Featured image: Jeremy Bernard / FWT
The first stop of the 2019 Freeride World Tour (FWT) took place under bluebird skies in Hakuba, Japan on Saturday, January 18. While last year’s stop in Hakuba needed re-scheduling due to massive snowfall, this year, the skies parted, revealing clear skies and incredible terrain for the invited skiers.
Markus Eder (ITA) included a flawless flatspin 360 in his run and took home the top spot. Tanner Hall (USA), arguably the most anticipated addition to the FWT roster in its history, came onto the scene like a lion, stomping a 360, backflip and second 360 in succession to take second place in his first ever FWT competition. Canadian Tom Peiffer too home third place, due in large part to a lofty 360 incorporated into his run.
On the women’s side, Arianna Tricomi (ITA) implemented a 360 into her line and checked off the boxes for technicality, earning her a first place finish. Rookie FWT competitor Maude Besse (SUI) chose a line ignored by the rest of the field and took home second, while fellow Swiss rider Elisabeth Gerritzen took third.
With high profile athletes like Eder and Hall taking home podium spots, Arianna Tricomi continuing her FWT dominance (the Italian took home the overall title last season) and up-and-comers like Besse, Gerritzen and Peiffer pushing the limits, the 2019 FWT is sure to be a hot topic across the ski world going forward. The next FWT event takes place at Kicking Horse, BC, on February 2.