Team Palisades Tahoe is pleased to announce that 4 freeride athletes have been invited to compete in the Yeti Freeride Junior World Championships in Kappl, Austria in late January 2024! Based on their IFSA standings from last season, Indy Boyer, Mia Jones, Curran Hall, and Sam Briggs will compete alongside the best up-and-coming junior athletes from around the world.
How Points Are Earned at the FJWC
In order to hold the title of Junior Freeride World Champion, competitors are evaluated by a panel of seasoned freeride judges and scored across five main criteria: fluidity, control, line choice, technique, as well as air and style. Before the competition, athletes are allowed a visual inspection of the course only—no physical ride through or practice lines are allowed. The course is complete with a starting and finishing gate, but no further work is done to prepare the mountain. It is up to the competitors to pick their line and what features on the mountain they choose to face.
What a Week of Training is Like
The top athletes train 5 days a week on snow here at Palisades Tahoe. They also have at least 2 days in the gym working on strength and agility, and 1 day at Woodward practicing aerial maneuvers and tricks. The first month of teams, athletes typically work on drills to help fine tune solid technique. Besides actual skiing and riding, the athletes practice visual inspection of terrain at every chance they get to be ready for the competition.
What This Means to the Athletes
“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to go back to Junior Worlds for a second time. This event is truly special not only because it is the highest level of riding where every run is absolutely jaw dropping, but because of the incredible community of people who all come together for this one event. Especially as a female snowboarder, it is really inspiring to be surrounded by so many skilled riders from around the world. I can not wait to see how this year turns out.”
“This is my second year in a row going to the FJWC and it means even more this time, this will be my last junior competition after a 6-year-long career of comps. In a way, this is an end of an era and it would mean so much to me to end it with a win. I’ve been training hard this winter on what snow we have, and even harder off the slopes. I’m very excited for another amazing event to be put on this year!”
“This will be my very first experience at the Freeride Junior World Championships in Austria and I can’t describe how surreal this whole experience has been for me. I am beyond stoked to have this opportunity of a lifetime and be able to do my favorite thing in the world with people who share the same passion as me. This will be an incredible experience and I can’t wait to see where it will take me in my future.”
“For me getting to free ride and just snowboard in general is my life; it’s one of the ways I get to express how I’m feeling and live in the moment; it’s amazing to me. Austria is something that excites me to the fullest, getting the opportunity to experience adventures like this is amazing; I get to have fun and strengthen my mind and wisdom while at it. Again I’m stoked to be in the Freeride Junior World Championships and do a sick line for all my boys in Tahoe.”
What this Means for Palisades Tahoe on an International Scale
Palisades Tahoe has had the honor of sending athletes every year our region has been invited to the Freeride Junior World Championships. There is immense pride for the training program that the coaching staff has put together, from Mighty Mites and Mighty Riders all the way up to the most competitive programs. When competing these athletes not only represent Palisades Tahoe, but also the USA!