UPDATE: GREEN LIGHT! Red Bull King of The Air Will Resume on December 5 in Cape Town.

As the anticipation for the 2023 Red Bull King of the Air builds, the world of big air kiteboarding turns its eyes to the infamous Kite Beach in Table View, Cape Town. Renowned as the Capetonian Mecca of kitesurfing, Kite Beach is set to host an 18-rider lineup that promises to be nothing short of spectacular. The event’s weather window spans from November 25 to December 10, requiring wind speeds of 25 knots or higher as well as a decent swell to kickstart the action.

Edgar Ulrich is seen during the Red Bull King Of The Air in Cape Town, South Africa on November 26, 2022. Photo By Craig Kolesky for Red Bull Content Pool

The 2023 fleet, featuring the top three finishers from the 2022 competition, champions of the Red Bull King of the Air Qualifier Series, and victors of the Online Qualifier, brings together a blend of former champions, renowned big air competitors, and promising newcomers. These athletes will compete for the coveted title, demonstrating a combination of height, power, extremity, technique, and innovation. Here’s all you need to know:

Liam Whaley performs during the Red Bull King Of The Air in Cape Town, South Africa on November 26, 2022. Photo By Craig Kolesky for Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull King of the Air has been a pivotal event in the evolution of big air kiteboarding since its inception in Hawaii in the early 2000s. Moving to Cape Town in 2013, it has been the single biggest driver of progression in the sport, with riders continually pushing the boundaries of amplitude, variety, execution, and difficulty of trick

Lorenzo Casati performs during the Red Bull King Of The Air in Cape Town, South Africa on November 26, 2022. Photo By Craig Kolesky for Red Bull Content Pool

With the event’s weather window opening on November 25, the focus is on the unique climatic conditions essential for the competition. Sergio Cantagalli, Sportive Director of Red Bull King of the Air, explains that while there’s no minimum wind speed for starting the event, conditions typically start with an average of 25 knots (46kph), potentially rising to 35 to 37 knots (65 to 69kph).

Steve ‘Spike’ Pike, weather guru and founder of Wavescape.co.za, sheds light on the prevailing summer weather patterns. The South Atlantic High pressure system’s counter-clockwise flow forms the basis for the summer southeast trade wind, bringing warm, sunny days and consistent winds to Cape Town. This interplay between high and low atmospheric pressure shapes the ocean weather patterns, creating the ideal conditions for the southeast wind to strengthen, particularly in the afternoon.

Beto Gomez is seen during the Red Bull King Of The Air in Cape Town, South Africa on November 26, 2022. Photo By Craig Kolesky for Red Bull Content Pool

The west coast section of Cape Town, from Milnerton to beyond Big Bay, aligns well with the southeast wind, allowing riders to utilize the wind parallel to the shore. This creates excellent wave-riding opportunities, with the consistent summer swell offering a stark contrast to the often flat summer seasons in European countries.

Kevin Langeree prepares during the Red Bull King Of The Air in Cape Town, South Africa on November 26, 2022. Photo By Paul Ganse for Red Bull Content Pool

As the riders prepare to harness the power of the Cape Doctor, fans from around the world, especially from Germany and the Netherlands, flock to witness the thrilling spectacle, making Kite Beach a hub of international kitesurfing culture this summer.

Aaron Hadlow performs during the Red Bull King Of The Air in Cape Town, South Africa on November 26, 2022. Photo By Paul Ganse for Red Bull Content Pool

The stage is set, the riders are ready, and the winds are calling. The 2023 Red Bull King of the Air is not just a competition; it’s a celebration of skill, courage, and the relentless pursuit of pushing the limits of kitesurfing. As the event draws near, one question remains – who will be crowned the new King of the Air?

2023 Competitors

  1. Lorenzo Casati – Italy
  2. Jamie Overbeek – Netherlands
  3. Andrea Principi – Italy
  4. Beto Gomez – Colombia
  5. Liam Whaley – Spain
  6. Aaron Hadlow – England
  7. Arthur Guillebert – France
  8. Airton Cozzolino – Italy
  9. Cohan van Dijk – Netherlands
  10. Edgar Ulrich – France
  11. Giel Vlugt – Netherlands
  12. Jason van der Spuy – South Africa
  13. Jeremy Burlando – Spain
  14. Luca Ceruti – South Africa
  15. Marc Jacobs – New Zealand
  16. Stijn Mul – Netherlands
  17. Timo Boersema – Netherlands
  18. Josh Emanuel – South Africa

Follow all the weather window updates at Red Bull King Of the Air Event Page HERE

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