Freeride is all about riding the natural mountain as nature intended, not to be confused with freestyle (with the kickers, rails & boxes), with freeride your obstacles and challenges are all provided by nature.
Traditionally freeriding has been for purists seeking to get to the essence of winter sports, today the rebellious spirt has been harnessed by YouTube stars like Candide Thovex and big name sponsors like Red Bull and there’s an official world competition for riders to win medals in the discipline. Being crowned the king or queen of freeride is all about the Freeride World Tour and you can’t even compete for that without proving yourself in qualifying.
For 14 years now the ski resort of Nendaz has played host to one of the events of the Freeride World Tour series. These events are a showcase for the best of world freeride skiing and snowboarding and a chance to see the up and coming talent for the future. The Nendaz event offers 2*, 3* and the most challenging 4* runs for riders to test themselves against and build up points for the pro-series.
Nendaz freeride 2020 is all happening on the peak of Plan-du-Fou above Nendaz and the ski resort of Verbier. This peak has a lovely restaurant with an incredible viewing balcony near to the lift station. From here regular skiers and boarders have a choice of piste or some of the area’s ‘Free Tracks’ which are semi-offpiste trails on the mountainside. The freeride event makes use of runs off the beaten track on terrain reserved only for the most advanced skiers and boarders.
Judging at the freeride competitions
Riders are scored on 5 different criteria
- Difficulty of line
Freeride routes give riders the widest variety of lines to choose from giving competitors creative ways to express their style & show their skills. For spectators it’s full of surprises and excitement and that’s just the events themselves. You take in the action from the Nendaz Freeride Village with food, drinks, and two enormous screens to give you a front seat to the action and the atmosphere. The village overlooks a huge airbag on which the pro skiers and boarders display their big-air skills as part of the schedule. The Freeride Village is also stage 1 of the party, the DJ keeps the action going all day but in the evening goes into full-party mode making every night a party. The party moves on to Nendaz night spot, Cactus and keeps on going till around 02:00.
Check out the full program of events
Visiting for the Nendaz Freeride 2020
The freeride event starts on Friday March 13th and will go on till 22nd at the very least however the official closing day is 25th March as 3 days are allowed for bad weather. Most guests visiting for a week of the action would be looking to stay in Nendaz or Verbier from Sat 14th March.
Not excited enough yet? Check out the 2020 teaser video.