Sugar Bowl Academy's Freeride Program is designed to provide passionate skiers with the confidence and ability to safely experience the thrills of challenging big mountain terrain, intimidating slope-style terrain features, and the sublime backcountry. An important focus of the SBA Freeride program is training for and competing in the North American Junior Freeskiing events sponsored by IFSA and local USSA slope-style contests.
The Sugar Bowl Freeride Team coaches skills in three aspects of skiing: all-mountain free skiing, backcountry and winter awareness, and slopestyle (park and pipe) skiing. Our coaching strategy in all three disciplines is to teach kids in a safe and fun environment and to teach a progression of skills.
Due to the multi-pronged focus of the SBA Freeride program, on-hill training focuses on three aspects of skiing: all-mountain free skiing, slope-style (park and pipe) skiing, and backcountry and winter awareness. With low coach to athlete rations, the daily on-snow focus is tailored the individual needs and goals of each student-athlete.
When focusing on big mountain skiing, Freeride coaches teach athletes the techniques and tactics to appropriately navigate variable terrain and snow conditions, how to evaluate lines and assess hazards, and ultimately, how to ski appropriate lines and jumps within the limits of the mountain environment and each athlete's ability level. On slope-style terrain, athletes focus on fundamental jumps and spins before moving on to harder off-axis aerial moves. In the backcountry, Freeride coaches teach athletes how to use backcountry rescue gear including avalanche beacons, shovels, and probes, recognize potential hazards, and make appropriate decisions regarding when to ski out of bounds with their coaches and guides.
SBA Freeriders prepare for the winter competition season by attending a summer water ramps camp at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City where athletes focus on air awareness, body control, take offs, and landings. Athletes receive additional air awareness and body control training at Starz gym in Reno once a week during the fall and winter where they attempt new tricks on trampolines prior to trying them on snow. The Freeride team travels with the alpine racers to Colorado in early November where they focus on solid alpine skiing technique before moving onto more the more challenging conditions of winters in the Sierra Nevada.
SBA's Freeride Training Facilities Include: