Ladies and gentlemen… it’s TIME to get fired up for one of the main events of the ski season. The global thunder dome of skiing, otherwise known as the Freeride World Tour is inching closer by the day. This year, the Tour will include six stops spanning across six different countries, from Europe to North America. The venues will undoubtably cater towards different riding styles and showcase variable snow conditions, giving the riders unique opportunities to shine.
2024 FWT Stops (in order of start date)
1. Baquiera Baret, Spain
2. Ordino Arcalís, Andorra
3. Kicking Horse, Canada
4. Caucasus Mountains, Georgia
5. Fieberbrunn, Austria
6. Xtreme Verbier, Switzerland
Each year, the FWT selects a handful of Male and Female riders to compete in addition to the full roster who have qualified based on their total points. This year, there are eight total skiers who were awarded Wildcard positions. Some names might be new, and you might recognize others from a different discipline (hint: Thib)! Take a look at the names below and make note of your favorites. This is sure to be a stellar 2024 season on the Freeride World Tour.
Courtesy of the Freeride World Tour
Ski Women – The addition of four exceptionally talented riders will shake up the ski women’s category. Previous experience is on the side of three of them – with Hedvig Wessel arguably one of the strongest female freeride athletes in the last five years – while all eyes will be on Manon Loschi to see if she can convert her FWT Qualifier form into FWT fame.
Manon Loschi (FRA) – Even as a FWT rookie and season wildcard, this young French rider will surely be an outside favorite this year, owing to her dominant season on the FWT Qualifiers in 2022, which was topped off with a win in the final in Nendaz. It’s also worth mentioning she is coached by FWT legend Sebastien Michaud and hails from the freeride paradise of La Clusaz, in the heart of the Haute-Savoie, France. Injury kept her sidelined last season, but she is back in form and ready to fire. “I’m stoked about joining the FWT, and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and having some fun!”
Zuzanna Witych (POL) – Polish superstar Zuzanna is no stranger to FWT success, winning the Fieberbrunn Pro in 2021 and finishing third overall that season. Her residence in Switzerland keeps her big mountain skills on point, and her third-place finish in the FWT Challengers last year highlights her recent form. “It’s an amazing feeling to be back on the tour. With the experience gained from previous seasons, I will make the most of these special moments, and appreciate my time even more in and out of
Hedvig Wessel (NOR) – Hedvig shot to FWT fame when she became the first female skier to perform a backflip in competition. Her accomplishments, however, extend far beyond this. She has finished runner-up in the FWT three times – claiming multiple wins and podiums – and represented her country in moguls at the Olympics on two occasions. She took a sabbatical last year for filming commitments, including with Matchstick Productions, but she is back on the FWT roster as the sole Norwegian. “I had a nice break from competition, but now I’m ready again. I love competing and being involved in the FWT. I’ve missed everyone here, and I can’t wait to meet all the new riders.”
Lily Bradley (USA) – Lily had an astonishing rookie year in 2022, with a podium in Andorra and a first place in Canada putting her in title contention. She finished fourth overall that year, capturing the attention of the freeride community. Injury unfortunately kept her on the bench for most of last season, but the Tahoe Native is ready to bring her energy back to the tour.
Ski Men – The ski men’s category sees the addition of contrasting styles, with two true big mountain guns returning to the lineup, together with a couple of more freestyle-oriented riders. This bolsters an insane list of athletes, who will surely be pushing each other to the limits at each event.
Kristofer Turdell (SWE) – Kristofer is one of the biggest names in the sport, with his consistency over the years cementing him
over a dozen podiums and earning him two FWT crowns. Last season, he sat on the sidelines at the Kicking Horse Golden BC Pro due to illness – hampering his chances of making the cut – and has been awarded a season wildcard to make amends, and to showcase again his near-flawless big mountain style. “The tour has taken me around the globe, and I’ve been lucky to see some amazing places together with new and old friends throughout the years. Last year did not go my way: I started badly and then got sick and missed out. I did not expect to get a wildcard since there are so many incredible skiers that I know have worked hard to get a chance, making me thankful and excited for the upcoming season!”
Abel Moga (ESP) – You’d be forgiven to think that Abel – AKA The Ultimate Showman – is a seasoned veteran, but at only 22 years of age, the Spaniard is still a young buck. His big mountain prowess is inspired by his fellow countryman, Aymar Navarro, which is complemented by his wide range of tricks to make him a real threat this season. “To have the opportunity to be in the FWT again is an honor for me. I am super stoked and can’t wait to shred with all the crew again. Since I first entered FWT competitions, I have not stopped fulfilling dreams, and I am sure this year will be the same.”
Dillon Flinders (USA) – Dillon hails from Utah, USA, and is a true all-mountain man, competing as both a professional freerider and mountain biker. He skis with a similar style to his friend Ross Tester – who is taking a sabbatical from freeride competitions this year – and will come in hot as a rookie on tour. “I’m ready for a wild season competing on massive mountains with my friends. I’m incredibly grateful and juiced to ski new zones and countries on the world stage. Let’s do this!”
Thibault Magnin (ESP) – Spanish rider Thibault Magnin learned to ski in the Swiss Alps, and now resides in Andorra where he continues to master his craft. Although a big air and slopestyle specialist – and an Olympian in these disciplines – he recently switched codes and competed in FWT Qualifier events in New Zealand. He joins the FWT this year, and will look to bring his bag of freestyle tricks into some of the world’s gnarliest freeride faces. “It’s always been a childhood dream of mine to compete on the FWT. While I’ve primarily focused on park riding, I’ve always been drawn to freeride skiing. I believe the two styles complement each other perfectly, and my goal has always been to experience every facet of the sport and become a well- rounded skier. I can’t wait to embrace this new challenge. I’m here to learn, stay true to my passion for skiing, and hopefully deliver an outstanding performance!”