Freeride World Tour Cancels Events in Canada and Japan

It comes as no great surprise given international travel restrictions. The organisers say they will re-schedule the events to Europe, but question marks remain over whether the FWT will take place at all.

With international travel becoming increasingly difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FWT and local organisations have decided to cancel the 2021 events in Hakuba, Japan, and Kicking Horse/Golden in Canada.

They  were due to take place on January 12th – 15th 2021 and February 8th – 13th 2021 respectively.

“This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of the athletes, staff, partners, fans and local organisers,” said the FWT.

“FWT organisers are actively working in conjunction with local authorities to make sure each competition is compliant with current regulations.

FWT 2020 in Hakuba - @freerideworldtour/©JBERNARD

FWT 2020 in Hakuba – @freerideworldtour/©JBERNARD

The FWT is already in discussion with various European resorts to replace these cancelled events.

However with France, Italy and Austria already closing its resorts and with Covid-19 cases rising sharply & predicted to get much worse this winter, some observers question whether the tour will happen at all.

If they do then crowds will have to behave differently, if they are even allowed.

Spectators at the Verbier Xtreme

Spectators at the Verbier Xtreme. Photo credit – PlanetSKI

Here at PlanetSKI we are keeping our fingers crossed.

“Minimising travel between competitions will limit the risk and make it easier to comply with international travel restrictions. Based on the information at hand, there will be no changes to the last three stops, with the new calendar to be finalised in the upcoming weeks,” the FWT added.

  • ORDINO/ARCALÍS, ANDORRA – February 22-27
  • FIEBERBRUNN, AUSTRIA – March 6-12, 2021
  • VERBIER EXTREME, SWITZERLAND – March 20-28, 2021

“As Freeride World Tour’s No.1 priority is “Safety First”, now is the time to enjoy freeriding in your hometown or places close to you. Winter comes every year, and the spirit of freeriding will never die,” said  Yojiro Fukushima, Director of the Tourism Commission of Hakuba village.

“Though it is extremely disappointing that the 2021 Freeride World Tour event in Golden, BC at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is being cancelled, it is the right course of action. Thank you to the FWT and all stakeholders for trying to have it take place this year.  We are already excited to welcome the FWT back to Kicking Horse in 2022!  I wish everyone a safe, and hopefully powder filled winter,” added  Mike Rubinstein the  Area Manager of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

The 2022 calendar promises to be back to normal with five international stops alreay confirmed.

Until then the FWT says it is working hard on a new scenario for 2021.