About the sport
What is the FWT pyramid?
Freeriding is a sport that has experienced tremendous growth during the last few years and is supported by a “pyramid” of development programs. Under the leadership of the Freeride World Tour, the FWT Qualifier and the FWT Junior are designed to support grassroots growth in the sport. In addition, the FWT Academy was implemented in cooperation with ski schools throughout the world, including Europe and Japan:
The Freeride World Tour (FWT)
The FWT is the worldwide circuit of freeride snowboarding and skiing with the best riders in the world competing on the most legendary and challenging alpine faces and the most renowned ski resorts across the world.
The Freeride World Tour Challenger
The last step of the FWT qualification path. Best Qualifier riders will compete against FWT riders who did not qualify for the FWT Finals. Invitational only, the FWT Challenger ranking will be used to select riders for next season FWT.
The Freeride World Tour Qualifier
The FWT qualifier is designed to develop the talent and skills of up-and-coming athletes. Riders accumulate points via 75 events held around the world (including forty in Europe).
The Freeride World Tour Junior
The FWT Junior was founded in 2011 in order to develop a platform for young athletes (boys and girls) aged 14-18 to develop their skills and become future world champions. In 2018 an additional age group for 10-14 year old riders (U-14) was added. Beyond the coaching to develop their riding skills, these events teach young athletes how to safely pursue their passion for freeriding by emphasizing prevention, safety, and responsibility in mountain environments.
What is the FWT academy?
Since 2012 the FWT has collaborated with ski schools to develop the skills of youth and adult skiers and snowboarders. The FWT Academy offers a great variety of FWT certified programs: seasonal, weekly or daily, for kids, teenagers and adults. Lessons will be taught by qualified and certified instructors, with a long experience in Freeriding. Teachers will be supported by pro-riders who will share their experiences and provide valuable technical advice.
How does the FWT qualification system work?
The best 4 ski men, 2 ski woman, 2 snowboard man and the top snowboard woman of each region on the FWT Challenger ranking will qualifiy for next season’s Freeride World Tour, having a total of 18 athlete’s qualify each year.
How do I qualify for the FWT Challenger series?
Top qualifier riders will be invited to compete on the FWT Challenger, based on the FWT Qualifier ranking after the last FWT Qualifier event before the cut end of February.
THE New COMPETITION Format Explained
Why change the existing FWT format to a new one?
The new FWT championship format is designed to push the sports progression and boundaries to a new level by having the best Freeride World Tour Qualifier riders competing against unqualified FWT riders. The new format will increase visibility of the FWT Qualifier series by telling new stories and splitting the season in two action packed parts.
How does the new FWT Qualification Process Work?
Best 4 ski men, 2 ski women, 2 snowboard men, and best snowboard women per region will qualifiy for the next FWT season after competing on the FWT Challenger. FWT Challenger Ranking will be produced using the best 2 out of 3 FWT Challenger
events, or the best 3 out of 4 FWT Challenger events. A total of 18 athletes will qualify each year.
How do I qualify for the FWT Challenger?
You must compete in atleast 3 FWT Qualifier events before the cut in order to qualify for the FWT Challenger.
For Region 1: For region 1, as a minimum the best 18 ski men, 10 ski women, 10 snowboard men, and 6 snowboard women from the FWT Qualifier series after the last FWT Qualifier 4* event will be invited to the FWT Challenger.
FWT Qualifier Rider Rulebook
Click to open.
Region 2 Rider Guidelines
Competing in the Americas? Click here.
Where can I find the detailed new rules of the Tour?
What is the Code of Ethics?
All riders have to respect the hosting country’s rules and laws. Although FWT Management is not conducting doping tests, FWT Management expect riders to adopt the IOC rules in regards to doping. Riders who are seen using illegal substances in official areas such as start, finish, inspection area, at prize giving ceremonies and official happenings could face FWT sanctions. All riders are expected to behave accordingly and properly towards our hosting resorts, local organizers, partners, and media.
