Nibbles & Bits
April 17th, 2014

Julian Carr’s #TBT Instagram post is way cooler than yours

Being that it’s Thursday, we’ve seen quite a few Throwback Thursday (#TBT) posts on Instagram. However, Julian Carr’s definitely wins for most badass, considering it’s a video of him setting a world record for the biggest inverted flip, a 210 foot cliff huck in Switzerland. Enjoy.


April 14th, 2014

IOC official calls rate of Olympic slopestyle injuries “unacceptably high”

In an Associated Press report this week, International Olympic Committee official Lars Engerbretson spoke out concerning the high injury rate of slopestyle athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The head of scientific activities for the IOC medical and scientific department, Engerbretson stated that the injury rate for slopestyle competitors, both skiers and snowboarders, was “too high to be a sport that we have in the Olympics.”

Engebretson went on to say that, in all likelihood, the IOC would wait until after the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea before making any sort of decision regarding slopestyle’s future inclusion in the Games; the extended period of time would potentially allow the sport of slopestyle to become safer, he says. However, the decision regarding slopestyle’s Olympic future would be left up to the IOC executive board alone, which Engebretson is not a part of.

In Sochi, most notably, snowboarder Shaun White withdrew from Olympic slopestyle competition, citing the course as too dangerous after a tough fall during practice. Norwegian Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone, as well. On the ski side, women’s slopestyle competitor Maggie Voisin was forced to withdraw after fracturing her ankle in a fall during practice, and fellow competitor Yuki Tsubota took one of the gnarlier crashes of the Olympics amid a finals run, injuring her jaw.

Engebretson also indicated a fear that slopestyle’s debut at the Winter Olympics would encourage a bigger pool of people to try the sport.

“That’s partly the reason why we have to be careful with it, because everything that’s going on TV from the Olympics creates a trend, people want to do the same thing,” he told the AP. “Slopestyle is exciting. But it’s just become, right now anyway, too exciting.”

What are your thoughts on Engebretson’s comments? Be sure to share your view in the comments box below.


April 11th, 2014

April 6 – 11, 2014: The top 5 videos of the week on freeskier.com

The trend in videos this past week, March 30 to April 4, 2014, was POV. Two skiers joined forces to throw a piggyback backflip, Level 1 revealed its best trick nominees for Superunknown XI, Fabian Lentsch provided eleven badass POV moments, Emma Dahlström threw a big ol’ backy at Nine Queens and Andrew Whiteford reclaimed the throne as “The King of POV.” Check out the top 5 videos from this past week on freeskier.com below.

1. Video: Two skiers team up for the “piggyback backflip”

2. Watch the 36 best trick nominees from Superunknown XI and vote for your favorite

3. Relive Fabian Lentsch’s 2012/13 season with his top 11 POV moments

4. Emma Dahlström throws big ol’ backflip at Nine Queens; watch video here

5. The “King of POV” reclaims the throne in “Dub Tales” episode 8


April 9th, 2014

2015 Freeride World Tour schedule Announced; Lack of North American stops a surprise to some

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P: freerideworldtour.com

The 2015 Freeride World Tour schedule has just been announced and it has a few surprising twists. With the exception of a men’s-only Alaskan stop, the tour will be held completely in Europe. Full details in the press release below.

Lausanne, Switzerland, April 8, 2014

The SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR BY THE NORTH FACE® (FWT) is entering a new exciting phase in 2015, with a comprehensive calendar including two great new venues officially announced. The tour will consist of five venues in total for the men and four venues for the women. The Pyrenean resort of Vallnord Arcalis, in Andorra, will host both men and women skiers and snowboarders, and the notorious mountains of Alaska, USA, will see a smaller group of men skiers and snowboarders just before the finals and the 20th anniversary of the “Xtreme Verbier” in Switzerland.

