Cover Photo: Mia Knoll
The Freeride World Tour kicks off in January with a stacked field as always. Qualifying for the few spots is one of the most difficult things to do in skiing, requiring a huge investment in terms of both time and resources, even before you try to ski beat a huge crew of talented skiers. This year, Newschoolers favorite Isaac Freeland made the cut, check out this classic if you want to see some of why. And then Ski Boss is back for more punishment, hoping to see him out in Verbier this year.
With reigning champ, Markus Eder (ITA) taking a step back from competitive skiing, the field is as open as ever for another competitor to step-up and claim the title. This will surely be on the minds of former FWT champs and legends confirmed to compete like Kristofer Turdell (SWE), wildcard Reine Barkered(SWE), and Drew Tabke (USA). Newcomers to look out for this year will be Carl Renvall (SUI), Blake Marshall (NZL), Tao Kreibich (AUT), brothers Jack and Kevin Nichols (USA), and Isaac Freeland (USA). Yu Sasaki (JPN) will return to FWT20 as a wildcard.
The question on everyone’s mind is if Ariana Tricomi (ITA) will be able to claim a historic third consecutive FWT title this year with more boundary-pushing riding for women’s freeride. Jessica Hotter (NZL) and Emma Patterson (USA) will be the hungry rookies in the category after successful FWQ campaigns last year. Wildcards, Juliette Willmann (FRA) and Evelina Nilsson (SWE) will be looking to cement their places on FWT20 and land at the top of the category.