What is Freeride
Freeskiing and freeride snowboarding have surged in popularity in recent years, thanks to their all-encompassing approach that welcomes and combines various skiing and snowboarding styles. These disciplines represent a departure from traditional alpine skiing and snowboarding, as they prioritize exploration, adventure, and creativity on the mountain. Freeride enthusiasts seek out untouched, ungroomed terrain, such as backcountry slopes, off-piste areas, and challenging natural features, to push their limits and experience the purest form of skiing and snowboarding.
In the realm of competition, athletes begin at a start gate and aim for a finish corral marked on the terrain. Their route down is a reflection of their abilities and preferences. They may choose to incorporate cliff and rock features, subject to the event organizers’ safety assessment, adding an element of strategy to their descent. Freeskiing and Freeride Snowboarding: where nature is your guide, and the thrill lies in the exploration.
Connect with Local Freeride Communities Join local freeride clubs or organizations to meet like-minded individuals and access training opportunities. These groups often host workshops and clinics to help you improve your skills.
Develop Advanced Skills
Focus on honing your skiing or snowboarding abilities in various conditions and terrain types. This includes mastering techniques for steep slopes, powder, trees, and natural features like cliffs and drops.
Invest in Specialized Gear
Freeride-specific gear, such as wider skis or a suitable snowboard, is essential for optimal performance. Make sure your equipment is well-maintained and properly adjusted for your skiing or snowboarding style. Back protectors are MANDATORY.
Start your competition journey at the local or regional level. These events usually have lower entry requirements and provide valuable experience. Pay attention to feedback from judges and fellow competitors to improve.
Film Your Runs
Recording your runs allows you to review your performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and refine your skills. Creating a video portfolio can be valuable when seeking sponsors or applying for higher-level competitions.
Register for Higher-Level Competitions
Progress to more competitive events, such as national or international competitions. Keep an eye on qualification criteria and accumulate points through previous contests if required.
Stay Informed and Inspired
Stay connected with the freeride community by following professional athletes, reading industry publications, and attending events. Watching freeride competitions can provide insights into strategies and techniques.
Maintain Physical Fitness
Freeride competitions demand physical strength, endurance, and flexibility. Engage in a fitness regimen that includes strength training, cardio, and flexibility exercises to prepare for the rigors of competition.
Avalanche Safety Training
Enroll in avalanche safety courses to learn about identifying avalanche risks, performing rescue operations, and making informed decisions when venturing into the backcountry. Safety equipment like avalanche beacons, shovels, and probes are essential.
As you gain experience and recognition, approach potential sponsors who can offer financial support, gear, or other resources to help you pursue your freeride goals.
Embrace the Lifestyle
Freeride competitions often involve traveling to different mountain destinations. Embrace the culture, lifestyle, and challenges that come with freeride skiing or snowboarding, and be open to new experiences along the way.
To learn more and get connected, visit the Rocky Mountain Freeride Series “Get Started” page!