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Event Overview (For more info visit http://www.redbullkingoftheair.com)
As the name implies, Red Bull King of the Air is about air. With that in mind, BIG AIR will be the primary focus again for this year's event. In addition, top scorers will need to integrate multiple maneuvers and technical trick performed in an arena of waves and wind to give the best overall impression.
As kiteboarding grows and evolves, the sport's progression is going in a variety of directions. What distinguishes kiteboarding from other self propelled sports is the incredible height, distance and creative maneuvers performed in the air. Some kiteboarding events focus on more technical tricks derived from wakeboarding and wakeboard style maneuvers, while other events focus more on wave riding.
The platform for Red Bull King of the Air is about proving who can do it all; who can impress the spectators and judges with awe-inspiring height and distance, while at the same time mixing in the most impressive maneuvers and technical tricks in the wave-rich venue. It's not a wave riding event, nor is it a wakeboarding event, Red Bull King of the Air encompasses all aspects of the sport.
†Essentially, there are two heats in one. In one eight minute heat, four riders will be on the water at a time. Two kiters will compete man-on-man with a devoted panel of judges each watching two of the contending riders.
The main criteria the judges are looking for is big air and creative maneuvers, mixed in with a rider's ability to perform technical maneuvers and utilize the waves as ramps on the way out, rides on the way in. High on the judges' list will be clean landings, the ability to utilize the given conditions, creativity and variety. Each judge will give each rider a score of 1st or 2nd place based on their overall impression of how the rider used his/her time in the heat. The first place finisher will advance to the next round.
The prize purse for the Freestyle event is $20,000
†* The Hangtime portion of the event will only be held if the conditions are ideal.
Hangtime is a simple concept. The object is to stay aloft for the longest time. Last year's men's winner stayed airborne for an impressive 7.29 seconds, but the world record lies in the double digits. Any rider in the main event may enter the Hangtime event.
The prize purse for the Hangtime event is $5,000
†* If the conditions are not ideal for Hangtime, then a "Freeride Competition" will take place
The guidelines are as follows:
Judges look for the one biggest, sickest move integrating big air and technical maneuvers while utilizing the waves
Multiple riders go out at a time
Falls do not count against the riders, encouraging risky moves that are not normally seen in competitions
MOST PROGRESSIVE RIDER - RIDER'S CHOICE
†The most progressive rider of the event will be chosen by participating kiters and awarded $1,000.
Big air means nothing without a clean landing. The judges are looking for high, difficult maneuvers finished with clean landings.
Judges will also be looking for the best use of waves. Waves make great ramps for big air and can be surfed on the way in. But, a common mistake is for a kiter to ride a wave too far downwind, out of the course, and loose precious time trying to get back upwind.
Riders should pick the right equipment for the given conditions. Ho'okipa is known to have gusty wind. The choice of a board with the right volume and the right size kite will make or break a rider's heat.
Think variety. Although judges like to see big airs, mixing in technical maneuvers and use of waves shows overall ability.
This truly was a refreshing change from where contests have been going.
The technical tricks were being performed but they were executed at heights of 30 feet.
The top 5 mens finishers are still some of the most progressive riders out there, they just brought their whole game to the field.
Big props to RedBull...those guys really no how to throw a party, I mean a contest!
sometimes Gary Bronson...
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