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Your guide to Slopestyle

Freeride Days is on now at Big White, and that means the return of the Big White Invitational Slopestyle event.

Wondering what slopestyle mountain biking is? Here’s a quick guide:

Like many action sports, Slopestyle Mountain Biking was influence by skateboarding and snowboarding. A lot of the trick names and terms like switch, cab, oppo, fakie, pop, nollie, amplitude, line, and corked all come from skateboarding. Early BMX and skateboarding contests used these names, but it wasn’t until the rapid growth of snowboarding in the 1990s that the term slopestyle began being used to describe a type of contest. 

In the ’90s, snowboarding exploded onto the scene with its blend of skate style and tricks. While skiers were busy doing twister-twister-spreads off narrow jumps in the moguls, snowboarders built downhill skate parks. Within a couple years, these gravity-fed jump parks were adopted by mountain bikers and began to completely change the landscape and mentality of bike riding.

In slopestyle contests, riders’ bike down a specially designed jump track meant to showcase their abilities. Downhill courses combine traditional dirt jump features as well as some borrowed from snowboard slopestyle courses, such as table top jumps, hip jumps, etc.

Judges score riders on aspects such as: difficulty of line, control, fluidity, jumps, and technique. Riders are given two runs, and their best score counts. If weather causes issues, sometimes the first run will be taken as the only counting run.

Knowing what makes one run better than another can be difficult as a spectator. Tricks like backflips and tailwhips are easy to understand and usually get a big reaction from the crowd, but they score relatively low as they are not very complicated. The more technical tricks happen so fast that you may not be able to tell what the rider actually did. The most advanced riders will

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