The World Surf League (WSL) announced the launch of Red Bull Airborne, an aerial specialty event.
The aerial surfing competition will run in conjunction with the 2018 Quiksilver Pro France and will showcase Championship Tour (CT) athletes, and some of the best new school surfers in the world.
There will be two additional spots reserved to anonymous wave riders - one surfer under 18, and another over 18 - who submit two clips featuring backside and frontside airs and showing maximum amplitude, creativity, and technicality.
The event also marks the start of an official relationship between Red Bull and WSL. The energy drink company is one of the largest surfing sponsors on the planet.
Red Bull has been actively supporting pro surfers and hosting innovative surf contests for a decade, but it had never entered the official circuit via WSL.
"Growing up, I started watching videos of the first air shows in America with Christian Fletcher and Jason Collins. They were just punk rock and edgy, and they were only concentrating on big punts. To me, that was it," explains Josh Kerr, the mastermind behind Red Bull Airborne.
“I'm excited this is happening. I want to give kids a creative platform to gravitate towards at a young age. I think this is going to help progress our sport and help open up a lot of kids' minds."
The Red Bull Airborne will feature an 18-man field, across six qualifying heats and a final. It will get underway from October 5-10, in Hossegor, France.
Red Bull Airborne | Invitees
Albee Layer (HAW)
Chippa Wilson (AUS)
Mikey Wright (AUS)
Noa Deane (AUS)
Matt Meola (HAW)
Mason Ho (HAW)
Kolohe Andino (USA)
Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Yago Dora (BRA)
Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Eric Geiselman (USA)
Hector Santa Maria (PRI)
Kalani David (HAW)
Jack Freestone (AUS)
Sebastian Williams (Wildcard A)