Ruben Lenten was on fire and wowing the crowds at this year's Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town. Going huge on the AMP V1, tearing up the wave kickers with the Torque V1 and throwing down some impressive signature boogie loops (front roll with a tail grab). Unfortunately an unlucky miss of the bar meant he just missed out winning his heat.
At the end of the day it’s all about going big and having fun, now Ruben can go boost it without the pressure and time limitations! Happy to see the AMP v1 pulling its weight and delivering smooth, controlled loops and an awesome level of feedback to really go for it.
RED BULL KING OF THE AIR HISTORY // - (www.redbull.com)
The very first Red Bull King of The Air ran at the hallowed windsurfing spot, Ho’okipa, on the Hawaiian islands of Maui in 2000. Back then the kites were raw, powerful, and relatively dangerous and the riders were all about throwing the biggest airs. As the equipment developed and became readily available to the public, kiteboarding was excitedly hailed as the ‘fastest growing watersport in the world’.
For five years Red Bull King Of The Air staged the biggest one-off annual event at a phenomenal spot, but in truth in its latter years at Ho'okipa the event had become a little same-old-same-old as kitesurfing went through its growing pains and pro riders moved away from big air.
New equipment made it an easier discipline and the sport's elite focused on the cutting edge of style and technicality, which ironically saw them performing their tricks closer and closer to the water, more like wakeboarders, or unstrapped in waves like surfers...
Around 2007/08, jaded with current kitesurfing competition formats, riders like Ruben Lenten began experimenting by going out in stronger and stronger 'storm force' winds on special equipment and seeing initially how high and how far they could go. As they became more comfortable in previously 'unride-able' winds, they began throwing 'mega loops' (sending the kite on a huge loop - often underneath them in the sky, often 40 feet up - and bringing it back round above their head to hopefully catch them before they land).
And so in 2012 in association with Ruben Lenten the 'Red Bull Len10 Megaloop Challenge' took place at Big Bay with Lewis Crathern from the UK coming out on top. It paved the way for the return of Red Bull King Of The Air after an eight-year hiatus.