Freestyle skiing is form of skiing which used to encompass two disciplines: aerials, and moguls. Except the two disciplines mentioned earlier Freestyle Skiing now consists of Skicross, Half Pipe and Slope Style. Free skiing is a non-olympic variety which shares characteristics with skateboarding, bmx, and inline skating.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) recognized freestyle as a sport in 1979 and brought in new regulations regarding certification of athletes and jump techniques in an effort to curb the dangerous elements of the competitions. The first World Cup series was staged in 1980 and the first World Championships took place in 1986 in Tignes, France. Freestyle skiing was a demonstration event at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Mogul skiing was added as an official medal event at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, and the aerials event was added for the1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.
A pioneering group of skiers in the early 1990s started taking skiing to the snowboard parks. They became known as the "New Canadian Airforce" and helped not only to develop aerial and rail based tricks, but also approached companies with ski designs featuring a twin tip system. The twin tip works much like a snowboard in allowing the user to ski normally or ski backwards (switch).
Currently there are two main branches of freestyle skiing: one encompassing the more traditional events of moguls and aerials, and a newer branch often called new school, comprising events such as halfpipe, big air, slope style, and big mountain or free-skiing. New school skiing has grown so much that new ski companies were created, companies that strictly make twin-tip skis — skis that are designed for taking off and landing "fakie", or "switch" (backwards) on jumps and rails.
So how do I get into Freestyle in the Central England Region?
We have a number of slopes that cater for freestyle skiing in the CESA area.
Stoke Ski Centre has recently created a purpose built kicker, landing area and cornice drop for skiers to practice both traditional and new school aerial manoeuvres.
Stoke also has a large array of slope style equipment including rails, gas pipes, boxes, and even torpedoes!
Stoke provides freestyle training every Wednesday night from 7pm. Two sessions go out for 90 minutes at a time. The development session goes out first, followed by the advanced session. They also have a similar session for snowboarders on a Thursday night from 7.
On a Saturday nights the slope opens for its freestyle practice session. This is from 7 until 10 every Saturday both skiers and snowboarders are welcome. Helmets are compulsory to hit the jumps and rails.
Stoke hosts competitions throughout the year and are always good fun competing or as spectator!
check out www.stokeskicentre.co.uk for further details.
Swadlincote Ski Centre hosts regular Supervised Freestyle sessions on a Wednesday evening, with lots of ramps, rails and boxes for people of all free styling abilities.
Swadlincote hosts several Jams through the year and is part of the Southern Freestyle series…… it is in South Derbyshire.
Helmets are compulsory when using any of the freestyle features.
Stay tuned via www.jnlswadlincote.co.uk or CESA website on news for further freestyle events.