Welcome To Freeride

IFSA 2017 logo

What Is The IFSA?

The International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) is the primary sanctioning, judging, and ranking organization for junior and adult big mountain Freeride events in North America.

We operate in partnership with the Freeride World Tour (FWT) and the resorts that host IFSA sanctioned events. The IFSA has built and unified a network of events that enable junior and adult athletes to earn points and compete and qualify in regional, national, and world series events. The IFSA represents the interests of athletes and allows them to have a voice in their sport. Your membership with IFSA supports our mission, our staff, and allows you to earn points for a ranking against riders in your division and earn recognition in the sport of Freeride. To learn more, visit our About Us section.

To compete in IFSA-sanctioned events, you must have an active IFSA membership. Memberships are offered for Juniors (under-18) and their Freeride Coaches as well as for Collegiate and Adult athletes.
To determine which IFSA membership type you need to compete this season, see the diagram below.

To view a schedule of the 2018 competitive season: CLICK HERE.

Freeride Map 6 1

IFSA Athlete Information
Adult Athlete FWQ Handbook
Adult Athlete Collegiate Handbook
Junior Athlete Handbook



I’m ready to purchase my IFSA membership.

Now what?

Both adult and junior athletes must purchase an IFSA Membership to compete in sanctioned events in North America. Once a member, you can sign up for events in your quest to rack up points and climb the Freeride rankings.

To what age division do I belong?

Athletes 18 years of age can compete in FWQ Adult/Collegiate Series events OR continue to compete in the Junior Series. However, once an athlete competes in an Adult FWQ event or turns 19 years of age, they will no longer be eligible to compete in junior events.

IFSA Junior Athletes are broken down into three divisions. 
12-14 year olds 
15-18 year olds

Athletes competing in junior events will compete in the age category that relates to their age as of December 31, 2017.
Athletes cannot trade up a division, even if their birthday is mid-season.
Athletes 11 years of age on or prior to December 31st are eligible only for the U12 category.
Athletes 12 years of age on or prior to December 31st are eligible only for the 12-14 age category.
Athletes 15 years or age or older on December 31st are eligible only for the 15-18 age category. 

Take a look at our IFSA Junior Regional Map below. Your region is determined by the location of the states where you will be competing most often. 

  • Eastern: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and New York
  • Rocky Mountain: Colorado and New Mexico
  • Intermountain: Idaho, Utah
  • Northern: Montana, Wyoming
  • Far West: California, Nevada
  • Pacific Northwest: Oregon, Washington, Alaska
  • Canada: Alberta/British Columbia

IFSA Geographic Regions

Juniors Should Join A Big Mountain Team Or Club

As a Junior competitor, joining a big mountain team or club will teach you how to safely participate in freeride, while providing you with invaluable mountain sense and skills. You will also benefit from learning alongside riders that will be competing at your level. Joining a Freeride team will also provide valuable insight about line choice and how to best set yourself up for success in Freeride.


If You Can’t Join A Team, Register As A JUNIOR IFSA Independent

If joining a team as a Junior isn't feasible or there isn’t one in your area, that’s OK; simply sign up as "IFSA Independent" when registering. We encourage independent athletes and parents to proactively seek information about freeride safety and judging protocol. This information will help athletes make sound line choices with safety as a priority in competition and practice.

Sign Up For JUNIOR Events In Your Region

Once you have an IFSA membership, you can begin earning points by competing in events. Athletes under 18 years of age will compete as Juniors, those older than 18 will compete in our Adult FWQ and Collegiate Series. Several 2* collegiate competitions will be held for adults or students enrolled as full-time college students.

Register for IFSA events through the The Driven platform. Information about registration times and links to The Driven Registration pages can be found on our event pages.
Your points and rankings will determine if you are extended a pre-qualified invitation to our Junior National Series. From Nationals, the top skiers will proceed to the North American Championships (NorAm Champs). The IFSA also provides a championship event specifically for our Under-12 athletes. Subscribe to our emails to hear updates about when and where our championships will take place.

