Every year one of the most exciting and risky competitions in the history of sports is held. If you are passionate about skiing or snowboarding, you cannot miss the Freeride World Tour (FWT). The best freeride skiers and snowboarders from different countries of the world participate in this competition to earn the title of the best rider of super steep mountains covered with powder snow.
Surprisingly, the Freeride World Tour is relatively young, it began in 1996, and only snowboarders participated, and since then, the concept of freeride has grown enormously and continues to do so to this day.
The competition is not very complex, but it is very difficult to carry out. The participants must study the mountain the days before the competition without having the possibility of stepping into the area in which they will have to compete, some of them use binoculars or other tools to learn every rock and drop on the slope. Skiers define the route they want to follow and calculate the jumps or tricks they will perform in their minds just by looking at the mountain. The freeride skiers only have one chance to nail the route they had planned. Of course, it doesn’t always go as planned and many of the skiers fall or get seriously injured during the competition. I guess that risk is what makes the contest so exciting and difficult!
Of course, this activity is very difficult to judge, but how do they decide who is the best? The rider who performs the most jumps? Or maybe the one with the best style? But then, doesn’t the rider with the best technique win? The truth is, all of these factors are taken into account.
How are freeride skiing and snowboarding scored?
Below you will find a list with the five criteria that are included when choosing the best freeriders in both skiing and snowboarding:
- Technique. Some skiers show better carving techniques than others and for snowboarders, it is preferable to include more turns rather than using a single edge of the board.
- Control. Here the judges value the control they have over their movements and their skis or board. In this aspect, it has a great influence if the athlete suffers a fall during the competition.
- Line. This criteria is very important and is the most strategic of the five points to assess. The line is the route that the skier is going to cross. It can be more creative for example, if they go to the side of the mountain that no one else has chosen or it can be riskier if they decided to jump a fall several meters high. The line is one of the most talked-about aspects of the competition.
- Fluidity. This term is a bit related to the line and style, but the speed that the participant has is valued mainly, some skiers reach very high speeds, but they may lose control or demonstrate their technique less. Another aspect that affects fluency is if you doubt at any time about the movement you are going to make.
- Air and style: This element can be as well very creative, professionals can jump very high or demonstrate some tricks that will make their score go up. But they always have to keep in mind that they have to land the jump because otherwise, the trick can make them lose many points or even their position in the competition.
At Ratoong we are very proud to have one of the finalists of the Freeride World Tour 2021 as an ambassador: Aymar Navarro! With an incredibly smooth and narrow line and two endless jumps, the Spanish skier was proclaimed the third champion of the FWT21. Here is the video of his incredible performance at Verbier’s Extreme:
The Xtreme of Verbier, Switzerland is almost four hours long of pure adrenaline! In Ratoong we invite you to grab a bowl of popcorns and Watch the full competition here!
We would love to hear your opinion about this amazing competition so leave a comment or share it with your friends so they can enjoy it too!
The Ratoong family.