Ski slopestyle made its Olympic debut in 2014
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. The discipline has its roots in action sports like skateboarding and BMX biking and has very successfully crossed over into the snow sports worlds of skiing and snowboard.
Slopestyle is one of the most accessible snow sports, as virtually every ski resort has a terrain park where aspiring athletes can learn to jump, slide and jib.
Already an X Games and Dew Tour favorite, the Olympic Games will become the jewel in the crown of this burgeoning sport that has seen its tricks evolve year after year.
Slopestyle tricks fall mainly into four categories: spins, grinds, grabs and flips.
In addition to the core discipline of slopestyle, athletes participate in halfpipe and big air.
In competition athletes are judged on:
Amplitude: How much air athletes get off the jumps
DD: The degree of difficulty of the tricks they perform
Execution: How well the athletes perform their tricks
Overall: The whole package, including the athlete’s personal style. It includes the grabs and positions athletes add to the tricks to make them their own.
Slopestyle has a language all its own with new names for tricks and features evolving every season. Here are a few terms to get you started:
Switch : Taking off or landing a a jump backwards.
Leftside/Rightside: The direction in which athletes spin
Switchup: After locking on to a rail, hoping off a rail, rotating and landing back on the rail
Locking on: An athlete has placed themselves on a rail with strong balance and control
Rodeo: Backwards initiated off-axis flip
Grab: Any part of the ski or binding that is grabbed by the hand — there are Tail, Mute, Japan and Toxic grabs in addition to a whole mess of others, all which add flavor to the tricks
Corked: Describes any kind of spin or flip that is performed between the vertical and horizontal axes (either upright or inverted). 540, 720, 900, 1080: 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 spins, respectively.