By definition, kiteboarding is an extreme action sport, and yet among these wind-chasers who pit their skills against the elements for fun, there those rare individuals who take it to the next level at every opportunity.
The internet is awash with clips of riders who fly into the teeth of tropical storms and hurricanes, athletes who show scant regard for the dangers involved while pursuing the ultimate adrenaline rush. But it’s hardly a fool hardy endeavor and that’s why their exploits have become legend.
Whether in the heat of battle at extreme kiteboarding competitions or individual extreme adventures, nothing is held back in scaling new heights.
If you don’t know these three names, commit them to memory now:
The UK native is widely known as the world’s leading “pier jumper”, having successfully leapt over structures in Brighton and Worthington.
What makes his feats even more remarkable is that despite growing on the beach in West Sussex, until the age of 17 he had never even flown a kite. Not that his lack of experience held him back – within three years he was crowned British Pro Men’s Kitesurfing champion and he has gone on to win several British titles in the years since.
He was also subject of the 2011 film, The Man That Touched the Sky, detailing the key moments of his Brighton Jump. Today the film has taken on cult status among kiteboarders.
Ruben Lenten, affectionately known as “Len10”, not so much pushes the envelope as he does the whole post office when it comes to daredevilry on the high seas.
A self-confessed breaker of boundaries, Lenten is Big Air kiteboarding incarnate. With freedom the buzzword every time he is out on the water, it is little wonder that he has come to be known for a signature style. To the Dutchman, expression is everything.
And as part of that signature style, he was at the pioneering end of developing various megaloop and big air combinations. These days he is also focused on chasing storm-strength winds and working with his sponsors, Mystic on developing gear to handle the challenge.
Kiteboarding has been Kevin’s life, right from that very first day back in 2000.
In 2001, after seeing the professionals competing at the Kiteboarding World Cup in Holland, his dream of becoming a pro became his goal and his driving force. From that moment on he dedicated everything he had to training, and with the support of his parents and sponsors, Naish and O’Neill, managed to win his first Dutch Championships in 2003. It was onwards and upwards from there, as he set his sights on his very first World Cup, and at age 14 he managed to secure a top 10 spot.
Kevin’s first major event title came in 2009, when he won the Freestyle World Title. Having picked up a serious knee injury in 2010, and being side-lined for a year, Kevin fought his way back to fourth position in 2012.
One of his fondest memories was having his friends and family supporting him from the beach at the 2014 Red Bull King of the Air event.
After 14 years of hard work and high flying, Kevin still gets the same rush every time he launches his kite.
To see more about Kiteboarding have a look at the following link. http://www.redbull.com/us/en/disciplines/1331579449356/kiteboarding