What is the Pro Freeriders Board (PFB)?
The Pro Freeriders Board (PFB) was founded to ensure the best possible conditions for the growth of freeriding. The PFB is a consultative board with riders from the FWT and they are consulted by FWT for all decisions concerning rules and formats which might affect riders. It is made up of eight of the most prominent riders in the sport of freeride led by a General Secretary. Their task is to voice their opinions and wishes regarding the season calendar, competition format, judging rules and a fair path for newcomers to qualify for the FWT through the FWT Qualifier and its ranking system. This approach ensures greater security and riders’ satisfaction.
What are the Freeride Junior World Championships (FJWC) and how can I qualify?
The FJWC is a one-day event for riders aged 15-18 (respecting each region’s age eligibility dates) and crowns the Freeride Junior World Champions. The FJWC will be awarded a 4* points status and the FJWC results will count towards the 52 week seeding list, but will not count towards the junior tour ranking. The FJWC usually takes place every year.
FWT Management will invite riders according to past year’s results, age restrictions and nationality respecting a national representation quota.
IFSA will invite Region 2 riders according to past year’s results, age restrictions and a national representation quota.
There is no guarantee for any nation to keep the same number of spots per championship or category from one year to the next and there is no guarantee for a world champion to be re-invited based on the title alone.
Where do I find the full rules?
What is the mandatory equipment in order to compete?
The following equipment is mandatory at every competition:
Avalanche transceiver, helmet, back protection, backpack with probe and shovel. A harness might also be necessary if announced by the organizers. A RECCO reflector will be mandatory too but will be provided at every event if the rider does not have one already. A RECCO reflector check along with a transceiver check will be done prior to the competition. An avalanche airbag is not mandatory unless specified otherwise. The equipment will be checked prior to the competition and any rider missing any of the mandatory equipment will not be allowed to start and will get a DNS (did not start).
Do I need to become a member in order to compete?
Yes, in order to compete you need to become a member, create your member profile and buy your annual license. Every rider, including wildcards, will have to acquire a membership to compete. When competing without a license, a rider cannot claim the points earned at the competition, even when getting the membership after the competition. Make sure that you use your real name without nicknames when signing up, as it is necessary for insurance purposes.
With this membership we offer the following services:
- Automated registration platform for all events
- Rider’s results in the seeding and ranking list
- A rider profile on the FWT website
- Rider assistance
- A unique number per athlete, avoiding spelling mistakes on starting lists and rankings
What kind of memberships are available?
You can get a one event membership if you want to compete only once or a tour membership valid for the whole season if you wish to compete at 2 or more events.
How much is the membership fee?
On the FWT Junior the one event license costs 30 EUR and the tour license is 80 EUR.
On the FWT Qualifier the one event license costs 30 EUR and the tour license is 80 EUR.
If a rider who purchased a one event license wishes to compete in more events, he/she will have to upgrade to a full tour license but will only have to pay the difference.
If you turn 18 during the season and decide to move on to FWT Qualifier from U-18 FWT Junior you will have to upgrade to a FWT Qualifier Tour license but in this case the FWT Junior Tour license will be refunded.
How can I join?
What do I do if I don’t remember my password?
When does a membership expire?
The memberships expire at the end of the season based on the current season and to compete in an event that belongs to the next season, the membership license of the next season will have to be purchased.
Which region should I register under?
Your nationality determines which region you belong to not your residency.
There are only 2 regions: Region 1 which is Europe-Oceania also including Africa and Asia and region 2 which covers the Americas.
What are the age requirements to participate on the FWT Junior?
The minimum age to participate is 10 and anyone can sign up once they turn 10 during the season. Any rider turning 18 on or after June 1 of the current season will remain a junior for the duration of the season. A rider turning 18 during the season can only move on to the adult tour after he has finished the current season as a junior.
What are the age requirements to participate on the FWT Qualifier?
Anyone turning 18 before May 31st of the current season is eligible to compete on the FWQ. A rider turning 18 during the ongoing season cannot move on to the adult circuit.
