FIS announce acquisition of Freeride World Tour
December 8, 2022
The International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) is delighted to announce that it has acquired the Freeride World Tour (FWT) and that the two organizations will join forces already for the 2022-2023 season.
The FWT is the worldwide circuit of freeride snowboarding and skiing that features the best riders in the world competing on the most challenging alpine faces across iconic ski resorts.
By acquiring the FWT, FIS will further unite all the disciplines in skiing and snowboarding, giving them more strength and power to develop on the global stage.
FWT will continue to run the daily operations of the tour, remaining committed to their core values of safety, performance, responsibility, inclusivity and fun. FIS will focus on the marketing and governance of the FWT, and integrating FWT into the FIS structure that follows the guidelines of recognized FIS and Olympic sports.
The FWT currently includes more than 6,000 licensed athletes from the junior level to the elite Freeride World Tour competitions. On average, five top-level events take place each season with another 200 development events.
“Integrating FWT will see FIS add one of the most exciting, dynamic winter sports competition formats to its portfolio,” said Johan Eliasch. “This is truly a win-win for all parties as FIS can bring massive growth potential to the FWT providing the chance to develop on a broader stage. FWT brings a highly professional tour that offers breathtaking action and an entirely new element of skiing and snowboarding to FIS.”
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with FIS,” said Nicolas Hale-Woods, FWT founder. “For our freeride athletes and event organizers, being under the umbrella of the largest winter International Federation, recognized by the International Olympic Committee, will give them more access to support, increased visibility and additional resources that will ultimately allow the FWT and all of its stakeholders to grow.”
“We are excited to welcome all the freeride athletes to the FIS family,” said FIS Council Member Dean Gosper. “We look forward to working with the entire FWT to ensure the development of the sport on a global scale as FIS has done with so many of the youth- oriented events of snowboard, freestyle and freeski,” said Dean Gosper. who has been appointed Executive Chairman of FWT and will work closely together with Hale-Woods.
Freeriding has experienced massive growth during the last few years. The elite-level Freeride World Tour has three development tiers, Challenger, Qualifier and Junior, allowing athletes to hone their skills and work their way up to the top level. The organization also cooperates with ski schools to share the sport with riders of all ages.
Based in Verbier (SUI), the FWT was established in 1996 with start of the Xtreme Verbier events and has since grown to include a full circuit with competitions in Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.