“We are very proud to announce the two new venues added to three already existing and exceptional FWT events. The local organizer at the Pyrenean resort Vallnord Arcalis of Andorra has organized a very successful freeride event since 1998, the El Dorado Freeride, one of the most popular 4-star Freeride World Qualifier events. The terrain is spectacular and there are some great faces for an all-star FWT competition. Regarding Alaska, it’s the epicentre of big mountain riding and every freerider’s dream to go there. The first extreme skiing competitions were organized in Alaska back in the early nineties and that is where the whole freeriding competition scene started. Since we launched the Freeride World Tour in 2008, we have desired to organize a competition there. We are so excited to finally make it happen,” said Nicolas Hale-Woods, Freeride World Tour General Manager and Founder.

The Freeride World Tour season 2015 will start off at the mecca of freeriding, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in France, January 24, 2015, then head to Austria and Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, January 31. One week later, the athletes will take on Vallnord Arcalis in Andorra for the first time, February 14. After the event at Vallnord Arcalis, there will be a cut for Alaska, USA, with 60 per cent of the men skiers and snowboarders qualifying. In Alaska, there will be a longer weather window to ensure the best possible conditions, March 14-22. The exact location in Alaska is yet to be confirmed. Again 60 per cent of the riders after Alaska will qualify to the grande finale and the 20th anniversary of the Xtreme Verbier, March 28. The women qualify directly to Verbier after Vallnord Arcalis.

Marco Vaccari, Head of Marketing International with Swatch, commented: “We’re delighted to see the Freeride World Tour developing and exploring new territories that will challenge and push the riders to even greater performance levels. The new stop in Andorra promises to be an excellent addition to the Tour after several very successful years hosting Freeride World Qualifier events. Alaska brings another step up – it’s awesome sports territory and is bound to jack up excitement to new heights. And of course we’re very happy and proud to see the Tour wind up the 2015 season in Verbier, Switzerland – home country for Swatch.”

The 2014 season saw some interesting changes in the leader board with the greatest example of rookie Loïc Collomb-Patton of France crowned Freeride World Champion in Men’s Ski his first time on the tour. 16 male skiers, 8 male snowboarders, 7 female skiers and 4 female snowboarders are qualified to 2015. Invited wild cards to the full season and to single events will be announced at a later stage.

Eric Pansier, VP Marketing The North Face® EMEA, said: “The North Face® is very supportive of the decision of the Freeride World Tour organizers to continuously strive for the highest standards possible for the sport and maintain a tour of events that will embody what Big Mountain freeriding means for the community and will inspire the global wider audience. In particular, a new stop in the demanding and stunning terrain of Alaska will give us a very strong opportunity to lead the sport to a new level and show the world what the essence of this event is all about.”

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Event calendar

1. SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR CHAMONIX-MONT-BLANC BY THE NORTH FACE®

Date: Jan. 24, 2015; Location: Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, FRA

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

2. SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR FIEBERBRUNN KITZBÜHELER ALPEN BY THE NORTH FACE®

Date: Jan. 31, 2015; Location: Fieberbrunn Kitzbüheler Alpen, AUT

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

3. SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR VALLNORD ARCALIS / ANDORRA BY THE NORTH FACE®

Date: Feb 14, 2015; Location: Vallnord Arcalis, AND

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard

4. SWATCH FREERIDE WORLD TOUR ALASKA BY THE NORTH FACE®

Date: March 14, 2015; Location: TBD

Disciplines: Men’s Ski and Snowboard

5. SWATCH XTREME VERBIER BY THE NORTH FACE®

Date: March 28, 2015; Location: Verbier, SUI

Disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard


April 9th, 2014

Here’s the 2014 WSSF/AFP Champs event schedule, plus rider list

Whistler, BC, April 18-20, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) presents the World Ski Invitational, in conjunction with the AFP World Championships, featuring the open slopestyle and the invitational big air.

Here’s what you need to know:

Samsung Slopestyle

Friday April 18 (Qualifiers) and Sunday, April 20 (Finals) | Blackcomb Terrain Park

Top 10 AFP ranked women and top 20 AFP ranked men are prequalified for finals. 60 spots were available in the men’s qualifier. Priority was given to athletes with a top 100 AFP rank in slopestyle — balance of spots were assigned by random lottery.

