The Red Bull King of the Air 2021 is scheduled to take place at Kite Beach in Cape Town on the windiest day between January 30th and February 14th and will feature an all-star list of Big Air riders. The fleet is composed of the Top Three finishers from 2020; the winner of the Fly-To Red Bull King of the Air satellite event as well as video entrants.

The 2020 event saw Hawaiian pocket rocket, Jesse Richman out-class past champions Nick Jacobsen (DEN) and Aaron Hadlow (UK) to claim his second crown. All three will be back once again to claim a stake at the throne. Also joining them will be three-time champion Kevin Langeree, who won the Cold Hawaii Games in Denmark in September, the only event in the Fly-To Red Bull King of the Air series that took place in 2020.

Photo Tyrone Bradley / Red Bull Content Pool

Joining them will be various new names, thanks to the resounding success of the video entry process. According to Sportive Director Sergio Cantagalli, the event committee was overwhelmed with the amount of entries – in a year that has been super challenging for professional sport, it was the biggest batch of entries ever received. “The sport is definitely becoming younger,” Cantagalli commented. “We were honestly amazed and didn’t expect such a large amount of new talented riders sending in video clips.”
The panel of judges selected the top video entries by judging the riders on the same criteria as they would, if they were performing live during the event. “It was a challenge for the panel,” Cantagalli added. “There were so many good video clips, but it’s important to remember that Red Bull King of the Air is not ‘just’ a Big Air contest, our aim is to reward the most complete Big Air rider in the world: the one rider that brings the complete package of height, power, extremity, technicality and innovation to the table on the day. This had to come through in the videos too.”

Now that we’ve pushed the envelope on height, we’re going to see technicality come back into the game big time — Jesse Richman

Photo Ydwer van Der Heide / Red Bull Content Pool

According to Cantagalli ‘variety’ in terms of the types of tricks performed, also played a big part in the video selection, and will no doubt be a big asset in how the riders perform in the big event. Here’s who will be in the main event in 2021:

 

FULL RIDER LIST

Top three from 2020
  • Jesse Richman (USA)
  • Nick Jacobsen (DEN)
  • Aaron Hadlow (GBR)
Fly to King of the Air qualifier
  • Kevin Langeree (NED)
Rest of the fleet (in alphabetical order)
  • Steven Akkersdijk (NED)
  • Angely Boullot (FRA)
  • Tom Bridge (GBR)
  • Airton Cozzolino (Cape Verde)
  • Ulrich Edgar (FRA)
  • Joshua Emanuel (RSA)
  • Val Garat (FRA)
  • Janek Grzegorzewski (POL)
  • Arthur Guillebert (FRA)
  • Stig Hoefnagel (NED)
  • Marc Jacobs (NZ)
  • Giel Vlugt (NED)
  • Lasse Walker (NED)
  • Liam Whaley (ESP)
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