A guide to Freestyle Skiing & Snowboarding

Freestyle skiing and snowboarding could be described as a new coming to the world of winter sports although two of the traditional events (aerials and moguls) have been around since the early 80’s.

 

Aerials

Aerials skiers compete on a specially constructed ramp which can propel the skiers up to 6m in the air. Skiers perform multiple twists and spins in the air which are then judged. Aerials skiers often train into water jumps to help learn new tricks before taking them onto the snow.

Moguls

Moguls skiing is a judged sport with a timed element. Skiers charge down a steep slope which has purpose-built large bumps on it known as “moguls”. Each course has two jumps where the skiers perform aerial manoeuvres. Moguls is judged based on the following percentage; 60% turns, 20% time and 20% jumps.

 

Ski and Snowboard Cross 

A head to head race consisting of 4 or 6 athletes who race down a specially constructed course which features rollers, large jumps and high-speed turns. It has its origins in BMX or Motorcross racing. The top two (or three if it’s six at a time racing) progress into the next round. Ski Cross made its debut as a Winter Olympic event at the 2010 games in Vancouver with Snowboard Cross making it’s first appearance at the Winter Olympics four years earlier in Turin.

 

Slopestyle

Ski and snowboard slopestyle became Olympic events at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. Athletes ski or snowboard down a course which includes rails, jumps and other terrain park features. It’s a judged event and is scored against the difficulty and execution of each trick and the overall “style” of the run.

 

Halfpipe

Snowboard halfpipe first became an Olympic event in 1998 but it wasn’t until Sochi 2014 that the skiers got to have a go. A specially constructed pipe is built using special machinery. Skiers and Snowboarders ride down the pipe moving from wall to wall performing aerial manoeuvres. It’s a judged sport and athletes are scored against amplitude, difficult and execution of the run.

 

Big Air

This event is exactly how it sounds. Skiers and Snowboarders perform one jump on a specially constructed kicker. It’s a judged event and score is based on difficulty, execution, amplitude and landing. Many big air events take place on large scaffolding constructions so that skiing and snowboarding can be taken to city centres. Snowboard Big Air became an Olympic Event in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 
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