Confirmed rider list

Women’s slopestye finals:

Nikki Blackall
Jamie Crane-Mauzy
Annalisa Drew
Nadia Gonzales
Dara Howell
Julia Krass
Kim Lamarre
Anouk Purnelle-Faniel
Yuki Tsubota
Emma Whitman

Men’s slopestye finals:

Alex Beaulieu-Marchand
Alex Bellemare
Willie Borm
Bobby Brown
Joss Christensen
Robby Franco
Vincent Gagnier
Nick Goepper
Gus Kenworthy
Chris Laker
Evan McEachran
Noah Morrison
Antti Ollila
Alex Schlopy
Jesper Tjåder
Matt Walker
Noah Wallace
Oscar Wester
McRae Williams
James Woods

Gibbons Life Big Air

Saturday, April 19, 8pm-10pm | Skier’s Plaza

Top 15 AFP ranked big air athletes qualified automatically. Remaining spots assigned based on AFP slopestyle, halfpipe and overall rankings.

Confirmed rider list

Alex Beaulieu-Marchand
Aaron Blunck
Bobby Brown
Joss Christensen
Alex Ferreira
Vincent Gagnier
PK Hunder
Gus Kenworthy
Noah Morrison
Aleksi Patja
Alex Schlopy
Jesper Tjåder
Matt Walker
Jossi Wells
Beau-James Wells
Oscar Wester
James Woods

+Rider lists are subject to change.
+All athletes must be registered with the AFP in order to be eligible to compete.
+AFP rankings as of March 31, 2014 were used to determine eligibilty.


April 6th, 2014

Join us for “Freeskier Night” at Woodward Copper Sunday, April 13

We here at Freeskier Magazine are hosting “Freeskier Night” at Woodward at Copper on Sunday, April 13. Woodward is an action sports training facility at Copper Mountain, Colorado, which specializes in helping aspiring freeskiers progress in the sport. Whether it be learning that second flip on the trampoline, to implementing it on the roller ramp and subsequently the terrain park, Woodward’s program is top notch.

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“Freeskier Night” will take place amid Freeskier’s park ski test at Copper Mountain, giving you the chance to hang out and learn from our talented park testers at Woodward. There will be food, drinks and plenty of shwag to go around. So, join Freeskier Magazine at Woodward at Copper on Sunday, April 13, it’s sure to be one heck of a good time.

Set-up for “Freeskier Night” begins at 5 p.m., and intro sessions will take place beginning at 6 p.m., lasting until 8 p.m. inside The Barn.

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April 4th, 2014

March 30 – April 4: These are the top 5 videos of the week on freeskier.com

This past week, March 30 to April 4, 2014, was a huge one for videos. The Nine Knights contest kicked off from Livigno, Italy, a skier took a nasty fall off of a cliff following someone else’s tracks, and two Swedish skiers performed one of the coolest synchronized tricks we’ve ever seen. Check out the top 5 videos from this past week on freeskier.com below.

1. Video: Get a firsthand look at Jesper Tjäder’s switch triple rodeo 1260

2. These synchronized skiers connected for well-timed, mid-air fist bump

3. Watch now: Skier falls off cliff in the latest epic fail to hit the web

4. See Jesper Tjäder huck a monstrous double backy over Nine Knights “Death Gap”

5. Watch Roy Kittler tackle a massive transfer at Nine Knights 2014


April 3rd, 2014

Joss Christensen recounts White House trip, meeting with President and First Lady

Members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team ventured to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave this afternoon where they enjoyed time on the South Lawn, “self-guided tours” of the White House, a meet & greet with President Obama and the First Lady, as well as a short speech from the POTUS himself. Shortly afterwards, we caught up with Joss Christensen on the phone, who had this to say about the big day…

They shuttled us all over in a bunch of big buses, we went right through security, it was pretty mellow. It was funny, though, we had to stand on these bleachers, there were dogs below you and they would smell the air coming off of you, in case you had drugs on you, so that was a bit wild.

