In the world of freestyle skiing, two once-distinct disciplines are becoming increasingly similar: aerials and big air. There is a perplexing paradox: skiers have stopped using poles in big air, blurring the line between these supposedly separate sports. let's dive in and marvel at the sheer absurdity of it all.

Aerials, the elder statesman of the freestyle skiing world, have long been admired for their acrobatics and daredevil stunts. These gravity-defying skiers launch themselves high into the air to perform gymnastic-style stunts. Impressive, but judged on form and perfection and the more intangibles, steeze. Big Air is the brash upstart in comparison. Money booters, triple corks and a more subjective element. The jaw-dropping tricks they perform are most definitely feats of sheer bravery and skill. It's aerials with the dial turned to eleven.


However, the elephant in the room—or rather, the lack of poles on the slopes—cannot be ignored. It's as if skiers participating in big air have decided that poles are obsolete, mere relics of a bygone era. Gone are the days of gracefully planting poles in the snow, serving as both a source of balance and an aesthetic flourish. Instead, skiers now rely solely on the sheer force of their legs and the power of their imagination to pull off these stunts.

One might argue that the exclusion of poles is a nod to minimalism, a rejection of unnecessary equipment cluttering the skier's stylish silhouette, leaving more room for creativity while others argue it makes things like grabs and spins too easy becoming increasingly like its gymnastic-esque cousin, aerials. Or is it the ultimate act of rebellion against the establishment, something freestyle skiing has often stood for?


But let's face it: the absence of poles doesn't make big air an entirely new sport. Skiers are still doing tricks that require immense skill, precision, and sheer audacity. While the lack of poles may be a superficial difference to some it is still a debate for many others.

Perhaps this paradox is a metaphor for our ever-changing world. We label, categorize, and create divisions, only to find that they blur and blend together in unexpected ways. In the case of aerials and big air, the absence of poles serves as a reminder that boundaries are often nothing more than illusions, meant to be shattered by the audaciousness of human creativity.


But in the end, isn't it just skiing?