From Hakuba to Verbier, the 2019 season of the Freeride World Tour (FWT19) featured a new level of big mountain skiing. With a number of the best skiers in the world vying for the win at each stop and the season's Overall Title, there was no shortage of action at every competition.
These were the best of the best tricks, crashes, backflips, cliff stomps, and a highlight reel from the overall champions of FWT19.
FWT19 Top 5 Tricks
While there was a fair share of pure big mountain charging, skiers that combined freestyle elements into their lines were rewarded the most. This year, we saw style-master Markus Eder go head-to-head with New Zealand's Craig Murray and American legend Tanner Hall. All three used the playful terrain of Hakuba, Japan, and Kicking Horse, B.C. to their advantage.
FWT19 Top 5 Crashes
On the men's ski side, the biggest underdog of the season was Murray, who was just starting to come into his own leading up to the Fieberbrunn stop. His massive 360 on the Wildseeloder face was aimed poorly, and ended in him taking the top crash of the year, one that injured his foot and forced him to sit out the last two stops of FWT19. Of course, he wasn't the only one who had a gnarly crash this season.
FWT19 Top 5 Backflips
Everybody loves a backflip, right? In Hakuba, Norway's Hedvig Vessel landed the first women's ski competition backflip in FWT history, which made this cut, but we were more impressed by her even-bigger backy in Andorra, where she landed beyond the men's bomb holes. In the end though, we agree that Wadeck Gorak's unbelievably big backflip in Verbier was the highlight of the entire season.
FWT19 Top 5 Cliff Stomps
The Freeride World Tour might appear more focused on tricks and flips, but there's still nothing like watching skiers point it off massive cliffs. There was no shortage of jaw-dropping straight airs this season, from American Jackie Paaso and Sweden's Kristofer Turdell taking run-out airs to their feet in Fieberbrunn, or France's Mikael Bimboes attaining mach-one speed in Verbier after going huge on the Bec des Rosses' Hollywood cliff.
The two Italians who won the men and women's overall titles, Eder and Arianna Tricomi, both have solid roots in park skiing, and their competition lines across the globe were marked not just by cliff drops, but by stomped 360s and creative airs. Eder set a new bar for invigorating runs with creative line approaches that riders will be studying for years to come, and Tricomi also defended her FWT18 title with smooth 360s and playful lines.
FWT19 Season Highlights
SKI Magazine is an Official Media Partner for the Freeride World Tour. For more freeride action, catch up on the FWT19 season on SKI’s FWT Page.
Originally published April 29, 2019.