Freeskiing and Snowboarding is a popular recreational and Olympic sport that takes place on snow, artificial surfaces and more recently, on indoor artificial snow slopes. It can be undertaken as a leisure activity or competitive sport and is suitable for almost all ages.
With its routes in 1960’s America, Snowboarding takes its inspiration from skateboarding and surfing and is now a popular sport across the world. Freeskiing followed suit in the 1990’s with the innovation of twin-tip skis.
Freeskiing and snowboarding in Park and Pipe can be accessed widely throughout Scotland, with its great mix of snow and artificial resorts and facilities.
Park and Pipe is a very popular discipline in the industry given its accessibility and the excitement in riding jumps, rails and transitions. Park and Pipe involves 3 main sub-categories:
This is where riders compete and ride on a single large jump, riding both in normal and switch (backwards) stance – performing a single trick to score as highly as possible. Normally riders will perform a jump with a blend of rotation (spin) and somersault (flip) action, with a grab (holding onto the snowboard/skis) to show control and individual flair. It is judged by a panel who will look out for qualities such as: amplitude, technical difficulty, style, execution and more. Some of the most prestigious events in Big Air include the Air and Style Series, X-Games Big Air and now a World Cup / Olympic series of Big Air. Scotland and GB have some promising athletes who are gunning for 2018 / 2022 Olympic success. From artificial slope to the mountain resorts, it is easy to try out hitting jumps in Scotland, with a large variety of sizes and transitions available to try.
This is where riders compete and ride down a purpose built course that will include a variety of features including jumps, rails, transitions and gaps. Increasingly these courses are becoming unique to different events, and challenge the rider’s ability to adapt to lots of different features and put down a run that is innovative, technical and well executed. Typically a course will consist between 2 – 4 jump features and 2 – 4 rail features as well as other unique features. Again this is judged by a panel similarly to Big Air. The Flow score (how well linked together the run is) is an important marker here too. Again, in Scotland there are a large number of facilities that make it possible to try out and train for Slopestyle courses. Springtime in particular is great for finding the best real-snow Slopestyle courses given the weather and snow available.
This event is the original freestyle discipline, stemming from the skate/surf culture in 60’s USA. Originally a hand-shaped course, halfpipes are now cut to very specific sizes using a variety of machinery. The Olympic standard pipe is now 22ft on both transitions, with a flat bottom that slopes up to a vertical ‘lip’ where riders takeoff. Riders will perform a variety of airs including spins/flips on both sides. Again, it is judged on similar aspects to that in Big Air and Slopestyle, with the unique challenge in Halfpipe being able to ride transition continuously. You can find quarter-pipes at many artificial slopes and by spring Cairngorm Mountain often builds a half-pipe too.
Snowsport Scotland would like to congratulate all athletes on their selection. Please see below for a complete list of selected athletes.