I have dual citizenship, can I change my nation?
If you have selected the wrong region/nation when signing up and ended up buying a membership in the wrong region, please contact us with a proof of citizenship (copy of passport or similar) to have it corrected.
How can I register for competitions?
Once you have a current season membership you are eligible to register for events. Registration will open about 6 weeks prior to each event and will close about 4 weeks before the event. During the registration period you can login and register for the event. When logged in, you can register by clicking on “Event” in the menu and then by clicking on the SKI or SNOWBOARD next to the event you would like to sign up for. Please note that this step only puts you on the waiting list of a competition and you do not know yet if you will be selected to compete.
You need a valid credit card to complete the registration process but as long as you are on the waiting list the registration fee will only be held on your credit card. Registration will close 4 weeks prior to the event, at this time you will receive an invitation email if you were selected for this event. If you do not want to accept the invitation, you must cancel within three days. If you decide to cancel, your spot will be given to the next rider on the waiting list otherwise your participation will be confirmed and your credit card will be charged.
What is included in the registration fee?
Check the event website to see what is included in the registration fee – depending on the event the fee may or may not include a ski pass, goodies, bib, lunch bag etc.
How does the selection process for competitions work?
For all events, riders will be accepted based on their seeding list rank at the time registration closes. Only in the case where the event is not full, riders on the waiting list will be accepted.
I received an email when I registered for an event, am I confirmed?
No, the email you get only confirms that the registration was received. Registrations are confirmed only after the closing date when you will receive an email if selected. Always check the event entry list after the closing date to see if you are confirmed or on the waiting list only.
How do I know if I am accepted for a competition?
When you sign up for a competition you will receive an email stating that you are on the waiting list for the competition. One day after registration closes we will send an invitation email to all selected athletes. Selected athletes then have 3 days to decide if they want to compete. If they do not want to compete they can just login and cancel the registration. If they do want to compete they do not have to do anything and will receive an email confirming that they are on the start list 3 days later. With the confirmation email the credit card will then be charged.
What does it mean when I see WAIT after my name?
All entries will have WAIT after their name before the registration closing date. After the closing date the event is seeded, meaning those riders who will be selected will be invited to compete. As long as you see WAIT after your name in the entry list of the event you are not confirmed to compete at the event.
I am still on the waiting list, is there a chance to get invited later on?
If a rider cancels his or her registration, the next rider on the waiting list will receive an email that he is invited to compete. So if you are on top of the waiting list chances are that you will be invited if another rider in your category cancels. The same process will be repeated until the event is full.
What happens if the event is not full after the registration period?
If the event is not full once the normal registration period ends, all registered riders will be invited and registrations will be re-opened. Riders inscribing during the second registration period will then be accepted based on a first-come, first-served basis and will be confirmed right away with their credit cards being charged immediately. The seeding list no longer applies. Once the event is full registration will close without warning as spots might fill up quickly.
I forgot to register during the normal registration period, what can I do?
If you forgot to register on time and the event is already full, you will not be able to sign up for the event anymore.
How many spots are available per event, category and gender?
Depending on the total number of spots available per event, a certain percentage of riders who registered will be confirmed for the event. The number of riders accepted per category and gender reflects the number of riders that signed up per category and gender.
If however a category has hardly enough registrations to have the minimum number of riders at the start to make it a competition, a higher percentage of riders from this category will be accepted and a lower percentage within the other categories.
That means a number of spots per category will not be determined until registration will close and there is no way to tell prior to the registration closing date how many riders will be invited per category and gender.
What is the minimum number of registrations to validate a category?
As of season 2023/2024, there will no longer be minimum amount of riders per category in order
to validate the category itself.
As of season 2023/2024, there will no longer be minimum amount of riders per category in order
to validate the category itself.
Can I cancel my registration?
