The most diverse discipline in the sport of skiing, Freestyle Skiing offers 5 events each for men & women, all very different. The acrobatics common to all of them make it great to watch.
Rhythm is a key aspect of the Moguls event (depicted above). A mogul is a bump in the snow. In this event, a slope is covered in many moguls, approximately 3m apart. As the skiers descend down the 250m course, they must navigate the moguls as quickly and flawlessly as possible, requiring them to change direction between each bump. This flow of moguls is interrupted twice by ramps, which the skiers jump off from, performing stunts in the air, before resuming the moguls part of the course. Judges score their turning technique (through the moguls) and their air manoeuvres. The turning score decides 50% of the score, while their speed and air score each contribute 25% of the final score.
The Aerials event is all about acrobatic manoeuvres. Skiers jump off 2-4m ramps and perform twists and flips while airborne. They must do either single, double or triple backward turns, to which they add either single or double sideways twists. Judges score the athletes out of 10 based on air performance, form, and landing. The total score is multiplied by the difficulty score to determine the rankings.
source: FIS Website (copyrighted by GEPA Images)
In Ski Cross, 4 athletes compete against each other in each race, and the competition is organised into multiple rounds of heats. The course is made of varied features such as ramps, jumps, and banked turns, all of which make the race very unpredictable and exciting.
A Slopestyle course is made of a myriad of obstacles, including rails, walls, boxes, and jumps. The obstacles are similar to elements one might encounter in a skate park or a similar urban setting. The skiers choose the obstacles they want to tackle during their run. Judges score their performances out of 100 and the best score from two runs is taken for the rankings.
The Halfpipe is a structure that would be familiar to fans of the X-Games. As the name suggests, it resembles the half section of a large diameter circular pipe. However, there is a flat section between the two ramps that make up the half-pipe. Skiers make their way down the half-pipe slope, moving side-to-side to complete a series of jumps and aerial skills. As in Slopestyle, the skiers are scored out of 100 by 5 judges, and the best average score from two runs decides their ranking.