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De Le Rue

Victor De Le Rue sent this meaty line during his winning run of the Men’s Snowboard. Photo: FRWT20

The Inertia

It was a busy week for the Freeride World Tour. On Wednesday, the Tour announced it will follow in the footsteps of the World Surf League, and snowboarding events like the US Open by ensuring equal pay for both its male and female athletes. Within a few days the FWT kicked off the first leg of its 2020 season in Hakuba, Japan.

Quick reminder: skiers and snowboarders are judged on five different criteria: line choice, control, technique, fluidity, and air & style. Basically, charge the gnarliest line and throw yourself off some big stuff. Oh, and be sure and stick everything. “If I were giving riders tips (to score a perfect 100),” Head Judge and Freeride World Tour commissioner Laurent “Lolo” Besse told us, “It would have to be a great line, be fast, ride with loads of technique with no issues, do jumps and those jumps have to be big and with tricks and the landings have to be perfect.”

Simple enough.

American Drew Tabke, Norwegian vet Hedvig Wessel, and French standouts Victor de le Rue and Marion Haerty came closest to achieving those perfect scores in what looked like soft, but not super-deep conditions in Hakuba (considering this is #Japow, after all). You don’t have to do much haggling over their line choices. They were all pretty insane:

Marion Haerty – Snowboard Women 

Hedvig Wessel’s Ski Women

Victor De Le Rue’s Snowboard Men

Drew Tabke’s Ski Men


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