As long as a rider is on the waiting list they can cancel the registration anytime and at no costs by logging into their account. One day after registration closes, selected riders will receive an email invitation and they then have 3 days to cancel their registration if they do not wish to compete. On the fourth day past the registration closing date the rider will be confirmed, receiving a confirmation email and the credit card will be charged. From then on it is not possible to cancel anymore except for medical reasons providing us with a doctor’s note.
However, in case there is a waiting list in place and the spot can be replaced with another rider in the same category, a cancellation and refund is possible.
What happens if an event is postponed?
If an event is postponed to a date outside of the weather window, all confirmed riders will be informed by email and can choose to either compete on the new date or cancel their participation. The FWT will refund the registration fee to any rider who decides to cancel due to an event being postponed no matter the reason.
If an event is postponed, the remaining spots taking all cancellations into account, will be filled from the waiting list. If the event is still not full, registration will re-open. If the event gets postponed for a second time, the confirmed riders will have another chance to cancel and to be refunded.
In case an event is postponed more than once, riders who were confirmed for the first time but canceled for the second date will be asked first if they can make the third date. Current seeding list ranking will determine the priority order.
Are there different event formats?
Depending on the local organizer there could be various types of event formats, events in one day, events over two days with a qualification day and a final day with a new score for the final day or events over two days combining scores of both days with or without a cut after day 1.
Are there different age categories at FWT Junior competitions?
Yes, in Region 1 Europe Oceania there will be different age groups: U18 / U16 (Ski Men only) years and U14 at selected events only.
FWT Junior U16 & U18
The minimum age to participate in this category is 14 years of age and anyone can sign up once they turn 14.
Due to the large numbers of ski men in many regions the ski men category only was split into 2 age division: U-18 and U-16
The other 3 categories do not have U-16 division.
FWT Junior U14
There will be special venues for this age category and all junior riders in the “under 14 year category” must be accompanied by an adult (parent or coach) at all times.
When do I have to arrive at an event?
Prior to every competition there will be a mandatory riders meeting. The riders meeting will take place on the day before the competition or in the morning before the competition depending on the event organizer’s schedule.
Can I ride the face prior to the competition?
The competition venue(s) are closed 30 days prior to the event or latest after the last snowfall. If competitors are seen riding the competition venue(s) which is clearly marked or communicated, the organizer has the right to disqualify these riders and they could face FWT sanctions. Riding the competition venue(s) before they are officially closed is permitted.
What is the riders meeting?
Riders meetings are held prior to the competition and are mandatory for all riders for safety reasons. During these meetings, points such as snow conditions, potentially closed areas on the face, access routes to the start, event schedules or potentially additional mandatory safety gear (harness) will be discussed. Riders who cannot attend the riders meeting for valid reasons must announce themselves to the organizer to get their safety speech and BIB number at another time. Failure to do so might result in an expulsion from the competition.
What if I cannot make it to the riders meeting?
Riders meetings are mandatory due to safety reasons and an event organizer has the right to not accept a rider if they fail to attend the riders meeting. If you cannot make it for a valid reason you have to get in touch with the event organizer and to make sure you get the safety speech and your BIB number at another time. If a rider fails to get in touch with the organizer prior to the riders meeting, the organizer has the right to exclude the rider from the competition.
What if I cannot make it to the prize giving?
Riders who made it on the podium have to be present at the prize giving ceremony in order to receive their prize. A rider who cannot be present for a valid reason has to inform the organizer ahead of time if they cannot make it to the ceremony otherwise an organizer may decide to retain the prizes.
However, the organizer will announce at the riders meeting if any other customs for the prize giving apply and has the right to retain prizes if a podium rider cannot make it to the prize giving.
What is the mandatory equipment in order to compete?
The following equpiment is mandatory at all events:
- Avalanche transceiver (switched on and with full batteries)
- Back protection
- Backpack with probe and shovel
- RECCO reflector
All riders must take a harness to the competition as well but it will only be mandatory if the organizers announces it prior or during the riders meeting. It is the sole responsibility of the athlete to have a harness handy and the organizer will not be responsible to provide one.
