Winning Player: Ross-Dillon / Photo: Jason Broderick

The Big Air Kite League ran the third edition of their big air kiteboarding contest in Blouberg on 25th February, slipping comfortably into the big shoes left empty by the postponed 2021 Red Bull King of the Air. Kiteworld assistant editor Kyle Cabano was on camera duty for the event and has filed this photo journal from the day

Winning Player: Ross-Dillon / Photo: Jason Broderick

The Big Air Kite League ran the third edition of their big air kiteboarding contest in Blouberg on 25th February, slipping comfortably into the big shoes left empty by the postponed 2021 Red Bull King of the Air. Kiteworld assistant editor Kyle Cabano was on camera duty for the event and has filed this photo journal from the day

On the morning the riders assembled at 10am at the Dolphin Beach hotel for the skipper's meeting. The wind was already blowing around 35 knots Cape Town style! A total of 25 riders were entered into the contest on a video submission-entry basis. To cater for the vast variety of riding levels the entries were split into ‘Pro’ and ‘Semi-pro’ divisions. This all-inclusive contest structure places enthusiasts into the same environment as many of their role models and industry professionals.

On the morning the riders assembled at 10am at the Dolphin Beach hotel for the skipper's meeting. The wind was already blowing around 35 knots Cape Town style! A total of 25 riders were entered into the contest on a video submission-entry basis. To cater for the vast variety of riding levels the entries were split into ‘Pro’ and ‘Semi-pro’ divisions. This all-inclusive contest structure places enthusiasts into the same environment as many of their role models and industry professionals.

Janek Grzegorzewski performing one of his trade mark contraloop board-offs during the opening rounds. After the first round of the semi-pro we had the pro rider heats. Similar to KOTA, nobody gets knocked out of the first round pro heats, but winning would push you ahead directly into the semi-finals. Riders in 2nd and 3rd position would work their way through rounds two and three, both disqualification rounds.

Janek Grzegorzewski performing one of his trade mark contraloop board-offs during the opening rounds. After the first round of the semi-pro we had the pro rider heats. Similar to KOTA, nobody gets knocked out of the first round pro heats, but winning would push you ahead directly into the semi-finals. Riders in 2nd and 3rd position would work their way through rounds two and three, both disqualification rounds.

Giel Vlugt performing a technical kiteloop board-off. A new era of technical big air kiting has been maturing since the first kiteloop board-offs were performed some three years ago. Riders have dedicated their kite careers to big air and it's amazing to see the variations of technical kiteloops that are being strung together, like this kiteloop board-off tic-tac flip by the Dutch rider. This was Giel’s second time competing in a big air competition and he has also been invited to compete in KOTA at the end of 2021. We will certainly have our eyes on him!

Giel Vlugt performing a technical kiteloop board-off. A new era of technical big air kiting has been maturing since the first kiteloop board-offs were performed some three years ago. Riders have dedicated their kite careers to big air and it's amazing to see the variations of technical kiteloops that are being strung together, like this kiteloop board-off tic-tac flip by the Dutch rider. This was Giel’s second time competing in a big air competition and he has also been invited to compete in KOTA at the end of 2021. We will certainly have our eyes on him!

A crowd of spectators watching while Aaron Hadlow gets to work during the finals. The event inspired entries from some of the industry's most established riders, such as Aaron Hadlow, pictured above. Aaron stormed through his first round heat which put him straight into the semi-finals, where he managed to beat the previous event winner, Janek Grzegorzewski, and eventually topped out in 2nd place overall.

A crowd of spectators watching while Aaron Hadlow gets to work during the finals. The event inspired entries from some of the industry's most established riders, such as Aaron Hadlow, pictured above. Aaron stormed through his first round heat which put him straight into the semi-finals, where he managed to beat the previous event winner, Janek Grzegorzewski, and eventually topped out in 2nd place overall.

Josh Gillitt put on an incredible performance throughout the day. The groms were digging into it! Among the youngest riders in the event was 15-year-old local shredder, Josh Gillitt, who made it all the way into the semi-finals. His reign of domination was unfortunately halted by Steven Akkersdijk who just managed to nudge ahead of Josh, but the young South African won the ‘Grom of the contest’ title. Way to go Josh!

Josh Gillitt put on an incredible performance throughout the day. The groms were digging into it! Among the youngest riders in the event was 15-year-old local shredder, Josh Gillitt, who made it all the way into the semi-finals. His reign of domination was unfortunately halted by Steven Akkersdijk who just managed to nudge ahead of Josh, but the young South African won the ‘Grom of the contest’ title. Way to go Josh!

The crowd on the beach had grown throughout the day, here pictured enjoying the finals. This event came about without much notice thereby limiting the broadcasting potential but, let me tell you, the word got out! By the late afternoon there was a crowd comparable to the early KOTA days and the crowd was entertained. The energy levels on the wind blasted shoreline was incredible while the riders were pushing the limits on the water.

The crowd on the beach had grown throughout the day, here pictured enjoying the finals. This event came about without much notice thereby limiting the broadcasting potential but, let me tell you, the word got out! By the late afternoon there was a crowd comparable to the early KOTA days and the crowd was entertained. The energy levels on the wind blasted shoreline was incredible while the riders were pushing the limits on the water.

No stranger to the big air scene, seasoned veteran Steven Akkersdijk was on form all contest. Steven was throwing down some insane kiteloop board-offs in his trademark style with the kite super low and critical, earning himself 3rd place at this year's event.

No stranger to the big air scene, seasoned veteran Steven Akkersdijk was on form all contest. Steven was throwing down some insane kiteloop board-offs in his trademark style with the kite super low and critical, earning himself 3rd place at this year's event.

The peoples’ champion, Ross-Dillon Player! Ross is no newcomer to the competition rash vest, having previously competed in numerous KOTA’s and has also won the Red Bull Megaloop Challenge in 2019. Performing his manoeuvres with incredible finesse, consistency and, most importantly, doing it all with incredible amplitude, Ross was rewarded with 1st place on the podium for his magic combination.

The peoples’ champion, Ross-Dillon Player! Ross is no newcomer to the competition rash vest, having previously competed in numerous KOTA’s and has also won the Red Bull Megaloop Challenge in 2019. Performing his manoeuvres with incredible finesse, consistency and, most importantly, doing it all with incredible amplitude, Ross was rewarded with 1st place on the podium for his magic combination.

The gladiators after a day of battle. Local legend Ross-Dillon Player took the win alongside two of the world’s greatest. Well done to all of the competitors who put on a performance and a special mention to the team of organizers at Big Air Kite who made this competition possible.

The gladiators after a day of battle. Local legend Ross-Dillon Player took the win alongside two of the world’s greatest. Well done to all of the competitors who put on a performance and a special mention to the team of organizers at Big Air Kite who made this competition possible.

RESULTS PRO Ross Dillon-Player (RSA) Naish / Mystic Aaron Hadlow (UK) Duotone / ION Steven Akkersdijk (NL) CORE Shared 4th Janek Grzegorzewski (PL) CORE / Mystic Michael MacDonald (RSA) CORE / Ride Engine Josh Gillitt (RSA) F-One / Manera Shared 7th Stig Hoefnagel (NL) Naish / Pro-Limit Giel Vlugt (NL) CORE / Ride Engine Camdyn Kellet (RSA) Cabrinha SEMI-PRO Mattia Maini (UK) F-One Sergii Mas (UA) North Francesca Maini (UK) F-One

The Big Air Kite League is an independent organization run by the riders, for the riders, with the goal of making big air kiteboarding a career opportunity. Competitions may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for an ambitious and skilled rider it is exactly the environment that fosters progression. This is the 3rd edition of the competition to take place over the last two years and their goal is to host many more. Be sure to check them out and show some support if you want to see more competitions like this happening globally.

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RESULTS PRO Ross-Dillon Player (RSA) Naish / Mystic Aaron Hadlow (UK) Duotone / ION Steven Akkersdijk (NL) CORE

Shared 4th

Janek Grzegorzewski (PL) CORE / Mystic Michael MacDonald (RSA) CORE / Ride Engine Josh Gillitt (RSA) F-One / Manera

Shared 7th

Stig Hoefnagel (NL) Naish / Pro-Limit Giel Vlugt (NL) CORE / Ride Engine Camdyn Kellet (RSA) Cabrinha SEMI-PRO Mattia Maini (UK) F-One Sergii Mas (UA) North Francesca Maini (UK) F-One

The Big Air Kite League is an independent organization run by the riders, for the riders, with the goal of making big air kiteboarding a career opportunity. Competitions may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for an ambitious and skilled rider it is exactly the environment that fosters progression. This is the 3rd edition of the competition to take place over the last two years and their goal is to host many more. Be sure to check them out and show some support if you want to see more competitions like this happening globally.

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