Airton Cozzolino: 19 seconds of hang time in Sotavento | Photo: Brendt/GKA

Airton Cozzolino is pushing big air kiteboarding forward so fast that his opponents can't even get close to his flow of new tricks and hang time.

The 2018 GKA Air Games Sotavento will go down as one of the greatest big air events of all time, not only for the competitive side of it but also for what Cozzolino did.

The truth is that he's riding bigger kites, and he makes it look easy.

"It's not possible! Are you kidding me?" Spectators, athletes, and judges are still figuring out whether they've seen an alien or a professional kiteboarder flying over the skies of the Canary Islands.

The Italian rider born in Cape Verde has set a new strapless hangtime record of over 19 seconds during the 2018 GKA Air Games, in Fuerteventura's Playa Barca.

Cozzolino failed to land the huge, multiple-maneuver stunt out of the competition zone, but his ambitious attempt made the crowd go wild anyway.

In 2007, Jesse Richman set a world record of 22 seconds when he stormed German skies. At the time, the Hawaiian was riding with straps. But Cozzolino wasn't.

It is clear that Airton will, sooner or later, set a new strapless hang time record, and land the move. It is just a question of finding the right conditions, and he'll do it.

"I am so happy. It's one of the craziest things I've ever done in my life. When the gust came up there, I started losing control, but then another one arrived," explained Cozzolino.

"Then another gust turned my body, and I started spinning. And when I was almost landing, my head was already going crazy, and I couldn't see anything, where to put the board. It's a personal record!"

In the end, Airton Cozzolino didn't win the big air division - the winner was James Carew - but he sure kept fans entertained.