Freeride World Tour 2020 season preview

As I’ve said before, the Freeride World Tour concurrently stokes two of my passions: sports and skiing.

There are plenty of races, rail jams and park competitions that I do enjoy, but free skiing takes the cake and the Freeride World Tour is the best product out there.

I think the tour reached new heights in the last two seasons with a dynamite livestream, a quality roster of competitors and some of skiing’s meccas as the backdrops for it all.

This year should be no different and has some new, exciting wrinkles, too.

SCHEDULE

If you’re unfamiliar with FWT, the competitions operate within multi-day weather windows to allow for the right conditions.

This year, like the past two years (despite a cancellation in 2018) the tour kicks off in Hakuba, Japan.

Here’s how the schedule will break down:

HAKUBA, Japan: Jan. 18-25

KICKING HORSE, B.C.: Feb. 6-12

ORDINO ARCALIS, Andorra: Feb. 28 – Mar. 4

FIEBERBRUNN, Austria: Mar. 7-13

XTREME VERBIER, Switzerland: Mar. 28 – April 5

Nothing super surprising on this schedule. It’s almost identical to last year’s.

The only standout to me is that turnaround from Andorra to Fieberbrunn is really short. Just three days could separate those two competitions, which should serve as both a logistical challenge for the tour and an endurance challenge for the athletes. I’m excited to see what comes of it.

ATHLETES

For a full list of the competitors in Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard, check out FWT’s website (which is fantastic, by the way).

Here, I want to highlight two of the most exciting updates for me.

First, Tanner Hall is back for 2020. He was a huge surprise entry onto the 2019 tour, which I assumed was a bucket list fulfilling one-off for the skiing legend. Well, he’s back after some great results last year and almost damn near winning the thing.

Tim Durtschi, Northern Chugach, 2019 (Nic Alegre via Freerideworldtour.com)

Second, Tim Durtschi is joining the tour this year. We’ve all come to know Durtschi through TGR’s films over the years, but now he’s taking his talents to the competition circuit, which is really exciting.

I have competed in many different disciplines of skiing, like racing and slopestyle and have never been truly passionate about them.  I have always enjoyed Freeriding contests than most and I am excited to dedicate my season to the tour. The timing is right and I can’t wait. 

Freerideworldtour.com

On top of those two guys, we get to keep watching the alpine stylings of favorites like Spain’s Aymar Navarro, Sweden’s Carl Regner Eriksson and England’s Craig Murray. There are so many more, too, but you can read about them for yourself.

I’m skiing-focused and my favorites have always been the men, but the women’s side of the competition is fantastic as well. With fewer competitors, the stakes are higher and they’re all doing things in the mountains most of us could never dream of.

The snowboarders are also a blast to watch. They really see the face of the mountains differently and it’s fun to explore them through their eyes.

Go watch the FWT this season starting with this weekend’s Hakuba competition. You won’t regret it.

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