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Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

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the_gmo
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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby the_gmo » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:54 am

ChristoffM wrote:Does anyone know where the Xensr jump height results are? I heard that the highest jump was 25m from Tom Herbert on a North Evo, and the next highest was Andries Fourie on a Carbinha Switchblade. The rest of the field were on C-kites (except for Shaun Richman on a Draft) but no one could match their heights.


You can find the Top10 on our blog: http://www.africaextreme.co.za/red-bull ... ighlights/

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby Toby » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:49 pm

excellent write up from africaextreme

Red Bull King Of The Air 2014 – The Highlights
King of the Air 2014 - The Highlights

Sunday 2nd February – Big Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. The day had come, green light for the King Of The Air 2014, the second edition of the worlds’ most extreme kiteboarding event. And boy, was that an event! A day full of surprises, upsets, drama, collateral and comebacks. Here’s a run-down on the highlights.
The Heats

The competition ladder was kept similar to last year: Four riders per heat, one rider is eliminated half-way through the heat, and the three remaining riders battle it out till the end. The best 2 riders of each heat went through directly to Round 3, while the 3rd and 4th placed riders had to go through a (sort of) double-elimination round. In Round 2 (this double-elimination) it was then only three riders per heat, but again one being eliminated half-way though, and only the best rider advancing to Round 3, the quarter finals.
The Judging

The judging criteria were kept King Of The Air: a combination of height, risk, variation and technicality. There were several ways to the throne. Riders scored for either big, controlled moves or insanely risky manoeuvres. All together the right judging criteria to push even these riders to their limits.
The Height

The new feature this year was that every rider was supplied with a GPS sensor, this way the judges could see the height of each jump and make their call accordingly…this might have been the reason for a few upsets and surprised this year.

It was hard to figure the actual height at the event (we believe that was solved a little better on the live-stream). There are slightly different measures to find all over the web. According to Red Bull South Africa’s Twitter feed, the big air leader-board looks somewhat like this:

1. Tom Hebert – 25.04m
2. Andris Fourie – 23.33m
3. Kevin Langeree – 21.55m
4. Jerrie Van De Kop – 21.41m
5. Billy Parker – 20.22m
6. Reno Romeo – 18.89m
7. Luke McGillewie – 18.51m
8. Jesse Richman – 17.83m
9. Gianni Aragno – 17.58m
10. Graham Howes – 17.30m
The Surprises

Before the event we wondered who’s that young German rider. He has left his mark, nobody will ask this question again! Linus Erdmann was definitely one of the surprises of the event. The 17-year old German threw some of the highest handle-passes of all riders, and this consistently. Unfortunately he battled with the re-launch of his kites a few times too long.

Another “surprise” was Steven Akkerdijk. Don’t get us wrong, it was no surprise to us. We know his skills (he’s running our Freestyle Clinics), we know how charged up he was and we’ve seen him train hard every day leading up to the competition. We’re sure however that some of the top riders have not seen that coming. Who would’ve thought that Ruben Lenten himself gets his ass handed by another Dutch rider? That’s why we love the King Of the Air!
The Upsets

It was clear that in such a strong field of riders, there will be favorites eliminated. That’s exactly what happened. Especially the early exit of Sam Light and Lewis Crathern was a surprise. Both riders came in very close to the top ranks in previous heats. Seems the competition has caught up by now, and the new kids on the block are emerging.
The Comeback

Comeback of the event? That title goes to Mr. Hadlow. Anyone who saw the death-loop/spiral of death that dragged Hadlow right across Big Bay past the entire audience was convinced that was it for Hadlow. He must have gotten injured, or at the very least, after an unwanted body-drag like this far downwind of the competition area doomed to watch the other riders collecting points while he gets back to it. Not so much. Aaron Hadlow did not want to leave the comp at this stage and fought back. It took him two tacks far out to sea to be back at his support crew. They quickly stuffed him in a new board (Geeez these boots take time), and he was back in business! With the biggest KGB-Megaloop we have ever seen and another massive boost he still made it through. Way to go Aaron, impressive stuff.

\
The Collateral Damage

With our big air competition becoming as extreme as a FMX show, we seem to enter their realm of injuries as well. Unfortunately we saw a few injuries during the event. Two of these injuries took out riders well on course to take the throne. We’re sure the final would’ve looked different if it weren’t for those injuries.

