October 20th-21st, 2021, Cape Town, South Africa — Stig Hoefnagel made his debut in the 2021 Redbull King of the Air and landed a 3rd place podium finish!
Stig tells us, “As a kid that had just learned to kite, I had seen every single video on YouTube about kitesurfing, and something that always stood out for me were the clips from the King of the Air competition — I knew I wanted to one day be apart of it. I’ve worked hard to earn a spot to compete in the KOTA for years, but I was never selected. This year, I finally got selected, it was such a huge achievement to be able to compete in the event, my hard work was finally paying off. Before the competition, I was really nervous! When the first day arrived, my nerves dissipated and I was just so ready to compete — the moment I got into the water I was so stoked and having the time of my life, my stress was gone.”
Two-time King of the Air winner and now making its 3rd time on the KOTA podium, the Pivot continues to lead the charge. “I rode my 9 m Pivot + 138 cm Drive. The first heat went really well for me, giving me lots of energy for the heats to come. I managed to keep that winning streak going and once I made it to the semi-finals I thought that the competition would be over for me as I had to go up against Giel, one of my best mates and training partner. Instead, I landed a spot in the finals, I was proud of myself for how far I had made it. After Giel and I finished our heat we gave each other a hug on the beach in front of the whole crowd and everyone started cheering and clapping for us — it will be a memory that will stick in my mind forever.”
With a stacked finals heat ahead, Stig knew that he had to give it his all and put all of his training to work. The winds were predicted to reach around 30 knots (55 km/h) making for an action-packed heat. Stig said, “Competing in the finals against two legends, Kevin Langeree and Marc Jacobs was unreal — I was making my debut, while the two boys next to me already had so much experience and were absolutely killing it. I am so stoked to have placed 3rd at the 2021 KOTA and I know that the best is yet to come.”
“I really want to say thank you to all my friends that helped me out on the beach and to all my sponsors for helping and believing in me!”
Congrats Stig, we can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!
#NaishPivot #NaishDrive #TeamNaish #NaishInternational #NaishKiteboarding #KingOfTheAir #KOTA #Surf #SouthAfrica #NaishKites #Kiteboarding
Photo Credit: Svetlana Romantsova