Freeride World Tour Verbier

This years FREERIDE WORLD TOUR Junior series will see a ban on all flips and spins for the first time.

The decision has caused outrage on social media… But is it all that bad…

The FWT has always stood out as the pinnacle in extreme winter sports with all the competitors pushing the limits to the maximum.  The junior series goes up to 18 years old and generally by that time their hucking big, but should we hold them back in order to let them gain experience?

Please see below the official statement from the FWT, let us know your opinion.

New FJT Flips and Spins Rules

Update December 22, 2018

As of 2018, in order to align junior competition rules around the world, flips head down (front flip or back flip) will no longer be accepted in any FJT competition (both U-14 and 14-18 years old).

Horizontal spins (360s) or flat spins are still accepted as long as the bindings do not raise higher than the rider’s head.

Riders doing a spin with bindings higher than their head will get a DNF and will be ranked accordingly.

There are a few important reasons as to why this is happening: 

  • We want to align with the existing rules in region 2 to have the same ruling for all junior competitions around the world.
  • Less risk of injury during training and competition

Please note, this new rule be effective immedialtey and will also apply at this year’s Freeride Junior World Championship.

The reasoning behind the new no flip Junior Rule is the following:

Our mission is to optimize security, and we believe forbidding flips for juniors will limit the possibility of a severe accident in junior competitions. It will as well push juniors to focus more on their skiing technique, line choice and fluidity and to train on spins first, which are probably more difficult than flips. The no binding over the head rule for juniors has always existed in the US, but not in the rest of the world. As a result, we are aiming to unify the rules worldwide.

Although it is limiting the progression of the sport on the junior level, we realized that juniors were very motivated to learn to flip, and would do it whatever the conditions were, in training or during events. A couple of serious injuries have happened lately with juniors under flipping and landing on their neck. 

As event organizers, when media and families will want to know what danger we are putting juniors into, they will want an explanation as to why it is forbidden in North America but allowed in the rest of the world. As organizers having to answer to this question, we need to be able to provide a clear universal response. 

You cannot compare flips in freestyle park or pipe with flips in freeriding, with visual inspection only and no practice runs. It is way more complicated to flip off a non-prepared kicker and even if a junior sees that the take-off is not good, they will most likely not change their plan and throw their planned backflip anyway, which could lead to serious injuries.

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