FREERIDE WORLD TOUR ANNOUNCES NEW QUALIFICATION SYSTEM


The Freeride World Qualifier will benefit from a revolutionary format update in 2022 with the addition of the Freeride World Qualifier Finals, with top riders from around the world battling for a spot on the Freeride World Tour.

Encompassing the last three FWQ four-star events (4*) in each of Freeride’s two global regions, the FWQ Finals promises electric, high-stakes showdowns between Freeride’s hungriest up-and-comers and experienced FWT riders, at some of the most legendary FWQ events around the globe.

END OF FEBRUARY: THE CUT COMES TO FWQ

Complementing the FWT 2022 format and calendar updates, the 2022 FWQ series will be similarly split into two rounds of competition. At the end of February following the preliminary round of FWQ events, top-ranked FWQ riders will gain qualification into their region’s FWQ Finals: after the FWQ 4* at Silvretta Montafon (February 19-22) for Region 1, and after the FWQ 4* Taos (March 1-5) for Region 2.

The top-ranked FWQ riders will be joined by FWT riders just eliminated from the Freeride World Tour following The Cut at Kicking Horse in Golden, B.C. (February 12-17). All qualified riders’ rankings begin anew at the first FWQ Finals event, and the battle for the coveted few qualification slots on the Freeride World Tour begins!

THE FWQ FINALS CALENDAR

Region 1 (Europe, Asia, Oceania) FWQ Finals Calendar
FWQ 4* Nendaz, Switzerland | March 4-9
FWQ 4* Jasna, Slovakia | March 11-14
FWQ 4* Obergurgl, Austria | April 1-5

Region 2 (Americas, Oceania) FWQ Finals Calendar
FWQ 4* Crystal Mountain, Washington, USA | March 14-16
FWQ 4* Big Sky, Montana, USA | March 23-24
FWQ 4* Kirkwood, California, USA | March 31-April 1


Aymar Navarro in Ordino Arcalis, Andorra. Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

THE NUMBER OF QUALIFIED RIDERS

To the FWQ Finals : 60 to 75 athletes per region
Worldwide, approximately 120 athletes will qualify for the FWQ Finals; about 20 riders who missed qualification for the FWT finals, plus the top 40 to 60 FWQ riders from each region at the end of the preliminary round of FWQ events.

To the FWT 2023: 18 riders make the cut
After the dust settles at the end of the three-event finals, riders’ best two out of three results will count towards the final ranking, and the top 4 ski men, 2 ski women, 2 snowboard men, and 1 snowboard woman from each region—18 riders in total—will be qualified to the following season’s Freeride World Tour.


Fabio Studer in Fieberbrunn, Austria. Photo by Mia Knoll / Freeride World Tour

SPORT DEVELOPMENT

The changes to the FWQ system are designed to promote the continued, sustainable growth and development of Freeride as a whole. The updates will enable riders from both FWT and FWQ to battle it directly for a spot on next year’s FWT.

“We believe these changes will benefit riders at every level of competitive Freeride. For FWQ riders, the changes mean they can compete more strategically through the first round of the season before they get to prove themselves against FWT riders in FWQ Finals. For established Freeride World Tour pros, this gives them a chance to regain their spot on FWT the very next year, instead of trying to compete in both tours simultaneously or spending the following season trying to re-qualify.” –Benjamin Calmel, FWT Head of Sports Development

“By developing this high-level finals series, we create a new opportunity for global visibility and media exposure for our top FWQ riders. The smaller final events enable us to place riders on higher-caliber venues not typically available to large fields. This higher level series delivers on our vision to develop a wider array of events for our athlete community, while providing the highest level of competition appropriate to a rider’s skills and abilities.”  –Scott Mahoney, IFSA President


Drew Tabke in Fieberbrunn, Austria. Photo by Jeremy Bernard / Freeride World Tour

FULL SEASON CALENDAR FOR ALL THREE WORLD TOURS

In addition to the 2022 FWQ calendar and FWQ Finals, the foundation of the global freeride ranking—the Junior Freeride Tour—has also confirmed its complete 2022 event calendar. See the complete calendar here, and tune in to get an early glimpse of the future world champions in action.

Though the elite Freeride World Tour remains deservingly at the top of the global pyramid, FWQ events—especially those now featured as FWQ Finals—consistently deliver blazing descents, high drama, and cutting-edge riding. With this season’s new qualification system, a deeper pool of talented athletes, and legendary alpine venues, the FWQ Finals are guaranteed to be a show that no Freeride fan will want to miss. Catch all the action at freerideworldtour.com!

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