16 February 2024
Post originally written in: Deutsch Information An automatic machine translation. Super fast and almost perfect.

There is a very lively freeride scene in Innsbruck. The Freeride Academy Innsbruck, which I am introducing to you today, makes a significant contribution to this.

What is the Freeride Academy Innsbruck?

The Freeride Academy Innsbruck is the first non-profit freeride association for skiing and snowboarding in Austria. The aim of the association is to awaken enthusiasm for the sport of freeriding and to teach the skills needed to practise it as safely as possible. The focus is on youth work, mainly in popular sports, but also to a small extent in top-class sport. Young adults and parents are also very welcome.

The association was founded in 2022 by Flo Orley. After the former freeride pro had been on the mountain a few times with his nephew and some of his friends, the idea was born to set up an association and offer several children this opportunity. As a club is a lot of work, Flo got his good friend Christoph Schöfegger on board. After the first season, 45 children were already members of the club. Since Christoph's tragic death on 29 January 2023, the number has almost doubled to 75 children in the second season. The club now has over 200 members in total.

No club without a team

At the heart of the Freeride Academy is a team that currently consists of 13 coaches and is made up of active and former competitive athletes, certified ski guides, state-certified ski instructors, experienced regional instructors and experienced freeride instructors. Despite the different backgrounds and training of the coaches, they all share a deep enthusiasm for this sport.

Learning away from the slopes

During the group coaching sessions, the coaches take groups of up to eight children aged between ten and 18 out into the open terrain and train them in everything from the basics of freeriding to top athletic performance.
In addition to working with children, the Academy also offers freeride guiding sessions where young adults and parents can treat themselves to a day in the fresh powder snow.

Safety first

Safety comes first at the Freeride Academy Innsbruck. The team therefore places great importance on teaching avalanche awareness, risk management and first aid measures. Participants in the coaching sessions learn how to move safely in alpine terrain and, if necessary, how to react to unforeseen situations or how best to avoid them.

Innsbruck's first freeride city championships

The first edition of the Innsbruck Freeride Open is an event that you should put in your diary right away. Open to all ages and board sports, this event is the ideal introduction to contest riding. You can demonstrate your skills and win the title of Innsbruck Freeride City Champion for the first time.
The Freeride Open will be held on 24/25 February 2024 (depending on the weather) in Kühtai. The award ceremony and subsequent afterparty will take place at the Bogenlokal Plateau in Innsbruck.
Registration and further information can be found here.

Powder fun on the big screen

Another event highlight in Innsbruck's freeride scene is the Freeride Nights. At these cozy get-togethers at Café Moustache, you can look forward to a variety of film productions from the community. Riders, filmmakers and the community have a place away from the mountains to network and show their work.

The films will be shown on four Freeride Nights, three of which have already taken place this year, with the last date on March 5, 2024 still to come. On each evening, the community will be able to choose the three winning films, which will compete for a place in the Freeride Filmbase at the grand finale on April 13, 2024 at the Bäckerei, whose films will be shown at the Metropol Kino Innsbruck. There are also cool prizes for the community to win again this year, which is yet another reason to take part in this event.

You can find more information here or on the official Facebook page.

Plans for the future

The Freeride Academy sees itself as part of the mission to train responsible freeriders and thus minimize the number of avalanche deaths in Tyrol and beyond. The approach of starting with children also spills over to parents. The aim of teaching values is to get children moving and bring them closer to nature as a sporting playground. The Academy aims to promote top sporting performance in order to support top athletes as well as possible and to promote freeriding in Innsbruck as an up-and-coming sport that will become an Olympic sport in 2030.

All in all, the Freeride Academy Innsbruck offers the perfect combination of professional training, time in the fresh air and a lively community. Whether beginner or advanced, anyone who wants to improve their freeride skills is in good hands at the Freeride Academy Innsbruck.

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