After putting on a great show all day, Tom Hebert came down way too hard from a huuuuge jump (check out the footage if you dare). He released his kite immediately, and was rescued first by Andries Fourie who was in the same heat and nearby (big, big respect for putting your competitors safety before your own success), before the life-guards took over. Herbert was still able to walk himself to the ambulance, but looked like he’s just been hit by a truck.

The other injury happened to Jesse Richman, the former King Of The Air. We didn’t see the actual crash, but half-way through his heat, just after eliminating Billy Parker, Richman was sitting down close to the waters each and screaming a familiar word with F. His brother Shawn saw his trouble and came running to drag him out of the water. They struggled to get the boots of Jesse’s feet due to the pain. Rumours are currently anything from a snapped ACL to a bad fracture.

Another one (more rumour than confirmed info) is Oswald Smith. He’s having slight difficulties moving his head to either side…no surprise for those of us who have seen the mega-loop he landed without kite-support in Round 2.

We wish all athletes a speedy recovery, and are looking forward to see you guys back in action next year. The King Of The Air needs you, otherwise the Dutchies are having it all to themselves.
The Kites

Extreme events like the King Of The Air are a great opportunity to see how tough kites are, or not. Congratulations to Naish for keeping the king in your team. We learned that you can go big and extreme on Core kites, and we also learned that Ruben Lenten can deliver the same power and height on his new Best kite. Linus Erdmann took an awful long time to launch his Fuel…we don’t want to start any rumors, but could that be one of the reasons almost the entire Slingshot team from 2 years ago is flying Best now?
The Commentators

“Oh My Lord”, “There’s a big gust coming” and “Yeah, Baby”. It doesn’t feel like they said anything else. On top of that it starts being weird when the commentators can’t figure the names of the riders. “That Brazilian with a huge jump”…really? It was fine for a while…but by the time the semi-finals was on it only the sick riding that kept us there.
The All-Dutch Podium

After a full-day of action, drama, etc (all the above), it was time for the final. Celebration time for the Dutch: three out of four riders from The Netherlands. On top of that, it wasn’t one of the many world- or national Champions to join the Dutch. It was local kite-instructor Andries Fourie. With the crowd in his back, he rocked Big Bay.

However, 10 minutes into the final, it was Fourie who was taken out of the occasion.. The Dutchies then went on to have a little fun for the remaining 10 minutes before they claimed the entire podium for The Netherlands.
The King Of The Air 2014

Congratulations to Kevin Langeree. Rightfully crowned the King Of The Air 2014. With his huge portfolio of tricks and massive airs he secured the title. Not many out there seemed as relaxed and in control as Langeree. Way to go Kevin!

Thanks to Red Bull for this great event. We are looking forward to next year. We’re sure we’ll see the level rising again, and some of the riders stepping it up another notch. The King Of The Air is hands down the most (the only?) exciting kitesurfing competition to watch. We’re blessed to have it in Cape Town, South Africa.

If you want more info around the King Of The Air 2014, check out our King Of The Air-archive. Have we missed a highlight? Anything else you’d like to know? Let us know in the comments!

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby Martins Sprogis » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:59 pm

source: http://www.northkites.com/blog/

2014-02-19 12:33:27 / North Kiteboarding
Reno´s insight view about Red Bull King of the Air!

Oozing style both on and off the water, Reno Romeu is North Kiteboarding’s Brazilian smooth operator. Residing in Rio De Janeiro he first started kiteboarding in 2002, progressing at lightning speed hitting the PKRA tour a few years later. Having cruised through the heats in last years event, he was invited to participate in the Red Bull King of the Air in Cape Town, South Africa for a second year running. Always looking to improve his performance on the water and push the boundaries of the sport we caught up Reno after the event.

How is it coming from the PKRA into a competition like the Red Bull King of the Air?
It's truly great! All year I’m travelling on the PKRA tour and there is a lot of pressure that comes with it. It’s refreshing to participate in an event where I feel so relaxed. The Red Bull King of the air is one of the best events around with such a great atmosphere, hype and extreme conditions. It’s great fun and I get a lot of enjoyment out of doing it with friends and other riders.

