Red Bull King of the Air: the most extreme big air kiteboarding show on Earth | Photo: Red Bull

The organizers of the Red Bull King of the Air (RBKOTA) announced major changes in the qualification process for the 2021 edition.

The competition, which is expected to run at Kite Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, will showcase 18 big air kiteboarders in early February.

The roster will feature the top three finishers from 2020, and two or three winners from Fly To Red Bull King of the Air satellite events.

There will also be a place for between seven and 11 video contest winners and two wildcards.

"It's crazy to witness both the evolution of the event and how much it kind of shaped big air kiteboarding and the criteria over the years," notes Jesse Richman, the 2020 RKOTA champion.

According to Richman, the progression of the sport will once again take some big leaps in the next two years or so.

"Not only in the extreme height department but in the radicalness and the technicality of the moves performed at those heights," he said.

Richman is excited to defend his title and cannot wait to see what fresh talent and new moves the entry process will unearth in the lead-up.

"The idea with the new entry format is to give a wider range of riders – both pro and amateur - a shot at competing for the crown," added Sergio Cantagalli, sports director of the RBKOTA.

Video Entry Rules

According to Cantagalli, there are also updates to the video entry rules, which will help incentivize young and talented riders to submit their clips.

"Film your three best moves only. It is important for riders to put together a routine of the three jumps," he said.

"These video clips may not be older than a year, and no previous Red Bull King of the Air entry clips (or part previous competition live streams) will be allowed."

There is no limit to how many videos a kiteboarder can submit.

The videos will be open to public voting, and the 20 clips with the most votes will then be assessed by the Red Bull King of the Air judging panel.

The clips will be analyzed with the judging criteria as in the event: best tricks/jumps, variety of moves, and general flow.

Riders are invited to submit a one-minute video of their biggest airs to

Everyone is invited to try their luck - men and women of all ages, and from anywhere in the world.

The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2020, with the final announcement to be made on December 10, 2020.

The 2021 RBKOTA will get underway when conditions are optimal over a two-week waiting period in early February.

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