop handlepass, one of the most difficult moves in kiteboarding, and Nick was sending it with his mega kiteloop board offs, taking them both straight into the semi-final to go head to head.

Jesse Richman is seen during the Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town, South Africa on Thursday January 31, 2019 // Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull Content Pool 

On day two of the event, it was time for Jesse & Nick to show the judges what they were made of.

Both riding the same North Orbit kites, this heat was really down to skill, as they went trick for trick, coping well with the chop. Unfortunately for Nick, Jesse was on fire and managed to steal a spot in the Red Bull King of the Air final along with Kevin Langeree (Netherlands) and Liam Whaley (Spain).

With little time to spare, the crowds were going wild as the three finalists took to the skies. Each rider gave it absolutely everything, landing the most impressive kite loops, and aggressive tricks in the savage winds. As the buzzer went off and the competition came to an end, Kevin Langeree took the infamous African trophy home for the third time in a row, with Jesse as runner up and Liam in third.

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