All registered athletes with Freestyle Whistler are required to go through the Freestyle Canada pathway when learning to flip, either on-axis or off-axis. The process was designed with athlete safety in mind.
All athletes begin learning new skills on trampoline. Trampolines allow coaches and athletes to use progressions and safety tools (safety mats, harnesses) to build good mechanics to be successful on snow. All Freestyle Whistler coaches are certified to coach all single flipping trampoline skills.
For trampoline training, we use Whistler Gymnastics, Water Ramps at Blackcomb Base 2, and Airhouse in Squamish. Freestyle Whistler offers trampoline training year-round.
Once an athlete has shown proficiency on trampoline, they are able to begin learning the skill on either water or airbag. During the summer months, we offer many water ramp camps. During the winter, we use our 50′ x 50′ Airbag located in the Gemini Freestyle Center on Blackcomb.
Athletes new to flipping on skis generally start by learning front flip or back flip. Once they have learnt this they can move on to more technical on-axis or off-axis maneuvers.
In order to be able to perform the skills on snow, all athletes in Freestyle Whistler must “Qualify” the trick. The qualification process only begins when the coach and athlete are both comfortable and feel the trick will be executed safely on snow.
The Qualification Process is as follows:
- Athletes are to perform 5 of the same skill on either water ramps or airbag.
- The coach is not allowed to provide any coaching feedback during this process.
- The coach will direct the athlete to execute the trick from different starting locations. This is for athletes to show good control when performing the skill at varying speeds.
- Each jump is scored out of 100. For each jump, the athlete must achieve 75% or higher to pass the qualification process.
- If they fail, they are not permitted to retake the same day.
- The coach will provide a copy of the qualification form to the athlete/parents after each qualification attempt.