Freeskiing or Newschool skiing involves tricks, jumps, and terrain park features, such as rails, boxes, jibs, or other obstacles. This form of skiing resulted from a combination of the growth in popularity of snowboarding as well as the progression of Freestyle skiing. "Newschoolers", or those who specifically ski in this style (as opposed to traditional freestylers, big mountain skiers, racers, etc.) are often found in terrain parks, which are designed specifically for tricks.
"Newschool" skiing originated in the late 1990s when freestyle skiers(matty b), discouraged by restrictive laws placed on the sport by the International Ski Federation (competitive skiing's governing body, known by the acronym "FIS"), began trying their tricks in what were at the time snowboard-only terrain parks. Early newschool skiers were very aware of the developing style and attitude of snowboarding, and adopted these for their own sport. The Newschool Skier is related more to the snowboarder in his/her style than to the traditional skier's style.
The FIS freestyle skiing events were governed by restrictive rules that were unpopular in the growing ski community, and slowed down the progression of the sport. Such rules included a ban on inverted tricks in mogul runs, a limit on the number of flips in aerial competitions, and a lack of ski park or pipe competitions. The "Newschool" movement was a breakaway faction of the freeskiers who were unhappy with the FIS.
The breakaway faction was led by the New Canadian Air Force, which included the "Godfather of freeskiing", Mike Douglas, and others such as JF Cusson, Vincent Dorion and JP Auclair. Also contributing significantly in these early days were Julien Regnier and "the Three Phils", namely, Phil Larose, Phil Belanger and Phil Dion, all of whom were teammates at Dynastar. After helping Salomon develop their first twin-tip ski, the "1080", the New Canadian Air Force began jumping and filming in traditionally snowboarder dominated terrain parks.
In recent years, many ski resorts have introduced terrain parks where skiers and snowboarders can attempt tricks. These parks include many features like rails, boxes, jumps, hips, quarterpipes, and halfpipes. It is now quite common for 'Newschool' skiers to use urban features in towns and cities to perform tricks also done in the snowpark. A popular choice of equipment for this terrain is the twin-tip ski. Twin-tip skis come in all shapes and sizes, and were originally made specifically for newschool skiing. The varieties of twin-tip skis are now more versatile, being marketed towards skiers of all styles and abilities. Twin-tip skis are turned up at both ends to allow for both regular (forwards) and switch (backwards) skiing.
On April 6, 2011, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the addition of the men's and women's ski halfpipe to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. However, both snowboarding and skiing slopestyle events have not been added to the program at this time. Olympic status for ski halfpipe is expected to have a direct impact on the training, funding, and resources available to athletes. In January 2011, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association launched U.S. Freeskiing in partnership with The North Face, which would presumably supply Olympic uniforms.
There are several relatively small companies that have supported and greatly added to the progression of Newschool Skiing. These companies, including Line, Stanston,Armada, Liberty, ON3P, Salomon, Amplid, 4FRNT, Coreupt, and Technine, K2, as well as others, make skis specific for Newschool Skiing. Line is believed to be the first newschool skiing company, and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2005. In 2006, Line was bought by K2 Sports. Contrary to popular belief, the K2 Poacher was the first mass produced twin tip ski to hit the market. Dynastar's Concept, Salomon's 1080, and Rossignol's Pow Air were not far behind.
Within the last decade, traditional ski brands such as Salomon, Rossignol, Völkl, Fischer and Head have embraced the newschool revolution and are producing twin tips of their own. Now, most of the popular and larger ski companies produce many twin-tipped newschool skis.
Types of skis
There are three kinds of newschool skis: Powder, All-Mountain and Park. The Powder ski is wide (also known as fat within the ski industry) and sometimes has a higher tail in order to support switch powder landings. Eric Pollard is the innovator of new school skis, especially Fat Powder skis. The All-Mountain ski is of average width and is equally good on both groomed and powder. The park ski is specifically built for "jibbing" (i.e. skiing on anything other than snow such as rails, boxes, barrels, walls, etc...) and jumps. Park skis are often designed with a more symmetrical shape to make switch (backwards) skiing much easier and reinforced edges to withstand rails. Eric Pollard designed the first two symmetrical skis, the Anthem and the Invader, although he was not given much credit because the Invader was of poor build quality. Pollard now has his own pro model skis from Line skis called the EP Pro (Mr. Pollard's Opus - 2012), The Elizabeth and The Sir Francis Bacon. Some new powder and all-mountain skis are created with 'reverse camber' (aka 'rocker') meaning that the tips and tails are bent up slightly to make powder landings easier.
Throughout newschool skiing a special culture has developed, one that has united the skiing community. The language, style, and people are unique to the newschool community[dubious ].
Some words used in the newschool community are abbreviated spins (saying 7 instead of 720) as well as butter, jib, hit, session, lap, crown, etc.
The largest Newschool Skiing festival in the Midwest is the MWSFF (Midwest Ski Film Festival), and is held yearly every October. There is also one in Montreal, Quebec called IF3 (International Freeski Film Festival)
Any skiing outside the prepared or marked trails is referred to as backcountry or off-piste skiing. This form of skiing is probably the most mortally dangerous (depending on where and how you do it) because of the high speeds, large drops (sometimes with hidden rocks in the landing), and avalanches. This type of skiing has been banned in certain areas of the world because of chances of injury and/or death. Backcountry skiers consist of both newschool skiers who perform tricks off various terrain features, and oldschoolers as well.
Park is skiing on man-made features provided by the ski area such as jumps, rails, boxes, and halfpipes. According to Freeskier's 2010 Travel Guide the top resorts in North America for park are Breckenridge, Mammoth, Aspen/Snowmass, Park City, Poley Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb and Avila.
Urban skiing consists of sliding or grinding your skis on rails, ledges, etc. outside of ski resorts/areas. Urban has much more of a risk factor than regular park skiing due to harder terrain. You can spot urban features in such ski movies as Level 1's "Eye Trip" and Poor Boyz Production's "Revolver".
- Rails, walls, and boxes that can be jibbed.
- Step-down Jumps
- A jump in which the landing is lower than the take off/lip.
- Step-up Jumps
- A jump in which the landing is higher than the take off/lip.
- sending it
- when you just go for it.
- True Table Jumps
- A jump that trapezoids in which you take off from the lip, clear a flat air, and then land on close to the same height of the take off/lip jump.
- Urban Rail
- a rail that isnt in a ski area. usually a handrail in an urban environment, such as the city, a park, ect.
- Hip Jump
- A jump where the landing slope is perpendicular to (known as "spined") the take off trapezoid lip jump.
- The terminology often used by professionals for the down-part of a tablejump trapezoid.
- The Knuckle
- The area in which the table meets the landing or the curved bit at the top of the landing. It's not good to land on.
- For example: "To Knuckle" a jump means to land on the slant/ice interface area of the jump. This is generally considered painful.
- When a skier takes too much speed into a jump and landing on the off ramp. Usually results in an injury but is worth more points in competition and is thus widley practiced.
Simon dumont ,
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