Although the Northern Winter is slowly coming to an end, the Southern Hemisphere is already getting its first few dustings of snow and winter will arrive in full force very soon. This means that the eighth year of the North Face Free Ski Open of New Zealand in coming up. This premier Freeski event in the Southern Hemisphere has now been officially upgraded to an AFP Gold level event. Like the years in the past, this competition will attract some of the world’s best freeskiers to the Southern Lakes part of Wanaka, New Zealand between the 28th of August and the 4th of September.
The official organization of the AFP World Tour has been around for the past five years, determining the overall ranking of all freeski athletes according to their performance in each event. They do this by classifying the events as either Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum level, which fundamentally determines the weight of the event on the overall ranking of the athletes. The fact that the Freeski Open of New Zealand is now a Gold Level event – the second highest level – paired with the grand prize of $NZ42,000, shows that the world class event will most definitely attract some of the world’s best freestyle competitors this year.
Not only is the Free Ski Open of New Zealand a Gold Level event, but it is also the only event in the world that includes Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Mountain competitions all in the same event. The Halfpipe and Slopestyle portions are AFP Gold Level events and are to be held at Snow Park NZ, while the Big Mountain is a 3 Star Freeride World Tour Qualifying event and is to be held in a mystery location, somewhere outside of the Remarkables Alta Basin. In this part of the competition, competitors usually face challenging conditions, such as hidden rocks, deep snow, and some classic New Zealand storms.
Along with various other events, like Temple Basin Freeride, the Chill series, and Export Xtreme, New Zealand is going to have a fun-packed winter. With the abundance in FWQ events, it is clearly going to be a competitive season for skiers striving to qualify for the legendary Freeride World Tour and they shouldn’t miss out on this golden opportunity to gain points early on in the season!
For any extra information on the North Face Free Ski Open of new Zealand, check out their website at www.nzfreeskiopen.com.