A RECCO reflector will be mandatory but it will be provided at every event if the rider does not have one already. A RECCO reflector check along with a transceiver check will be done prior to the competition. An avalanche airbag is not mandatory unless specified otherwise.
The equipment will be checked prior to the competition and any rider missing any of the mandatory equipment will not be allowed to start and will get a DNS (did not start).
Do I get a refund if an event is cancelled?
If the organizer has to cancel the event prior to the weather window, the event organizer will refund 100% of the insurance fee and 100% of the registration fee.
If on the other hand the organizer has to cancel the event because it could not be held, during the weather window due to bad weather / too much wind / heavy snowfall / etc. there will be no insurance nor registration fee refund.
Do I get a refund if I am injured or sick?
If a rider is sick or injured and has to cancel his or her participation he or she will be refunded the full amount of the registration fee after providing a valid medical certificate to FWT Management SA.
The rider shall announce it to FWT Management SA as soon as possible in order to allow a waiting list rider to take his spot. The medical certificate must be sent at the latest 3 days after the event in order to be eligible for a refund.
Is there a rider insurance?
The FWT rider evacuation insurance covers the costs of evacuation / snow patrol / ambulance / heli costs to hospital and back home if the private insurance of the rider doesn’t cover it.
The insurance fee will be included in the registration fee for all events where the organizer is using the FWT rider evacuation insurance (All European events except France and Norway). This mandatory evacuation insurance also covers some medical costs, but each has to ensure that they have a personal medical insurance valid in all countries where they are competing and that they are covered in case of participation in an extreme freeride contest (should they need extensive local medical treatment in case they can’t be transported back home). In the disclaimer that each rider will have to sign when entering a contest, it will be mentioned that they have checked the above.
What does the insurance cover?
How much is the insurance?
The FWT rider evacuation insurance is 20 EUR per rider per event (if applicable at the event)
The FWT rider evacuation insurance on the FWT Qualifier is 28 EUR per rider per event (if applicable at the event)
Do I still need a personal insurance?
Yes each rider has to make sure that they have a personal medical insurance valid in all countries where they are competing and that they are covered in case of participation in an extreme freeride contest (should they need extensive local medical treatment in case they can’t be transported back home) since the tour insurance has a limited coverage. In the disclaimer that each rider will have to sign when entering a contest, it will be mentioned that they have checked the above.
How do I file an insurance claim?
If you got hurt on the day of the competition make sure that you announce the injury to the event organizer or FWT Management immediately. It is crucial that the insurance process is launched within 24 hours after the accident happened. In case of minor injuries the event organizer might not be aware of the incident if you do not announce it.
Then you have to first check with your personal insurance as the FWT rider evacuation insurance will only cover if there is written proof that the rider's personal insurance does not cover the accident.
Rankings and Seeding List
Can you collect points anywhere in the world no matter the region?
No. Riders can compete anywhere in the world regardless if the competition takes place in region 1 or region 2 but can only collect points in their region.
Riders can compete and collect points anywhere in the world but will only be ranked in the region where the event was held. Riders cannot transfer the points earned from one region to the other, with the exception of Southern hemisphere events.
How DO the FWT PRO rankingS work?
At the end of the FWT season the tour champion is crowned based on the best 3 results during the season.
In case of a tie for the title, the following tie-breaker will be applied:
- Best 4th result
- Comparing the number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place
- Direct competition, who beat who at events where both riders entered.
What is the Seeding List?
Since competition spots are limited, the seeding list is used to determine which athletes among all the registered athletes are invited to a competition. The seeding list is formulated by a rider’s best 3 results over the past 52 weeks. Riders who have not competed before or who are ranked low on the seeding list might not get into 3* and 4* events and will have to start collecting points on lower level events (1* and 2*) to move up on the seeding list.
What are national rankings?
Nations with a minimum of 3 events in their country will have a national ranking. National rankings will cumulate points scored by national riders only thus only riders from the nation where the event takes place will be ranked. Riders can compete in as many events as they want but only the best three results count for the national championship. In case of podium raking ties, the tie-breaker rule applies.
