1. What is SAFSC?
Southern Alberta Freestyle Ski Club ("Southern”) is a not-for-profit organization established in 1985 to improve skiing ability through the teaching of Freestyle Skiing, and to help our athletes develop life skills through sport discipline, interaction, personal goal setting and achievement through a structured training program.We are Calgary based and a member of CFSA (Canadian Freestyle Ski Association) within the AFSA (Alberta Freestyle Ski Association) division.Our membership averages around 90 athletes each season.
2. What is Freestyle Skiing?
Freestyle Skiing includes the following events:
Moguls: Speed, turns and air … competitive mogul skiing has it all. Competitors rip down the mogul course and launch themselves off two jumps under scrutiny of a panel of seven judges. Marks are awarded for the technical quality of the skier’s turns (60%), the two aerial maneuvers (20%) and speed (20%).
Slopestyle: Slopestyle athletes make their way down, through and over a course comprised of a variety of obstacles including rails, jumps and other terrain park features — scoring points for amplitude, originality and quality of tricks.
Half pipe: Making it's debut in the Sochi 2014 Olympics, Half Pipe blew viewers away with the stunning and crazy tricks twenty feet off the ground. Judged on the whole package, including the athlete’s personality and style, It includes grabs, spins and flips that athletes incorporate into their run all while boosting as high as possible.
Aerials: Aerials is one of the most technically challenging and spectator-captivating sports in the world. Competitors must perform two different jumps consisting of single or multiple somersaults with or without twists. Each jump must vary by one somersault or one twist. Points are warded for takeoff (20%), form in the air (50%) and landing (30%). Scores of both jumps are combined for a final total mark.
For more details check out Freestyle 101
3. Sounds good, but who can join?
Membership is open to any skier with good basic ski skills wishing to develop his or her skiing in a challenging, fun-filled, and safe environment. Typically our members range from 7 to 18 years of age. Each level has minimum entrance requirements. Please refer to program descriptions for these details.
4. Where do you train?
Our weekend home base is at Sunshine Village Ski Resort. SAFSC also offers half-pipe, slopestyle (Jumps and rails), and mogul training at COP (Canada Olympic Park) on select weeknight evenings. Additional training incudes dryland, fitness testing, trampoline, airbag and water ramping.
5. How do I join?
Registration for each program will be available in the early fall. Please stay tuned for more details.
6. Are there any volunteer commitments?
Yes, like most not-for-profit organizations, the strength of the club comes from the efforts of its members. Volunteer commitments include both fundraising (including casino) and participation. This could range from working on the hill during a competition to organization of our year-end party. Volunteering is the best way to meet the other families in Southern and is a condition of registration.
7. Over the year, what other expenses might come up?
You will need high-quality ski equipment, which coaches will help you select during special Equipment Nights arranged at Calgary ski shops. If you enter freestyle ski competitions, there will be travel costs, lift ticket costs and competition fees. In addition to our on-snow program all other training opportunities will be extra (ie. dryland, trampoline, airbag, summer glacier camp...)
8. Are Ski Passes included in Fees?
No, ski passes are not included in the club fees and are the responsibility of the family to purchase. A Sunshine Village seasons pass is recommended as well as a COP seasons pass (if participating in mid-week training).
9. Is there car-pooling available?
Car pooling is encouraged. At Registration, you give us permission to distribute contact information to club members only. As the season progresses, members begin to call each other and coordinate rides.
10. Who coaches the kids?
All our coaches are certified by NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) with Freestyle Certified Levels I, II, III and IV. Many are former National and International competitors and current Pro-Riders. Refer to our "Meet the Coaches Page"
11. What is your safety policy?
SAFSC views safety as a top priority and has a strict policy on zero tolerance for illegal substances and improper behavior. All athletes must sign a Code of Conduct form with their parents.
12. How do skiers learn to do inversions (flip) safely?
Before any athlete is allowed to flip (do inverted maneuvers or go upside down) on snow, they must first learn how to safely flip on a trampoline, as well as train and qualify those maneuvers at the airbag/water ramp during the summer. Following qualification on water or airbag, athletes must then qualify on snow before being permitted to use that trick in competition. The qualification process is carried out by certified coaches.
13. What is a Water Ramp? What is an Air Bag?
These facilities allow an athlete to learn safely how to flip into a pool of water or airbag. This is a progression form of training for athletes to practice their jumps in an environment where injury risk is lessened. Athletes take at least 15 days of water ramp or airbag training to qualify their jumps. From there, they must qualify jumps on snow under controlled environments with certified coaches. All jumps must be re-qualified each year. We primarily train on the airbag sight located at COP. Water ramp facilities are available in Red Deer, Grand Prairie, Whistler, and Quebec.
14. Do Southern athletes compete?
Absolutely - if they want to! They start with fun events known as club competitions with other clubs from around Alberta (Pincher Creek, Red Deer, Jasper, Edmonton, and Grande Prairie). These are fun events, with others within their same age group. Once athletes develop more skills and achieve qualifying results, they move on to Provincial competitions and Junior Nationals. Not all athletes choose to compete, and it is a decision made between athlete and coach.
15. How are athletes judged?
Mogul athletes are judged on the quality of their turns, the difficulty and execution of their two aerial manoeuvres, and their speed. Aerial and slopestyle athletes are judged on the difficulty of trick, execution (innovation, height, form, overall effect), and landing. Halfpipe athletes are judged based on the difficulty of their tricks and the amplitude at which they preform their run.
16. Where can I get more information?
Contact our Program Director: