Freeride World Tour 2018
The Freeride World Tour will again attract the world’s elite of freeride sports to the Skicircus from 9th to 15th of March 2018. At the Wildseeloder in Fieberbrunn, snowboarders and skiers show their skills at 629 metres in altitude difference and slope inclines up to 70 degrees.
Fieberbrunn is the only stop of the SWATCH Freeride World Tour in Austria and Germany. The world's best freeriders have to climb to the top of the Wildseelder in around 40 minutes before they drop their lines from the start at an altitude of 2.118 m. From the Contest Village at Lärchfilzkogel, spectators watch the spectacular runs. Saalbach Stories asked two top riders of the FWT for the interview.
29 years old, lawyer in Chambery, France
Best result: FWT World Champion 2013
30 years old, timber man from Norway
Best result: 2 winning runs in the Freeride World Tour
FWT-participations: Røldal, Norway 2012 and Fieberbrunn 2016
Was does skiing mean to you?
Elodie: For me, it means freedom. I always loved being in the mountains.
Dennis: Skiing is my life and has been since I was a little kid.
First skiing experience?
Elodie: I was two years old and and started practicing in my gransdmother’s garden!
Dennis: I live in Vågå, a small place in the mountains, where I learned to ski by watching family and friends jump off cliffs.
When did you realise that freeriding is your sport of choice?
Elodie: When I was 15. I always wanted to go off-piste with my twin sister. So we decided to quit competing in slalom and half-pipe and to ride for our own pleasure, to enjoy the powder.
Dennis: I’ve learned from the best, and some of the most crazy and skilled extreme sports athletes have been my mentors. I quickly realised that this was my game and started my professional career in 2006.
How would you describe your style?
Elodie: Aggressive und fast!
Where did you shred your best line?
Elodie: I’ve had so many best lines – it’s difficult to choose one.
Dennis: I really can’t say, I don’t think I’ve had it yet, but Nendaz in the Freeride Qualifier was a good moment.
What is your impression of Fieberbrunn?
Elodie: Fieberbrunn is my favourite venue on the tour as the slopes are steep and playful.
Dennis: It’s a good venue with lots of hits.
What is on your mind when you’re about to shred your line in a competition?
Elodie: I am fully concentrated on remembering my line.
Dennis: I try to recall my line as well as I can, and when I enter, my mind goes on autopilot.
How do you choose your lines?
Elodie: I watch videos from past seasons.
Dennis: It is influenced by how I like to ski and can be happy with afterwards.
Spectators at the FWT – heavy pressure or pushing you to excel?
Elodie: It’s great to have them and I prefer when there are big crowds. Freeriding is a show and I enjoy sharing these moments.
Dennis: Whether they’re there or not, the pressure is the same. I don’t think about the spectators when I ride, I push myself because I wouldn’t be happy with my performance if I didn’t.
What does competing in the FWT mean to you?
Elodie: The FWT is like family!
Dennis: It’s a challenge. I couldn’t say that it’s always fun, but I like the challenge, also in competition. And therefore, the FWT is a good place to be at!
When the season is over…
Elodie: ...I have to work!
Dennis: ...I return to the mountains of Vågå and work on my house.
What, in your opinion, is the future of freeriding?
Elodie: It is still at the very beginning, and there are better things to come!
Dennis: It has great potential to attract more audience. In Norway it’s not a big sport and gets little attention in the media, so we have to work on that. I do my best to promote the sport whenever I can.