Cody Thompson conquers 2021 Red Bull Night Riders

November 15, 2021 | Surfing
Cody Thompson: flying over Jacksonville Beach, Florida | Photo: Red Bull

Cody Thompson has taken out the 2021 Red Bull Night Riders at Jacksonville, Florida.

The event is an annual tradition on Jacksonville Beach, bringing out top surfers to compete in the best aerial trick competition held under the stars.

However, this year, Red Bull Night Riders was transformed into Red Bull Light Riders for the first time in its history.

Why?

A Nor'easter storm blew the competition from Saturday night into Sunday morning, and the light of day unveiled insane aerials from some of surfing's best performers.

Undeterred by the schedule change and hyped by the massive waves, the international roster of pros put on a great show and tight competition for the large crowd on the beach.

The slate of competitors featured six pros, including young Indonesian phenom Bronson Meydi, Cam Richards, Robbie McCormick, Evan Geiselman, and Jacksonville Beach natives and brothers Cody and Tristan Thompson.

Despite the stiff competition, local hero Cody Thompson shined brightest by winning the event for the second consecutive year.

Firing Conditions

The experienced surfer took his familiar spot atop the contest podium with a top score of 8.83 points.

After his win, Cody reflected on coming out on top of such a stacked field.

"The waves were firing. Everyone was ripping. There was some crazy action today. Our community here in Jax is unbeatable!" said the now four-time Red Bull Night Riders champion.

The top three were rounded out by South Carolina's Cam Richards (8.57) and Bronson Meydi (7.33), who was impressed by swells that at times reached eight feet high.

"The waves were totally sick today," said Bronson, who's used to riding some of the best waves in the world in his native Indonesia.

"It's so different than where I come from. I'm glad I was able to compete with these awesome surfers."

Throughout the morning and early afternoon, surfers were towed at the waves via jet ski to give them huge momentum and maximum air.

Each surfer was given 15 minutes to try to pull off their best trick, and every landed trick was judged by a panel of their peers: Jimmy Wilson, Blake Jones, and Asher Nolan.

As the winner, Cody Thompson will take home the entire prize purse of $5,000, a Sea-Doo jet ski, and automatic entry into the 2022 competition, when the event returns to the nighttime after a year in the sun.

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