NOTE: The demand for competitive IFSA junior events is incredibly high. Event registration often sells out on the same date that registration opens. We HIGHLY recommend subscribing to our emails and making note of the dates and times that registration opens to increase the liklihood that you gain entry to the events of your choice. Purchase your IFSA membership well before event registration opens and have your login information handy. For more information on registration for junior events, please click here.


If you are new to Freeride, you’ll need to earn points by competing in our 2* FWQ events to become ranked on our Seed List and earn invitations to our 4* FWQ events. We reserve spots for ranked athletes for each competition, once these athletes accept or decline, we open up the event to general registration. Earn points while competing, perform well, and your best 3 scores will determine your seed ranking. Top tier athletes will receive an invitation to compete in the Freeride World Tour events in Europe for a shot at becoming the Freeride World Tour Champion.

If You Are A Full-Time College Student…

If you are a full-time college student, you will compete in the same way that FWQ adults compete. As a collegiate competitor you can attend 2* and 4* events, rack up points towards your world ranking, and also qualify for the Freeride World Tour. The difference between a collegiate and adult FWQ competitor is that when points are earned, those points will also accumulate to your school's ranking. The university with the greatest points at the end of the season is crowned the Champion of the Collegiate Freeride Series. 
Check our listing of Collegiate Freeride teams.
If you would like to register your university with the IFSA to compete for the Collegiate Championship Title, please fill out this form.
View our Collegiate Series Guidelines: Click Here.

On Adult FWQ Rankings: What is the 52-Week Seed List?

The 52-week seed list is designed to maintain a high level of competition at 4* FWQ events as well as help us select appropriate athletes from hundreds of applications. The seed list ranks every athlete according to their top 3 finishes and is preserved for 52 weeks. We use this seeding list to give registration priority to competitiors who have accrued more points and experience. The more points a competitor has, the easier it is for them to attend 4* events. Freeride World Tour finishes earn the most points, followed by FWQ 4* events, followed by 3* events, followed by 2* events.

NOTE: In the 2017 season there was a high enough volume of ranked athletes to fill all IFSA 4* FWQ events in North America. If you are an unranked athlete, the liklihood of gaining entry into a 4* FWQ event is low. 

How Is My Competition Run Judged?

Points to determine your rankings are segmented by divisions (Snowboarding and Skiing), Age Groups (Adult & Collegiate, 15-18, 12-14, and Under-12), and Gender (Male and Female). By entering Freeride competitions, you earn points based on your performance. The type of event will also dictate the amount of points earned. Junior National events award more points than Junior Regional events. For adults, 4* events earn more points than 3* or 2* events.

IFSA wants to remind all our riders and athletes that the sport of Freeride is subjective. We strive to promote a fun and creative environment where athletes are comfortable pushing themselves safely and responsibly. We want to see athletes both having fun, skiing with soul, and most importantly, riding in control.

Our Expert Judges Score Your Performance On 5 Criteria

Line Choice: Higher scores are awarded to athletes choosing more difficult routes. Difficulty is determined by steepness, exposure, air, snow and course conditions.
Control: Competitors must remain in control at all times; loss in control will result in a lower score. Skillful recoveries will reduce penalties.
Fluidity: Constant direction towards a goal. This includes continuity, pace, and smooth transitions between sections of the course. Falling or stopping can have a negative impact ic
Technique: Competitors are judged on style and turn quality relating to big mountain freeriding.
Style & Energy: This encompasses the pace, energy and creativity with which a competitor attacks or descends his/her chosen line or route. Style focuses on freestyle execution of maneuvers.

Judges score rider between a 0-10 scale in each category. Each category score is added together to get the athlete’s total score for the run. To see more detailed information please visit our Athlete Handbook section.

The Main Focus of the IFSA is Safety and Fun in Freeride

We recommend the following gear list and toolkit for all of our junior and adult athletes to minimize risk and potential injury.

  • Helmet
  • Back protection/ body armor
  • Backpack with sturdy avalanche shovel and probe
  • Avalanche transceiver
  • Mouth guard

2018 IFSA North American Champions

  • Backcountry Access
  • IOA Insurance Services
  • SASS Global Travel
  • Strafe
  • Gear Dryer
  • Flyin Ryan Hawks
  • PromoShop
  • Teton Gravity Research
  • Freeride World Tour
  • WebEZ.net