The Freeride World Tour (FWT) has announced a new overarching identity to bring more clarity to the relationship between the FWT Junior, FWT Qualifier and FWT Challenger event series, and with this news, has released an action-packed freeride calendar for the 2023 season.
The FWT is the leading brand in the sport, making it a natural decision to combine each freeride series under one name. The Sport Pyramid format remains the same, starting with grassroots events through to the elite, but each series will now fall under the FWT brand.
The pyramid starts with the FWT Junior series, an incubation stage where promising young riders develop their skills and begin to build their global ranking. Once riders are at least 18 years of age, they are eligible to compete on the FWT Qualifier, with the best athletes qualifying for the FWT Challenger, together with the athletes who don’t make The Cut on the FWT. The talented few in each category will then reach the apex of the pyramid, the Freeride World Tour, to compete among the world’s best in this pro series.
Each of these competition series—Juniors, Qualifiers, Challengers and Pros—has its own ranking, but it’s only by winning the Freeride World Tour that a rider can be crowned world champion.
FWT QUALIFIER CALENDAR
The FWT Qualifier calendar is packed with 1*, 2*, 3* and 4* events, which all count towards securing a spot on the Challenger series. However, the 4* category gives riders the greatest opportunity to stack up some serious points. Action will span across the globe, from Canada and the U.S. to Japan and Norway, with a variety of stops to look forward to. Here’s a look at the schedule of events…
Region 1 FWT Qualifier 4* Events
The North Face Frontier Qualifier (completed)
New Zealand / August 30th - September 2nd, 2022
French Freeride Series La Rosière Qualifier
France / January 10th - 12th, 2023
French Freeride Series Arc 1950 Freeride Week Qualifier
France / January 18th - 20th, 2023
Engadinsnow by Dakine Qualifier
Switzerland / January 26th - 29th, 2023
Toyo Tires Hakuba Qualifier
Japan / February 7th - 10th, 2023
Open Faces Montafon Qualifier
Austria / February 23rd - 26th, 2023
Region 2 FWT Qualifier 4* Events
Revelstoke IFSA Qualifier
Canada / January 24th - 25th
Kicking Horse IFSA Qualifier
Canada / February 13th - 17th
Crested Butte IFSA Qualifier
Canada / February 28th - March 1st
Crystal Mountain IFSA Qualifier
Canada / March 6th - 8th
FWT CHALLENGER CALENDAR
Here, the competition really heats up, as riders coming from the FWT Qualifiers will face off not only against each other, but also against FWT athletes who miss The Cut after the third stop of the 2023 FWT in Ordino Arcalís, Andorra on February 4th - 9th.
There will be six FWT Challenger events—three in Europe and three in North America—that will determine who will find their name alongside the world’s best in 2024.
Region 1 FWT Challenger Events:
Nendaz Freeride Challenger
Switzerland / March 4th - 8th
Jasna Adrenaline Challenger
Slovakia / March 10th - 13th
Open Faces Gurgl Challenger
Austria / March 17th - 22nd
Region 2 FWT Challenger Events:
Whistler IFSA Challenger
Canada / March 12th - 14th
Taos IFSA Challenger
USA / March 23rd - 25th
Snowbird IFSA Challenger
USA / March 30th - 31st
60 to 75 riders will take part in each region's FWT Challenger series
Approximately 140 athletes worldwide will qualify for the FWT Challenger series, including around 20 riders who don’t make The Cut for the FWT Finals, as well as the top 40 to 60 riders from the FWT Qualifiers in each region after the final 4* events.
18 riders will qualify for the 2024 FWT
Riders will take their two best results out of the three FWT Challenger events in each region, which will count towards their final ranking. The top four ski men, two ski women, two snowboard men and one snowboard woman from each region—18 riders in total—will qualify for the 2024 FWT for their shot at the crown.
The format is therefore the same as the previous year, but everything will fall under the FWT name to provide more clarity. The pyramid format allows all competitors, from young aspiring junior freeriders to FWT mainstays, to clearly see the path to the top, as well as keep an eye on the relentless supply of talent knocking at the door.
This season’s schedule features a wide range of events, providing athletes with copious opportunities across all formats in their pursuit of making the FWT. Stay tuned to the FWT social media channels (@freerideworldtour) and website (freerideworldtour.com) for updates regarding event locations and dates.