Sugar Bowl Academy's Freeride Program is designed to provide passionate skiers with the confidence and ability to safely experience and succeed at challenging big mountain competitions. The main focus of the SBA Freeride program is training for and competing in the North American Junior Freeskiing events sponsored by the Tahoe Junior Freeride Series and the International Free Skiers Association.

The Freeride program’s coaching philosophy is to teach student athletes a progression of skills in a safe and fun environment.

On-hill training focuses on three aspects of skiing: all-mountain free skiing, slope-style that is integrated into big mountain competition, and backcountry travel and awareness. When focusing on big mountain skiing, coaches teach athletes techniques and tactics to appropriately navigate variable terrain and snow conditions, how to evaluate lines and assess hazards and ultimately, how to ski appropriate lines within the limits of each athlete's ability level. On slope-style terrain, athletes focus on fundamental jumps and spins before moving on to harder off-axis aerial moves that will be incorporated into freeskiing competition. In the backcountry, coaches teach athletes how to use beacons, probes and shovels, recognize potential hazards and making informed decisions regarding skiing out of bounds. With small training groups, the daily on-snow focus is tailored to the individual needs and goals of each student-athlete.


SBA Freeriders prepare for the winter competition season by attending fall and spring on-snow and dryland camps in a variety of locations including Mammoth Mountain, Beartooth Basin, Woodward Tahoe and Mt Hood. Athletes receive additional air awareness and body control training at Woodward Tahoe, a world class indoor action sports training facility located only three miles away.  

SBA's Freeride Training Facilities Include:

In-bounds skiing at Sugar Bowl Resort with supervised access to "side-country" terrain via Sugar Bowl's open boundary, plus frequent park and pipe training at Boreal Mountain Resort.

Regular, supervised excursions into the Tahoe backcountry where all participants are educated in the proper use of backcountry tools (beacons, probes, skins, etc.) and snow safety analysis.

Sugar Bowl Resort's extensive terrain park and that of nearby Boreal Mountain Resort, one of the largest parks in the West.

The Village Hall, an on-mountain 10,000 square foot building, which is home to the Sugar Bowl Ski Team locker room and offices as well as a full kitchen, dining area, restaurant and a multi-purpose great room.

Experience Freeride Competition Video

There is a real sense of adventure on the freeride team. We take tricks that we learn on trampolines and transfer them into the park, but we also get to explore challenging big-mountain lines. It’s so much fun!
— Student, SBA Class of 2013, Freeride