Freestyle skiing began in 1930s, when Norwegian skiers began to make acrobatic movements during alpine and cross-country training. Later, non-competitive professional skiing exhibitions in the United States featured performances of what would later be called freestyle. Aerial skiing was developed in about 1950 by Olympic gold medalist Stein Eriksen.

Freestyle skiing began to develop further throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, when it was often known as "hot-dogging". The free-form sport had few rules and wasn't without danger. Freestyle skiing was organized in Canada in 1974 by John Johnston, Moguls has had full medal status in the Olympics since 1992 with Aerials acceptance into the Olympics in 1994. There are approximately 30 countries with active competitive programs. The International Ski Federation (FIS) recognised freestyle as a sport in 1979 and brought in new regulations regarding certification of athletes and jump techniques in an effort to curb the dangerous elements of the competitions. The first World Cup series was staged in 1980 and the first World Championships took place in 1986 in Tignes, France. Freestyle skiing was a demonstration event at the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988. Mogul skiing was added to the official programme of the Albertville Games in 1992, and aerial was added for the Lillehammer Games in 1994.

Now, there are two main branches of freestyle skiing: one encompassing the more traditional events of moguls and aerials, and a newer branch often called new school, comprising events such as halfpipe, big air, slopestyle, and skier-cross.

Freestyle skiing is an amazing and exciting discipline gaining in popularity. It consists of several events that broadens the scope of what skiing is all about.

Freestyle Skiing Freestyle Skiing

Events of Freestyle Skiing

The Aerial Event: The most famous and spectacular of the Freestyle skiing events. Amazing to watch, top competitors hit the jumps or kickers at speeds of 60+ kmph. fly up to 15.24 meters in the air performing triple back somersaults with four twists, landing on a steep landing hill, almost 90 %. For those, who think the Aerialists are nuts, is a common but popular misconception, the athletes must follow very specific training progressions that allow them to try out their tricks with relative safety. Water ramps and Trampolines (an artificial ski hill and jump with a water landing) are the training apparatus of choice. The athletes must pass strict skills tests before they are allowed to try their tricks on snow. In the aerial portion of freestyle skiing the competitions consist of two jumps. These are judged according to their execution with the resulting scores multiplied by a degree of difficulty.

The acro is a choreographed routine that is performed while skiing down a slope. It can consist of turns and spins and other acrobatic moves. The skiier is evaluated on the technical manoeuvres and artistic appreciation.

The Single Mogul Event : The core of the sport has speed, turns and air within it. The competition is held on a steep (about 26 degree) run. The scores in moguls are determined by the addition of points for speed, the technical execution and two compulsory upright jumps. The object of the exercise is for the athletes to ski down a steep (up to 32 degrees!) slope covered in moguls (bumps, which are sometimes as big as cars) as quickly and effortlessly as possible. And, as if that isn't difficult enough, in order to get full points from the judges, athletes must perform two different aerial maneuvers on the way down the hill off specially constructed launch pads. In 2003 new rules in moguls have changed the sport with the introduction of 'off axis' and inverted jumps and the removal of restrictions which will allow for increased variety of maneuvers in competition.

Big Air
An extension of aerials, this exciting development in jumping has brought back the free in freestyle. There are 2 forms of Aerials, Uprights and Inverted. Upright aerials are performed off jumps called floaters, twists, table tops, spins, quarter pipes, gaps and hits, "New school" and "Freeskiing" are terms used in referring to this format of aerials, Some of the maneuvers such as "rodeos' and "misty flips" are regarded as inverted so required that the maneuvers be qualified on a water ramp before being able to perform them in a competition. This is a great spectator sport.

Dual Moguls
This event consists of head-to-head knock-out rounds between competitors down the same circuit. This is when two competitors compete head to head on parallel mogul courses. The excitement and adrenaline push the competitors to their max, which can sometimes result in the greatest crashes and also the greatest bump skiing you will ever see.