The Red Bull King of the Air

The Red Bull King of the Air competition is the highlight of the kitesurfing calendar in Cape Town. It sees the very best board-riders from all over the world coming together for a day of adrenaline, actions, and a lot of wind. The event takes place in January or February each year.

When

The event doesn’t have a defined date—usually until the very last few days before it takes place. The organisers assign a two week period during the windiest time of the year, and then everyone waits for word that it’s a go. Once the dates are announced, the event goes ahead and the world’s best kitesurfers take to the waves for an incredible show.

Anywhere the wind blows

Cape Town has an incredible coastline that wraps around the whole city. We also have the infamous “Cape Doctor”, the strong south-easterly wind that earned its nickname by blowing the city smog away and leaving the Cape Town air clear and fresh. It’s also what makes the city a kite-surfers dream. When the rest of us dive for cover in restaurants, bars, and homes, the kitesurfers emerge and head for the sand-blasted beaches to take advantage of the perfect conditions. Cape Town is an idyllic kitesurfing and kiteboarding destination for beginners and pros alike, but the King of the Air is reserved for those who really know what they’re doing.

To find out more about the sport, check out our article on learning to kitesurf in Cape Town!

The venue

The Red Bull King of the Air takes place at Kite Beach in Blouberg. It’s a huge beach with amazing views of Table Mountain over the ocean. While the beach does have good days for sunbathing and swimming, occasionally, the real drawing card here is the wind. The location offers consistent wind speeds of around 30 knots at the right time of year, making for some serious big air moves. On days when the sea is choppy and the sand is billowing, it’s packed with kitesurfers ready to hit the waves.

 

 

The vibe

Kitesurfing is a fantastic spectator sport, and even if you’re not one of the adrenalin junkies out their on the water, it’s worth checking out. In 2018, over 7,000 people braved the windy beach to watch, with blankets spread out on the sand. It’s not your average beach day, but it’s a thrilling day out for the whole family, and the views are hard to beat.