An unmissable event for anyone into skiing is the Swatch Freeride World Tour. This annual competition brings together the best freeskiers and snowboard freeriders from across the world for a series of individual events in Europe and North America. Since 2008 The Swatch Freeride World Tour has been putting skiers to the test on the most perilous backcountry and extreme terrain. Riding unfeasibly high cliffs and narrow gulls with a gradient beyond imagination, it may seem like you’d have to be crazy to take on the challenge but the sport’s top athletes are far from it.
The winners of the historic 2013 season were crowned after the final race in Verbier, Switzerland, with overwhelming action unfolding on the legendary Bec des Rosses. The contestants impressed thousands of spectators with their creativity at the mountain, as thousands more followed the competition online. After a difficult tour the top riders really had to prove themselves in the powder and of course stay on their feet.
After spending two seasons proving himself on the tour, Kevin Guri really fulfilled all that his raw talent promised. Year after Year Guri has improved, slowly growing into a mountain beating ski, showing beautiful lines executed skilfully all the way to victory at the Verbier extreme. Although it was the American Drew Tabke who took home the World Champion title, not leaving the top spots in the whole season, it is Guri who we’ll be keeping an eye on in the future. Having spent 10 years devoting his time to the sport, Tabke is a worthy winner whose strong fluid style is always recognisable.
The snowboard title was taken by no.1 seed Ralph Backstrom also from the USA, who was strong throughout the competition and finished the season in style with a big win at Verbier. It was a heated and exciting battle for the finish, between Reigning World Champion Jonathan Charlet and Aurelien Routens who came incredibly close to the title but instead had to settle with two second places.
On the womens side the skiing series was dominated by Nadine Waller who, despite having severe opposition through she pulled some great runs out of the bag at both Verbier and another tour favorite: Revelstoke. This skier is always pushing to further the limits of possibility off-piste and her technique can match some of the best riders in history. For snowboarders, Elodie Mouthon was crowned Champion and finished a solid 300 points in front of the next rider. Although she had a slow start to the season with a 5th place at Chamonix, she pulled it back with wins at both Fieberbrunn, Austria and Verbier.
Receiving well deserved international recognition the Swatch Freestyle World Tour continues to surpass every expectation. With some great competitors, and all those world champions of 2013 coming back to defend their title, the 2014 season is shaping up well to begin with Revelstoke on the 18th of December 2013.
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