The Freeriderz Experience
As an intermediate to advanced skill ski club, athletes come to us ready to take on the next challenge and the next step in their freestyle development. Our job is to get them ready for that - safely, successfully, while having fun. Our program is focused on developing athletes in three freestyle disciplines – slopestyle, big mountain and halfpipe.
We believe in promoting athleticism as well as injury prevention. This is accomplished not only on the snow, but also through dryland, trampoline and airbag training. Athletes are blended into smaller, individualized training groups.
To grow the passion for freestyle skiing in the lives of our athletes.
We have fun. We work hard. We get results.
We focus on developing our athletes to achieve the best of themselves and expect our athletes to commit equally to training and to developing the strength, agility and technique required to perfect their next trick or big mountain line.
We believe that passion is found not only in fun, of which we have tons, but also through accomplishment.
We expect commitment to personal goals, to fellow athletes as part of a team, and to the Calgary Freeriderz Freestyle Club as a performance athlete member. Attendance at all training sessions is required.
Community is important to us.
Parent involvement is encouraged and volunteers are required for many jobs.
Our coaches, athletes and parents are ambassadors not only for the Calgary Freeriderz but for the sport of freestyle skiing and youth sports at large.
The Calgary Freeriderz Freestyle Ski Club was formed in the summer of 2008 by a small group of five families who were unable to find a program that was the right fit for their quickly developing young athletes. With the right combination of planning and coaching, this group of parents designed a program to meet the growing need for high performance training. Our athletes have graduated to provincial and national level teams, many return to coach with the Freeriderz inspiring the next generation of athletes, while others continue to ride the mountain and enjoy the fun of skiing.
Program: A Snapshot
At the heart of our program is the commitment to enable our athletes to safely achieve their personal best while building a lifelong passion for skiing. We expect our athletes to commit equally to training and to developing the strength, agility and technique required to perfect their next trick or big mountain line. We believe that passion is found not only in fun, of which we have tons, but also through accomplishment.
Helmets are mandatory, mouth guards are strongly recommended and different skis may be required for different terrains and training. Athletes will only perform new tricks once they are fully trained and the coach and athlete feel comfortable in doing so.
TRAINING: AT A GLANCE
Fun and safety are essential to our program which includes using a progression approach to build and expand an athlete's freestyle ‘bag of tricks’. We follow Freestyle Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development Program which outlines a building block methodology to safely develop the skills of freestyle athletes.
We start our season in the summer and fall with airbag, water ramp, trampoline and dry land training, which are integral elements of our program. Preseason training allows athletes to build strength and to feel comfortable in the air performing their tricks before they take on snow.
During the winter season, we transition to three scheduled club days per week: Saturday’s at our home mountain Lake Louise where our athletes train on some of the most spectacular terrain in North America and two mid-week evening sessions at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Our regular ski days are complemented by extra training sessions which may include time on an airbag to prepare athletes for competitions.
Twice a year we offer optional week-long training opportunities led by our coaching team. Accompanied with goal-setting and video review our coaching team challenge athletes to achieve their next level of skills:
- Our summer training camp is held in early July at a summer freestyle location; here athletes master new skills to prepare themselves for the upcoming season and participate in fun team-building activities. It has been held at Park City, Utah and Whistler, British Columbia in recent years.
- Our winter training camp is held in November at an early season freestyle location; here athletes benefit from early on-snow training ahead of the competition season complemented with team-building activities and yoga. It has been held at Mount. Sima, Yukon in recent years.
COMPETITION: CLUB LEVEL TO NATIONAL EVENTS FREESTYLE EVENTS
As athlete’s progress in their skill development, so do the level of competitions to challenge themselves against their peers. Club level events occur within Alberta and are the starting point for every freestyle athlete. From there athletes can progress to Provincial level then National events. Our coaches will work with athletes over the season to determine which competitions they are most suited to attend. Our club also hosts the Calgary Freeriderz Challenge in February at Lake Louise each year.
