Red Bull King of the Air 2021 Riders List Announced

Liam Whaley Red Bull KIng of the Air competitor

Red Bull King of the Air 2021 – scheduled to take place at Kite Beach in Cape Town on the windiest day between 30 January and 14 February – 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 a host of video entrants.


The 2020 event saw Hawaiian top gun, 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. And Richman believes victory this year will require a technical approach, saying: “Now that we’ve pushed the envelope on height, we’re going to see technicality come back into the game big time.”

Jesse Richman Red Bull King of the Air

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.

There will also be a variety of 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. And 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 (including Kiteworld chief gear tester, Chris Bull, as new head judge) selected the top video entries by judging the riders on the same criteria 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.”

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 event. Here’s who will be in the main event in 2021:


Top three from 2020

Jesse Richman (USA)
Nick Jacobsen (DEN)
Aaron Hadlow (GBR)

Nick Jacobsen, Jesse Richman and Aaron Hadlow

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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