The northern hemisphere’s big mountain competition season is officially underway. All eyes in the big-mountain world are focused on the Freeskiing World Tour because of a few new components to the tour this season: The Freesking World Tour and the Freeride World Tour have joined forces.
The European-based Swatch Freeride World Tour athletes are in British Columbia competing alongside the North American-based FWT skiers, and the top overall finishers from this year’s Freeskiing World Tour will be invited to Switzerland to compete in the Freeride World Tour’s final competition, the renowned Xtreme Verbier.
With Sickbird belt buckles, spots on the podium, an invitation to ski Verbier’s rock-littered Bec de Rosses venue up for grabs, the hype surrounding the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour is at an all time high.
So, we wanted to point you towards some skiers to watch for on the Subaru FWT this year.
When it comes to consistency in the comps, reigning overall tour champions Angel Collinson and Drew Tabke are as good as it gets. Angel is looking to earn the true title of “World Champion” this season, as she will be competing on the North American and European tours. Tabke’s been a Subaru FWT mainstay for years, turning heads with a solid, slarvy style and always growing bag of tricks. Both Collinson and Tabke dissect comp venues—from Revy’s North Bowl to Snowbird’s Mount Baldy—with creative approaches to skiing and entertaining lines.
Two Tahoe-based male skiers need to be on everyone’s radar—if they’re not already. Kirkwood’s Josh Daiek and Sqauw Valley’s Kevin O’Meara spent some time away from competition for a few years, but the duo burst back onto the scene last season. They shared the podium at Kirkwood, where Daiek cleaned up with a victory and a Sickbird and O’Meara finished a close second and carried the momentum into this year. Daiek and O’Meara finishing second and third, respectively, at The North Face Chilean Freeskiing Championships in Ski Arpa. If they’re in the start gates at any comp this season, you want to be watching.
On the men’s side, Frenchmen Guerlain Chicerit and Julien Lopez are charging into this season, too. The Frenchies have a handful of overall titles and belt buckles between them and are motivated for a full season on the tour.
Jackson Hole’s Crystal Wright and Jacqui Edgerly from Aspen/Snowmass are the two women to keep an eye on when it comes to pushing Collinson for the overall title. Both women boast awesome comp resumes and are in the mix every year.
If you have been following the FWT at all for the last few years, these are all names you know. It’s never a surprise when Tabke or Lopez dominate a comp and Angel Collinson has logged some serious podium time en route to back-to-back overall titles. However, there are a few names out there that, unless you ski at their home mountains, you most likely haven’t heard of yet. Take note, though, because guys like Broc Sheue (who blasted an absolutely perfect cork 720 in Chile last summer that had everyone talking), Willie Schnieder (who finished fourth at the star-studded Red Bull Powder Disorder in Argentina) and young-gun Spencer Brinson will be throwing down. On the women’s side, Rebecca Selig and Lexi Dupont, who won the Revelstoke qualifier, are pushing the style category with inverted tricks, and Canadians Tatum Monod and Nicole Derksen look to build on their solid performances last season.
For information and a complete schedule of the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour, visit www.freeskiingworldtour.com.
Others to watch for on the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour: