The Judging System
The goal of our judging system is to ensure that any style of riding has the potential to win on any given day. Whether a rider excels in steep terrain, big airs, technical tricks, or speed, each style should have a chance to win based on the most impressive run that showcases the rider's strengths.
Riders should not have to conform to a system; rather, the system should adapt to freeriding. So, how can we create a judging system that is fair and non-restrictive? Freeriding faces the same challenge as other disciplines like surfing, skateboarding, or freestyle skiing/snowboarding.
Interestingly, these sports have all developed similar judging systems: systems that rely on overall impression scores, primarily given by former riders who are respected by the current active generation.
IN A NUTSHELL
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 Pros, Challengers, Qualifiers and Juniors competitions that allows every style of riding the possibility to win.
Judges are fully certified and supervised by a Head Judge. They are using a evolving method for a constantly evolving sport. 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.
For all the FWT events, the judging panel is composed of a minimum of 3 judges.
How Freeriding is Judged on the FWT
The 5 JUDGING CRITERIA
Five judging criteria are taken into account to determine the overall impression and the riders’ final score. Let’s look at each category a little closer.
The difficulty of the line is straightforward: it depends on the path a competitor chooses to take down the mountain. What is the level of difficulty and danger on this line? How does the rider navigate through the challenging sections? How creative is the line choice? How unique is the route compared to other riders? Is it an impressive line that sparks people's imagination? These are the factors that the judges need to consider and determine.
Control is crucial in big-mountain riding. Having it means success, while losing it can be fatal. That's why the judges can be unforgiving towards those who don't demonstrate enough control during their competition run. Does the athlete fall? Do they push the limits of recovery throughout the entire run? Or do they ride with confidence, showing mastery from start to finish? This category is closely tied to riding technique.
Technique is a closely examined criterion in both junior and amateur competitions. In professional competitions, judges assess whether a control issue occurred due to a lack of technique. However, if a rider is in control, they can have their own technique or riding style without penalty. It is possible for riders to lose points if they are side slipping down a section while their fellow competitors are making carved turns. This would be considered a failure in the Technique criterion.
Nobody enjoys watching stop-and-go action. The Fluidity mark aims to reward athletes who can ride from start to finish without hesitation, interruptions, or confusion. For example, does the rider have to traverse a long distance to reach their desired cliff? Did they get lost on the way down and have to climb back up to find their line? Did they hesitate before dropping a large cliff? Furthermore, the mark assesses the rider's speed in relation to the technicality of the terrain. Could they go faster? Are they already riding at the maximum speed without losing control? Has anyone else achieved this level of speed? These aspects are also considered by the judges in this category. Speed and flow are the key elements in this evaluation.
Air and style
This category focuses on jumps and what makes freeride competitions so exciting. Why? Because freeride venues are entirely natural, and jumping off cliffs or windlips is much more challenging than using man-made kickers. Style and aggression are crucial in any aerial sport. How big is the jump? How does the rider approach it? What happens in the air? Do they use arm movements for balance or grab their board? Do they incorporate any tricks? Is their performance smooth and stylish? And how is the landing? These are the factors that judges must consider when assigning an overall score.
Becoming a freeride judge
Are you ready to carve your way to justice as a judge in the exhilarating world of freeriding?
Join us and experience the thrill of adjudicating the world's most daring athletes as they conquer the mountains! Follow the steps below to start your journey as a judge:
First, read the Judging Handbook. You can click links in the blue bubbles to watch short videos all through the document.
Then watch the video following the link below.
Finally, try and judge the few runs at the end of the video. Use the judging sheet above to do so (print and take notes)
Then scan or take a good quality picture of your filled-in judging sheet and return it to email@example.com. Benjamin will corrected and comment and come back to you with the next steps.
Do you have any question about judging? We invite you to use the form below to contact us.