COMPETITION: JUNIOR BIG MOUNTAIN FREERIDE EVENTS
Certain of our athlete's compete in IFSA sanctioned Junior Freeride events throughout the winter. We offer training both for freestyle focused athletes who may just compete in a single event to competitive big mountain focused athletes that compete in multiple events through the winter. All of our athletes receive the benefit of crossover training in all disciplines regardless.
The Coaching Team
The Calgary Freeriderz coaches come to us with incredible talent and experience. Their backgrounds are as diverse as their personalities making for a dynamic and super interesting crew. Often like big kids themselves, our coaches can really ‘connect’ with our athletes, which can make the training often more fun than hard. It is amazing what you can learn when you are having fun.
Our passionate and knowledgeable coaching staff (many are former Freeriderz athletes themselves) are experts in the all things freestyle skiing. Our intimate training program allows for one-on-one coaching with every athlete, personalized training plans based on the unique goals of each of our athletes, and .
The coaching staff work to ensure a safe, fun and inclusive training environment for everyone, allowing our athletes to realize their full potential.
“Coach Dave” is our Head Coach bringing a wealth of experience to our program and athletes. Dave has his CFSA Competition Development for slope and pipe, air double qualifier status and is a TSM 2 turn coach. Taking podium in slope and pipe competitions himself, plus 15+ years of coaching experience, Dave brings his talent and passion for developing young athletes to their potential.
André has been riding since he was three years old and fell in love with the Rocky Mountains when he moved to Calgary in 2003. He joined the Calgary Freeriderz at age 16, after suffering multiple knee injuries that took him away from competing, his passion for coaching was stoked. André has spent the past 7 years developing himself as a coach to help our athletes reach for a podium spot! From skiing to mountain biking while pursuing a path in music, André is also passionate about Yoga, Backpacking, climbing and the study of sustainable living and farming.
Austin has been riding the slopes of COP and Lake Louise since he was 4 years old. He did not begin freeskiing until he was 16, when he started competing with the Calgary Freeriderz from 2011 until 2014. He has competed in a variety of disciplines from big air, to slopestyle, to big mountain events. Specializing in slopestyle, he travelled with the club all over North America from Ontario Nationals, to The Whistler North Face Park and Pipe Open Series, to The Aspen Freeskiing Open. He has 7+years of experience coaching along with an impressive resume of courses, having completed his Club Coach, Air 1 through 3 and is planning on taking Park and Pipe, Air 4 and Doubles courses this season. Other interests include cinematography, hip-hop music, mountain biking and all things to do with extreme sports.
Kyler has been a part of Calgary Freeriderz most of his skiing career, both as athlete and now coach. As well as big mountain he competed in slopestyle, big air and moguls throughout his career. Today, Kyler shares his passion for skiing as our big mountain specialist while still competing in big mountain competitions when time allows. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Health and Physical Education specializing in Physical Literacy, Kyler leverages this training with his past experience as a ski patrol to help athletes understand the science of snow and smart about avalanche aware,ness. He enjoys all sports and keeps busy in the summer with sports like beach volleyball, golf and mountain biking. He loves to have a good time out on the mountain and shares his passion of skiing with the kids, especially when they are out on a pow day!
Matt or "Matty C" as the athletes know him, is the newest addition to our coaching team. Matt trained with the Calgary Freeriderz since 2011, and has returned to coach! Matt competed with Freeriderz for three years as a competitive big air and slopestyle freestyler. He's been skiing since the day he could walk and loves every second of it! Matt was born and raised on a farm west of Calgary and has been riding horses for as long as he's been on skis. Matt is totally into any sport that will give an adrenaline rush! Football and rugby were his other sports of choice during high school. Matt is now studying automotive service technology at SAIT and lives by his motto …GO BIG or GO HOME!
Colin has been riding the slopes since he was 3 years old, and has been with the Calgary Freeriderz since day one. He was one of the original six athletes who started with the club back in 2008. He has been skiing since he could walk and has competed in big air, slopestyle, big mountain and moguls as a member of the Freeriderz. Colin has many interests other than skiing, such as skateboarding, biking, and playing guitar. He is also a seasoned traveller, having visited Australia for 6 months in the first half of 2015. Currently, Colin is completing his bachelors of business administration at Mount Royal University. We are stoked to have him!