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Slopestyle is a type of winter sporting event where the goal is to perform the most difficult tricks while getting the highest amplitude off of jumps, with an emphasis on performing different types of tricks instead of doing one great trick repeatedly. It originated as a snowboarding competition format, but there are now many sports that are considered to have this style of competition, of which skiing and snowboarding are two of the most common.
Over the years that slopestyle has been around, the tricks have evolved drastically. When riding and skiing slopestyle, snowboarders/skiers’ tricks mainly fall into 4 categories: spins, grabs, jibs, and flips. The biggest spin ever done in a competition for skiing (a Big Jump competition) is a switch 1800, which is 5 rotations with a backwards take-off, done by Torin Yater-Wallace. In snowboarding the biggest trick ever is a triple cork 1440 by Torstein Horgmo. In a grab, the snowboarder or skier grabs his or her board or skis. Grab tricks differ depending on where the boarder or skier grabs their board or ski, and where their board or ski is when they grab it (arms crossed, on the nose, the tail, underneath them, behind them, in front of them, etc.). Grinds are when a boarder or skier slides on a rail. For skiers, the list of spin ins and spin outs of rails is endless and there are many parts of the skis to slide on to be called different tricks. For snowboarders however, there isn’t too much variation when it comes to grinding, but many snowboarders grinds are simply done by jumping onto and off of rails. The last major trick variation is a flip. Flips range from just being front or back-flips, to something that’s called a rodeo and or “corked” spin. Rodeo's combine either front or back flips with spins as well from as much as 180° backside or frontside. Corked spins are off axis spins where the boarder or skier is spinning with their board or skis perpendicular to the ground in an off axis degree. Another trick is a misty flip, which is an off-axis front flip combined with a spin. There are also Rodeo Flips, which are off-axis backflips, combined with a spin. There are basically infinite combinations of these tricks & spins, and grabs.
Slopestyle skis are slightly different than downhill skis. Just like downhill skis, slopestyle skis, or “freestyle skis,” are continuously evolving and getting better. The freestyle skis that skiers use for slopestyle are shaped similarly to downhill skis, except they bend up in the back, as well as the front, commonly referred to by slope stylists as "twin tips". This allows the skier to ski or land backwards without having to worry about their tips getting stuck in the snow. Freestyle skis are also shaped differently than regular downhill skis being straighter with little "sidecut" or less waist than an all mountain carve ski. Also, where the skier mounts their binding (the part that attaches the boot to the ski) is in a different place for slopestyle skiing. If you divide up the ski into thirds, downhill skiers usually mount their binding between the second and last third, towards the back of the ski. Slopestyle skiers mount their bindings more towards the center of the ski. This allows the skier to maneuver more easily in the air and on rails.
Slopestyle snowboarding/skiing is performed on specially made trails at ski mountains. These trails, called “Terrain Parks” or "Jib Parks", are filled with various types of jumps and other obstacles. The goal of the snowboarder/skier is to use all of these to his advantage while riding down. One obstacle that can be found on most terrain parks is the jump, or “kicker.” Jumps on a slopestyle course can be as big or small as needed, but most range from 20 to 80 feet long. This measurement is taken from the end of the face of the jump all the way to the tip of the landing. Another common obstacle in a terrain park is a rail or "jib". Rails come in all shapes and sizes, from long straight ones to rainbow shaped ones. Rails must be cared for extensively, as they must be waxed so that the skier/snow boarder does not "catch a lip" when they land on the rail. The snowboarder/skier tries to perform tricks onto or off of the rail in combination with sliding the whole length of the rail. Similar to a rail is a feature called a box. Just as it sounds, a box is literally a wooden or metal box placed on the mountain where its top is covered with a slippery material. This allows snowboarders/skiers to ride onto the box and slide the length of it back onto the snow. Although these are the most popular features at a terrain park, depending on where you are you may find other things such as busses buried in the snow, or barrels stuck in the snow, or even naturally made obstacles like small cliffs, as well as rails called "joy sticks", where a sphere is mounted on top of a pole. The goal of this rail is to hit it with the tips of your skis or poles while clearing it. Also, there are "table tops", where the rail is seen as a wide box rail or a "picnic table". This feature usually has a wide base and a thinner box rail on both sides. Trees are also used as rails, as well as mail boxes, which, as their name says, are shaped as mail boxes. There are also wall rides, with near vertical walls that riders go up on and spin on.
Riders and competitions 
One of the most popular Slopestyle competitions is the Winter X Games. There are also other different competitions held all over the world for slopestyle snowboarding/skiing. The first Winter X Games took place at Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, California in 1997. Since 2002 the Winter X Games have been held at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado, and according to ESPN they will continue to be held there through 2012. At these competitions, snowboarders/skiers compete for medals and as is the case of the X Games, cash prizes. The riders usually get more than one try to impress the judges. In order to be given a high score, riders must maneuver the course without falling and while performing the most difficult variety of tricks.
Created in 1997, Slopestyle www.slopestyle.tv is the skiing and snowboarding mountain lifestyle TV series featuring everyday riders, sponsored pros and lessons from instructors. Every episode travels to a new destination and push the limits of powder and park riding while exploring the history of the region, culture and night life. Meet the pros and ride with the locals at some of the top resorts in Canada. Slopestyle was shot in Canada at Whistler-Blackcomb, Apex Resort, Mt. Seymour, Kicking Horse and Mt. Washington and has aired around the world.
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