Creation of the Pipeline
Founded in 2010, The North Face Park and Pipe Open Series (PPOS) is a freeskiing tour featuring slopestyle, halfpipe, big air, and rail jam skiing competitions with $55,000 in total prize value up for grabs. As one of the only open-format event series, amateurs have the opportunity to compete alongside top pros.
All four PPOS events are part of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) competition schedule. The PPOS will work in conjunction with AFP on competition judging with Steele Spence serving as head judge for the series. The Copper Mountain and Northstar California stops will both be International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned NORAM CUP events with athletes earning FIS points. Athlete registration for all three PPOS stops will open Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 10 a.m. MST.
PPOS is a grassroots pipeline for athletes hoping to develop their skills and eventually qualify for top-level competitions such as X Games, Grand Prix and the Olympics. In addition to providing an open competition opportunity for athletes, The North Face is also the charter sponsor of U.S. Freeskiing through 2018. Some of freeskiing’s top names have competed in The North Face PPOS series, including Gus Kenworthy, David Wise, Nick Goepper, Joss Christensen, Devin Logan, Roz Groenewoud and Maddie Bowman.
Skiing’s New Frontier
Slopestyle skiing takes place in a venue comprised of man-made features such as rails, boxes and jumps contained on a single slope. Halfpipe skiing takes place in a halfpipe similar to those used for halfpipe snowboarding. Skiers accelerate through the pipe to gain increased height jumping out of the halfpipe while simultaneously executing challenging grabs, spins, flips and other maneuvers. Skiers string together a series of aerials from the halfpipe in a single run. Judging is based on overall impression, including content, difficulty of run, style and use of park or pipe.
Slopestyle and halfpipe skiing will make their Olympic debut as official events at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. “The IOC’s decision to add slopestyle to the Olympics recognizes the millions of youth who are already participating in the sport in terrain parks around the world,” said USSA President and CEO Bill Marolt. “It will have a very positive impact on the sport including our U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing programs.”
USSA and FIS Relationship
The Copper Mountain and Northstar California stops will both be International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned NORAM CUP events with athletes earning FIS points.
Pre-Qualified Athletes and Athlete Age Requirements
Download 2013 PPOS PreQ List PDF
Pre-qualification is based off of the 2011/12 AFP end of year standings. The top 30 men in slopestyle, top 20 men in halfpipe, top 20 women in slopestyle, and top 20 women in halfpipe are pre-qualified.
Athletes must be 14 or older to compete as of December 31, 2012.