We hung out on the South Lawn for about an hour. We didn’t see too much security. A few snipers on the roof which is pretty awesome. We just roamed around. Gus and Aaron took a pretty funny photo with the Washington Monument, with Aaron laying down on the lawn, with the Monument in the place of his junk. Two Secret Service guys noticed, and they came right over. They said it was super inappropriate and said that the photo can’t go anywhere on social media. They probably have to deal with that every now and again…

Then, they let us in, and we did a self tour. It was cool that we were able to roam around by ourselves. They had some people in the various rooms explaining the significance of each room, etc. We saw quite a few rooms. A few people were able to take a number two inside the White House bathrooms which I was jealous of.

It was cool, one room had all the chinaware, collected throughout history. The First Lady and the President pick a plate and a few pieces to be put in there, and there’s some stuff from every President, so that was awesome.

We had a sack lunch, people were on the floor sitting around, others laying down. That was the first time anyone had been sitting and laying on the White House floor they said. Pretty crazy.

After touring around and checking it all out, they lined us all up. Barack and Michelle were in this one room and we got funneled in. We got to first shake President Obama’s hand. Either he talked to you for a bit, or just said hi, and right after we got a hug from the First Lady. President Obama talked to Sage [Kotsenburg] for quite a bit. Obama said he had one of the most “chill” interviews he’d ever seen.

We weren’t allowed to take any cameras in there, but they’re mailing us all signed photos of us shaking Obama’s hand.

Obama mentioned to me that it was a bummer about the snow conditions over in Russia, he got the impression that things were pretty bad. I explained to him that we actually enjoy the softer, slushier snow. He had a weird look at first, but then seemed to get it.

It was pretty funny, Michelle Obama was really interested in Gus and his dog situation, she was stoked to meet him. Right after that we went to a press conference of sorts. Both Michelle and Barack gave a little speech, it was live on CNN. There were two cool things I thought that happened there.

President Obama gave as shout out to everyone who did well. He talked about Gus and his “bringing back more than just a medal.” He was really excited about the slopestyle sweep and the new sports, [ski slope and pipe], and he goes, “I don’t know what it means, but I really want to say it… ‘Back-to-back double cork 12s.’” He thought it was really cool.

It was a crazy experience. We all signed the Olympic flag and gave it to President Obama. It all happened pretty quick’. It was so cool to see the support from President Obama, and how stoked he was on the Winter Olympics. He spoke his true opinion on how stoked he was on all of us, and he gave us some words of advice:

“Just go for it,” he said. Words to live by. That was awesome to hear from him.

Christensen also recounted the general excitement level that was shared among the White House staff; he explained how all on site seemed genuinely excited about the U.S. Team’s presence. So, how’s that for a Thursday afternoon?

Side note: Christensen recently returned from Bosnia, where he was bitten by a stray dog. He estimates he’s had more than 40 shots since the incident. Mr. Nate Abbott was on location shooting photos; the images and accompanying story are set to appear in Volume 17 of Freeskier magazine.


April 3rd, 2014

See social media reactions from Team USA’s visit to the White House

Today, members of Team USA visited the White House and were fortunate enough to meet President Obama and the First Lady. Of course, as is the norm these days, the athletes took to social media to express their excitement at such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The athletes show off their selfie-taking skills, snag shots with the First Canine (the Obama’s dog), and, in one instance, do their best Zoolander poses on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. View some of the reactions below.

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April 3rd, 2014

Mel Dalebout, founder of DaleBoot, passes away

Earlier this week, Mel Dalebout, founder of ski boot company DaleBoot, passed away. Dalebout founded the company in 1969, and sold it to Rob Graham in 2007. Graham had this to say regarding Dalebout’s passing, and the contributions he’d made to the company:

“The impact Mel has had on the sport we all love so much as been both far reaching and dramatic. His drive, creativity, common sense approach and passion have been an inspiration to us at DaleBoot and will continue to live on within the fabric of our company. His contribution to our industry can be seen on the faces, and on the feet, of the countless satisfied DaleBoot riders, and more broadly, by the adaptation of many of his ideas and designs across the industry as a whole. He’ll be missed for sure, but his legacy will live on as we at DaleBoot continue to further develop and expand the DaleBoot brand.”

The ski industry certainly lost a good one.

Mel - 03:1986

Dalebout in March of 1986.