With all the big changes to the Freeride World Tour in the past 12 months the scene for Junior competitors has changed as well. The Junior Freeride Tour (JFT) has been revamped and is now set up directly inline with the FWT so that junior competitors will be even better prepared to step onto the bigger stage when they graduate at age 18. Registration is now open on the JFT Website, and for the first time Snowboarding will also have junior events. There will be a separate Freeride Juniors by DaKine tour going on in Europe and the top riders from the two regions will be invited to Snowbird for the Junior Freeride World Championships at the end of the season. Learn more at the FWT Junior Site.
Freeride Juniors by Dakine 2013 events will be organized in Europe in Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France(January 26), Fieberbrunn-Pillerseetal, Austria (March 9), and Verbier, Switzerland (March 23).
Junior Freeride Tour events in North America include Crystal Mountain, WA (January 25-27), Crested Butte Mountain Resort, CO (February 15-17), Squaw Valley, CA (March 8-10), and the New Mexico Junior Freeride Championships at Taos Ski Valley (March 29-30).
Here are some more of the exciting changes:
– Scoring system will move to an overall impression score backed up by the same 5 categories as the previous system. (Line, Control, Technique, Style, Fluidity) This is in line with and exactly the same as the scoring system on the FWT.
– JFT competitors earn 2 star level points during their events, which builds their FWT ranking for 2014 if they will be 18 in that season.
-JFT belt buckles will be awarded to top finishers. Sweet gold, silver and broze belt buckles for top finishers at each event.
-A live webcast of he first ever Junior Freeride World Championshps from Snowbird. One World champion will be crowned for both boys and girls age 15-17. Will be live on FWT site, Powder, Freeskier and Newschoolers.com.
– Long time Freeskiing World Tour judge Eric Schmitz will be head judge along with other top former freeskiers.
– New Free Mountain award at each event for top performances. This gets the winners new ski and boot setups. Overall Free Mountain award at the end of the tour will get a full sponsorship hookup!
– Each event will have a free Flyin Ryan coach to help athletes who do not have a coach. Word is that this coach will be GNAR star Chuck Mumford. Chuck will be there to help new competitors pick a line that is both interesting and safe.
Top talent freeskiers like Leo Ahrens and Jonny Collinson are graduates of the JFT. If you want to measure yourself against the premier junior freeskiers in the world this is the place to do it.
Tour Director and long time MSI Ninja Jeff Berman will be have his team of veteran event staff out there making things as fun, entertaining and safe as possible. I am stoked to see the Junior Freeride Championships at Snowbird this year. Grab your cooler and your BBQ and I will see you there!