Do you rate this style of riding even though you are more technical?
I would say that the this event requires technical riding, just in another way. The PKRA requires a certain style and the tricks are very technical so you really have to be focused for the duration of the event, even when you are not in the water. The Red Bull King of the Air is more like a momentum. It is a competition but, you are just trying to go bigger then the other riders on the water. With all the adrenaline pumping through your body your mind set is different, it’s almost like you go a little crazy. You just have to go for it!

You chose to ride in boots for the competition. Why is that?
I actually tried riding straps in the first heat as I was afraid of hurting myself and compromising my year ahead on the PKRA, but it was awful. After only using boots for a longtime now I couldn’t ride as I wanted. I still made it through the heat but as soon as I got out of the water I put the straps to one side and grabbed my boots. In this event, you go big or you go home. There’s no doubt that with boots I have more control of the board, can ride faster, land harder and hold more pressure from the kite. All important factors for the King of the Air.

What was your set up for the event?
I rode the 10 meter and 8 meter Vegas with the back lines on the ‘wakestyle’ setting. My bar had 22m lines which was great for high jumps and aggressive kiteloops and I rode the 137cm Team Series with the NKB Banana Boots, of course.

How does this ‘hangtime’ set up differ from your usual wakestyle set up?
I didn’t actually change anything. I love to go big anyway, so often after a training session I go for a freeride and catch some big airs. The Vegas is a great kite for both styles, the key for this event is to take a bigger kite then normal and hit the water totally overpowered.

How do you prepare for an event such as this?
Drink a Red Bull. It gives you wings!

Do you think we will see a return of the ‘old school’ riding as there has been so much emphasis on ‘wakestyle’ over the past years?
I don’t think so. In my opinion, every activity you do, you look to improve the technical difficulty of it. It’s the natural progression of sport and I don’t see big air doing this. Big air is a show and I don’t think it can become something like a World Tour as its not really that technical or difficult, it’s extreme!

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby Toby » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:44 pm

Old school not technical difficult?

Try a Quadruble Kickflip ! And then try to land it in every heat!
Never anyone will be able to do it !!! Including me!

What a joke

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby edt » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:22 pm

Toby dont get upset I think it's obvious that Reno didnt mean airstyle is inherently not technically difficult. What he meant is that for this particular competition, that is the Red Byull King of the Air the scoring is done so you really have to go large to get a good score. Which is not really technically difficult.

I think it would be nice if they kept the emphasis on big air but maybe lowered it's impact in scoring a bit and increased the points for air tricks. Still I think this event is a lot better than last year.

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby Westozzy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:02 am

If you read carefully he contradicts himself on the technical issue.

What I would like to know is how much money and exposure to sponsors did this contest generate comparatively....

Money talks.... :D

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby fdvj » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:59 am

You just need to look at the viewing figures of the on line feeds, Kota was in the tens of thousands,
PKRA nitro city was in the hundreds.

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby Toby » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:36 am

Where can you see the numbers?

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby jedi1 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:21 am

Westozzy wrote:If you read carefully he contradicts himself on the technical issue.

What I would like to know is how much money and exposure to sponsors did this contest generate comparatively....

Money talks.... :D


To be honest I don't think it made much money. Even Red Bull wasn't properly exposed during the competition. They've only had one small tent without any attention. There weren't even the Red Bull girls giving the drinks around, like it always happens even on not Red Bull events. There were absolutely no other companies around selling their stuff, as it happens mostly on big competitions in Europe. Moreover there was a problem with food as well, there is a shopping center by Big Bay and KFC was closed during that day.

Yes, there were a lot of people around watching, but there could probably be 2-3 times more. In my eyes the event didn't use half of its marketing value.

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Re: Kevin Langeree crowned Red Bull King of the Air

Postby Westozzy » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:16 pm

Potential money I presume if this kind of competition become more regular fixture.

What I saying is the current style dominating the world circuit reflects 5 percent (just pulled a figure out my ass) of most kiters out there and indeed appeals to an even less percentage of the non kiting population.

Just saying there is money to be made here...and in the end that is what drives EVERYTHING..sad but true in a commercial sense.

Imagine specialised kites made for this sort of comp...specialised boards ..all the specialised r and d goes into 5 percent of the market.

Don't know if I'm right whatsoever just a reflection that can be agreed upon, added on or blatantly denied. I'm not set on any if these ideas, just shooting the shit as we say in Ozland.


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