Competing in Aerials
For many people the first taste of aerials happens at the dry ski slopes and indoor snow centres across the UK. Many have jumps and ramps and these can be used in open sessions. The next step is jumping onto an airbag. There are airbag sessions at several slopes where you can get a taste of big-air and aerials and even try your first somersaults. You can find more information on the closest slopes to you on the Snowsport England and Snowsport Scotland websites.
See our airbags page.
Another option is going to a water-ramp. Sadly there isn’t one in the UK at the moment but there are suitable ramps in Holland, Czech Republic, France, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. See our water-ramp guide
To take part in any level of competition you will need to be registered in advance with the Home Nation Governing Body for the region where you live. You should also make sure you are covered by insurance for freestyle training and competition which may be excluded from normal ski policies.
In order to compete in inverted aerials, you must first gain a “Qualification” for the manoeuvre you wish to perform. Qualifying your manoeuvre will prove that you are deemed safe to attempt that trick on snow at any aerial event, either in training or competition.
Qualifications are usually held on a water ramp where a qualified coach will assess your ability over a period of time, to perform the trick repeatedly and most importantly safely. The coach should provide you with written confirmation of your achievement. Currently GBR automatically approves qualifications provided by the Swiss, American and Canadian Freestyle Ski Teams.
The International competition circuit is made up of independent events for various disciplines held in ski resorts across the world. There are established World Cup and Continental Cup series run by the FIS (International Ski Federation). The Continental Cup consists mostly of Europa Cup and North American (NorAm) Cup Series although there are Asia-Pacific events too. European Open and many more National Championship events are often open to competitors from any nation in limited numbers. Junior athletes may also have access to International Youth Events or the Junior World Ski Championships. Take a look at our competition calendar to see the full list.
FIS is the governing body for skiing, and snowboarding competitions. To compete in FIS competitions you must have a FIS Licence, which is issued by Team BSS and become a member of your Home Nation. To move to the international stage you need to be performing to a very high level at national competitions. An international licence gives access to Open and then European events. Entries to Europa Cup and NorAm events are made by BSS, rather than the individual and World Cup events, World Ski Championships have entry restrictions and are usually for British Team members only (FIS).