Freestyle Evolution

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freestyle

1930s

"Goon skis"¿the first twin tips¿are introduced.

1950s
Skiing editor-to-be Doug Pfeiffer opens the School of Exotic Skiing, teaching the mambo, the flying sitz, and the deep-crotch christie. Says he hopes to "put the fun back into skiing."

1960s
A handful of ski racers perform "trick skiing" stunt shows before races on the North American pro tour.

1970s
Freestyle competitions showcase cool cats like Wayne Wong, Suzy Chaffee, and Jake Jakespeare. The idea is to let it all hang out, baby. Get free.

Corporate sponsors finance a professional freestyle tour.

The International Freestyle Skiers Association (IFSA) is formed to protect athlete interests, develop rules for judging and scoring, and help standardize events.

In 1978, the pro freestyle tour collapses due to organizer squabbles, insurance woes, and loss of corporate sponsorship.

Pros go amateur: American freestyle moves under the auspices of the USSA.

1980s
FIS holds the first Freestyle World Championships at Tignes, France, in 1986.

Moguls, aerials, and ballet debut in the 1988 Calgary Olympics as demonstration events.

Icons-to-be Scot Schmidt and Glen Plake experiment with radical terrain. Extreme is all the rage; magazines say it's putting the fun back into skiing.

1990s
The first World Extreme Skiing Championships are held at Valdez, Alaska, in 1991.

Freestyle becomes an Olympic sport (moguls in '92; aerials in '94; ballet goes into hibernation).

Extreme becomes freeskiing; competitions showcase cool cats like Doug Coombs, Wendy Fisher, and Dean Cummings. The idea, say leading freeskiers, is to get free.

Corporate sponsors finance several freeskiing events.

The International Freeskiers Association (IFSA) is formed to protect athlete interests, develop rules for judging and scoring, and help standardize events.

A handful of top mogul competitors experiment with new school tricks, saying they want to put the fun back into skiing.

Mogulist Jonny Moseley wins gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics with a new school 360 mute grab.

New twin-tip skis, led by Salomon's Teneighty, are introduced.

Amateurs go pro: New freestylers compete in a whole new category of trick-skiing events. The idea is to let it all hang out, baby. Get free.

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