Watch Kiteboarders Hit Insanely High Altitudes

"Red Bull King of the Air" gathers the world’s best riders for a must-see aerial dogfight.
Aaron Hadlow flies high Red Bull King of the Air
By Steve Root

With 24 of the sport's top kiteboarders gathering in Capetown, South Africa to determine who is “Red Bull King of the Air,” the title isn’t hyperbole: Utilizing some of the world’s most perfect wind and wave conditions, these athletes slingshot to heights of nearly 60 feet, execute phenomenal tricks while up there, and then (hopefully) make a smooth touchdown — rather than drop like a stone from six stories up, which happens with some painful regularity. So yeah, anyone who can do that deserves to be crowned king, and you can witness the coronation in “King of the Air” on Red Bull TV.

Even here in this revered location, weather does what it darn well pleases, and there were some down days in the run up to the event. But when life gives you windless skies, American Jesse Richman and Brit Lewis Crathern go skydiving. Tag along on their first leap—it’s pretty wild stuff!

But most of all, this thing’s about kiteboarding, and these pros are on top of their games. Check out some gifs of the guys in action:

Look ma, one hand!

 

 

The best landings are smooth ...

 

... But others, not so much.

 


 

360 in slow-mo:

 

 

 

Take a look at this gallery of high-flyers, then check out the full "King of the Air" recap show:

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