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discover freeride skiing with Decathlon

Discover freeride skiing

Do you want to powder ski and make your own mark? Are you wondering how to start and what equipment to get?
This advice is for you!

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Freeride skiing is a discipline that is the dream of many skiing and mountain enthusiasts: large spaces, powder snow, feelings of freedom, making your own mark, etc. A sport as technical as it is fun, freeride skiing requires you to have the right equipment and know the essential safety rules associated with an unmarked playground.

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What is freeride skiing?

Freeride "skiing" means skiing outside the marked out areas, whether it is next to the pistes or further along the mountain, on virgin slopes.

Freeride skiing became a real skiing discipline in the middle of the 90s, with the arrival of international competitions and the spread of films dedicated to descents in powder snow. It is practised everywhere that the mountain allows: in the forest between 2 pistes, under a chairlift line accessible from the pistes, or further in the valleys and on the virgin slopes. Although the aim is to ski on fresh powder snow, the snow conditions are variable and are not always optimal: it may be slightly crusty on the surface and powdery underneath, or sometimes choppy and relatively hard with various streaks. You must be able to choose the right time to get the optimal conditions, which isn't always obvious!

To sum up, freeride skiing is practised on natural ground on unprepared snow. What drives Freeriders? Exploring new playgrounds completely freely. The Freerider is always in search of thrills and the far too rare joy of making the first marks on a powder snow slope. This sport requires specific equipment ensuring the skier's safety.

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Discover freeride skiing

How do you prepare for your freeride skiing outing?

The basic rule with freeride is to practise completely safely to be able to make the most of it and really have a great time!

Form a group for your outing.
It's the essential rule in the mountains; never be alone. Form a group of 2 to 6 people maximum. To discover skiing off-piste, we advise that you are accompanied by a guide or a mountain professional who will be able to advise you on the routes and safety.

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Discover freeride skiing

Get information on the snow and weather conditions.

It's essential when you are preparing your outing to choose a day when the conditions are optimal: a minimum avalanche risk, good weather, little or no wind. If there is any doubt, postpone your outing to another day, or to your next stay, even if it sometime requires being very patient.
Wondering how to get info on the local weather? To do this you simply get information from the professionals and "locals": ski patrollers, managers of ski resorts, etc. Also be aware of the displays in ski resorts, of the avalanche risk assessment report available online and of the pictograms which now replace the flags.

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Discover freeride skiing

Choose a route suited to your level and abilities

Don't overestimate yourself.Starting freeride skiing already requires a very good skiing level on the pistes. Start with routes at your level and accompanied by a professional or an expert-level freeride skier who will be there for you to give the right technical advice. Also, more and more ski resorts are putting in place marked and safe freeride routes. Get information from your favourite ski resorts.

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Discover freeride skiing

Freeride skiing, is it a sport for me?

Freeride skiing is a sport in which freedom and big thrills combine to the utmost delight of skiers.
Do you have a very good skiing level, are you sporty, do you want to surpass yourself and discover new thrills? Do you love the mountain, have you already practised skiing on ungroomed trails and do you dream of making your own mark on a virgin slope?

Then YES, freeride skiing is made for you!

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The equipment required to practise freeride skiing

  • Discover freeride skiing

    The skis

    Freeride skis are quite wide at the waist, between 95 and 115 mm, to ensure good load bearing in powder snow, and some are equipped with a rocker on the front end (and/or rear), for better manoeuvrability.

  • Discover freeride skiing

    Ski boots

    Freeride ski boots are an important element of your ski equipment for off-piste practice. They must adapt to different kinds of snow (powder for example), be comfortable and have a flex suited to your level.

  • THE EQUIPMENT REQUIRED TO PRACTISE FREERIDE SKIING

    A freeride skiing jacket and trousers

    It is important to choose a ski outfit suited to the practising of off-piste skiing:  a looser cut for good freedom of movement, waterproofing and airtightness to stay dry despite the snow, fabric resistance and thermoregulation, so you aren't too hot during the exertion.

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  • Discover freeride skiing

    Helmets and goggles

    Off-piste, you are moving through a natural environment which may prove hostile (ice, branches, rocks) and the slightest impact has serious consequences. The main good reason to wear a ski helmet is, therefore, to protect your head during an accident.
    The googles are an essential element for your safety when freeride skiing: not only do they protect your eyes from the sun and the glare from the snow, they also allow you to better read the ground movements.

  • Discover freeride skiing

    The poles

    In order to best adapt to this practice which often requires an approaching walk, the poles may be telescopic, to best adjust their height when climbing and descending. It is important to have a wide basket so you don't sink into the snow.

  • Discover freeride skiing

    The backpack

    It is the least you should bring in any case. The backpack lets you carry your safety equipment, but also water, a snack, a first aid kit, possibly spare gloves, etc. A shovel and probe may save the life of a potential avalanche victim that you can, as such, free from the snow which may have buried them. Once again, we encourage you to train yourself in the use of the safety equipment within specialised bodies.

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Discover freeride skiing

The shovel-probe-avalanche transceiver trio

The avalanche transceiver is a device for detecting avalanche victims which has a transmit mode and a receive mode for radio waves. It ensures your safety as well as the safety of those who are accompanying you.

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Freerando?

Freeride skiing isn't only synonymous with descents. It is common to have to carry out an approaching walk on skis or on foot letting you reach the start of the route with wider skis. Also called "backcountry" skiing, Freerando has revolutionised the freeride skiing market and that of ski touring.
Now skiers look for equipment that is light for the climb and sturdy for the descent and take advantage of the wonderful snowy surfaces.

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Discover freeride skiing

Coraline

Wedze communication team

Wintersports lover

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Check out our selection of tips

off-piste: safety above all teaser

Safety off-piste

Off-piste you must know the terrain, its risks and your abilities. Our tips for a completely safe and successful outing are right this way.