The 2013 FIS Snowboard Freestyle World Cup consists of three events (halfpipe, slopestyle and big air) featuring a total of ten competitions staged on top courses, pipes and ramps all over the world.
Each venue is built by well-experienced specialists which a long-time history in the freestyle snowboard sport who are fully respected by both ,riders and teams.
The global circuit features the world's best female and male athletes at every World Cup stop, including World Champions and Olympic medallists who are fighting to become the champions of the season.
This season's top highlight will be the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games with the slopestyle competitions taking place on February 8 and 9 and the halfpipe contests being staged on February 11 and 12.
The halfpipe competition is a judged event. Judges each give the rider’s completed run an overall impression score. The runs are evaluated using several criteria amplitude, risk, trick variety, execution, landing and overall impression. The scores are compared, with a Head Judge overseeing the process.
After qualifying for the finals, the slate is wiped clean and qualified competitors take two more runs. The higher of the two final run scores are used to rank the riders and determine a winner.
The size of the halfpipe and the expertise of the riders in it have grown proportionately. Within some ten years, wall heights have practically doubled, increasing to 22 feet.
The pitch (steepness) has mellowed to 16.5 degrees from 18 and the transitions between the vertical part of the walls and the flat in the middle have become smoother and bigger.
The changes have provided a safer venue for the riders, while at the same time, supporting the development of the sport.
As with halfpipe, big air is also a judged event. Individual riders approach a single jump (also called a ‘kicker’), perform tricks in the air, and land on a slope of around 30 degrees.
Judges award points based on overall impression which will include style, degree of risk and of course a clean landing!
For photo opportunities and a big crowd atmosphere, the big Air event is without peer. The ‘wow factor’ is huge, but it is far more difficult for the spectators to be able to tell who will win than it is with the race-based disciplines.
Slopestyle is also a judged event. This discipline made its FIS Snowboard World Cup debut in the 2011 season and was implemented for the 2014 Olympics right away.
It is a snowboard discipline that has gained huge popularity in the past few years.
Riders compete individually on a course containing a variety of large jumps, terrain features and rails. They are expected to flow smoothly from start to finish without stopping and the judges look for similar criteria as they do in the halfpipe.