What happens with my FWT Junior points when I am moving on to the adult tour?
When moving from the junior to the adult circuit, a rider’s current seeding list points from the juniors will become his or her new Qualifier seeding list points. This way a junior will be ranked according to his former FWT Junior points on the FWT Qualifier seeding list and will be able to register for Qualifier events.
I am injured, how do I freeze my points?
The Frozen Points Protocol allows an injured rider to retain his/her seeding rights during the period of injury and for a period of time after he/she has recovered from the injury. To achieve this a riders points on the seeding list will be “frozen” as of the week when the injury occurred.
To freeze your points on the seeding list please submit a valid medical certificate to FWT Management SA as soon as possible after the injury occurred.
For how long are my points frozen?
The injury period of a rider shall last a maximum of 52 weeks from the date that the injury occurred. During this time, the rider’s status will be “injured”. If a rider does not resume competing within 52 weeks, his/her frozen status will be automatically changed from “injured“ to "recovered".
If a rider does resume competing or declares himself/herself as recovered within the first 52 weeks since the injury was reported, his/her status will be changed from "Injured" to "Recovered" and the rider’s ranking prefix will be changed from " * " to " + ". The rider will continue to be ranked based on his/her frozen points until one of the following conditions applies:
- 52 weeks have passed since the riders status was changed to “recovered”. In this case the rider’s status will be changed to normal (removal of prefix), all frozen points will be dropped and the rider will be ranked based on his/her current points (which will be zero at this point because the rider has no more results)
- The rider has competed in a maximum of five events since he/she recovered. In this case, the rider’s frozen points will be dropped and the rider will be ranked on the seeding list based on his/her current FWT Qualifier points (removal of prefix).
- The rider’s current points for the respective FWT Qulaifier are higher than the frozen points recorded on injury.
During a rider’s period of injury the rider will appear on the seeding list as injured indicated by the prefix " * ". During the period of recovery, the rider will appear on the seeding list as “recovered”, indicated by the prefix " + ".
What is the judging about?
When it comes to freeriding there are different terrains and different ways to express oneself within a terrain. The goal of our judging system is to allow any style of riding to win on any given day. Whether a rider’s strength is steep terrain, big airs, technical tricks or speed, each style should be able to win if on that day, the rider simply showed the most impressive run utilizing his own strengths. Riders shouldn’t have to adapt their riding to a system; the system should be adapted to freeriding. Our judging system evolves over time and changes to accommodate the development of the sport and the riders.
What are the judging criteria?
The Line, the Air & Style, Fluidity, Control, and Technique are the five judging criteria and “the overall impression” will determine the riders’ final score. To evaluate the run, judges use a point system of a hundred increments from 0 to 100. The goal of this rider-approved system is to have a unified judging system for all FWT, FWQ and FJT competitions that allows every style of riding the possibility to win. If a competitor is riding in a part of the face that cannot be seen by judges, what he does (good or bad) will not be scored unless judges have live video feed showing the action.
What if I am not happy with the judging?
Judges are fully certified and supervised by a head judge. They are using an evolving method and there will always be a human factor left which could lead to different interpretations of the run. This is part of freeriding as a sport and has to be accepted by riders as well as judges.
A final score can only be changed if:
- If the scores have been entered wrong on the computer/web by accident
- If a rider was penalized for riding into a closed area but judges were wrong about the limits of the closed area
- If a rider was not penalized for riding into a closed area
- If a rider falls after the end-of-judging line but still got penalized for it
Riders can only complain about scores on the day of the competition by talking to the head judge if they are convinced that their score is not correct based on the description above. After the competition day no complaints will be accepted.
How can I become a judge myself?
If you want to become a judge please ask for the judging files by contacting us and by completing them while watching the judging video below:
Or get in touch with us to see where the next judging clinic will take place!
If you cannot find the answer you're looking for, please use the form below to reach out to us.