It's that time of year again when riders are preparing their best material for their chance of being selected for a coveted spot at next year's King of the Air competition, known as the most prestigious big air kiteboarding contest in the world. Ozone UK team rider Oli Sweeney has been on the big air radar for a while and has been boosting huge with his own unique style and flair for mega loops. Having won first place at the King of the Exe in 2018 he has been training nonstop to make it into the elite KOTA squad, good luck!
Oli is riding the AMP, our user-friendly freestyle C-kite that gives him the confidence to go for it and progress his tricks and the TORQUE freeride/freestyle twin tip that delivers an explosive performance to reach those insane heights.
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RED BULL KOTA HISTORY (from Red Bull's official site)
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’.
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).
2020 EVENT RULES SUMMARY
REGISTRATION AND PARTICIPATION
1) Registration: Red Bull King of the Air is an invitational event. Only the invited riders are allowed to enter the event competition.
2) Division of fleets:
◦ Top 14 (12+2wildcard) from Red Bull King of the Air Video Contest ranking (online video competition)
◦ Top 4 from Fly to Red Bull King of the Air Qualifier (worldwide Satellite Events circuit)
◦ Top 6 from the previous years ranking of Red Bull King of the Air
◦ Top 6 from the ranking of qualification rounds.
Find out more about Red Bull's KOTA: https://www.redbull.com/za-en/events/red-bull-king-of-the-air