So what is Freestyle?
Freestyle applied to skiing
covers the events of Moguls, Acro, Aerials, Big Air, Half Pipe and Ski across. All are FIS (Federation de
Institute Ski) disciplines except for Acro and Big air. Moguls and Aerials are featured in the winter Olympics.
Moguls - stonkingly fast runs down hideously steep pistes with two jumps in between. Most bump skiers now spin off
the jumps to gain maximum marks, which means they can't see their landing for half of the time.
- 50% marks for quality of turns i.e. snow contact, aggression, line etc.
- 25% marks on speed
- 25% marks on height and difficulty of air
Acro - Tricks and spins on the flat to music. Judged on difficulty and artistry.
Aerials - inverted jumps that are scary beyond belief. You just cannot get the idea of how big and clever this
until you stand underneath one of the ten foot near vertical ramps they use to take off. Fortunately can be
trained over water in Sheffield Ski centre- but it can still hurt if you land on your back in water from 20 ft up.
Combinations of double and triple twisting somersaults and more.
Big Air - find a big jump and hurl yourself off it. Flat spins, misty flips, 1080-degree rotations anything
goes including landing backwards. Again judged on difficulty and style. Uses twin tip skis that are also generally
excellent for all mountains playing.
Halfpipe - skateboarding comes to skiing. 100 m of bliss with jump after jump of sheer joy off of the lip. Again
upright, invert and fakie (backwards). You've guessed it - judged on difficulty and style.
Ski-across - more downhill than Freestyle. Four or more skiers start at the top of a course that owes more to a
bob sleigh run than piste. Whoever stays in the course and gets to the bottom first wins. Did I mention the
occasional mammoth jump just to put you off?