Freestyle skiing combines acrobatic moves with skiing techniques. It began during the 1930s when skiers in Norway started including acrobatic stunts during their ski trainings. Then professional skiers in the United States featured freestyle skiing moves during their exhibitions. It continued to evolve through the 60s and 70s. In 1979, the International Ski Federation recognized freestyle skiing as a sport. World Cup and World Championship competitions started in the 80’s.
In freestyle skiing, skiers can perform a wide range of tricks. Some examples of freestyle skiing tricks are the Backflip, where the skier makes a backward aerial somersault; the Rail Slide, where skiers jump and land on rails, gliding smoothly on it; the Alley Oop, 540 Tail Grab, the Twister and so many others where skiers make various turns, spins, flips, ski grabs and other maneuvers.
For those who would like to excel in freestyle skiing, it is best to learn the technical aspect of skiing first. Like any sport, practice is the key. Getting a ski job is a wonderful way to access excellent ski trails. Go skiing with a friend who is also interested in improving his freestyle skiing skills.
Even children can try freestyle skiing. They will be able to perform many techniques. However, an experienced freestyle skier should be present to supervise them. Additionally, make sure that children are wearing appropriate clothing and fitting skis.
The two most common freestyle skiing disciplines are aerial skiing and mogul skiing. In aerial skiing, skiers ski off ramps that send them 40 to 50 feet in the air. Once airborne, skiers or aerialists performs tricks such as flips, twists and turns before they land. The scoring of competitive aerial skiing is 20 percent for the takeoff, 50 percent on the jump form and then 30 percent on the landing. Judges also consider the level or degree of difficulty. Those training for aerial skiing usually perform training exercises on trampoline and diving boards.
Mogul skiing is skiing on bumps or moguls on ski slopes. In competitive mogul skiing, skiers must navigate around large moguls and complete two jumps. Slope on mogul runs are very steep with inclines of 22 to 32 degrees and lengths sometimes reaching close to 900 feet. In mogul skiing, judges look at the overall form and turn of the skier, which constitutes 50 percent of the score. The remaining 50 percent is base on the skier’s execution of jumps and turns.