What Is Big Mountain Skiing? Not For The Faint-Hearted

by Frank V. Persall

When you think of skiing, you might imagine a leisurely descent down a gently sloping mountain while taking in the views. This is indeed one version of the sport, but for those who want something a little more adventurous, big mountain skiing is the natural progression. But what is big mountain skiing?

Big mountain skiing is a type of skiing that involves steep terrain and a variety of jumps, typically off cliffs. This is all done at super fast paces and is certainly not something for the faint of heart. You’ll often see big mountain skiing in the movies. 

We have a passion for all types of skiing but big mountain riding adventures are something that gets our blood pumping. If you want to know more about this extreme sport, this guide is for you. Here you’ll find out about big mountain skiing competitions and the type of equipment you’ll need to take part in.

What Is Big Mountain Skiing? Not For The Faint-Hearted
What Is Big Mountain Skiing? Not For The Faint-Hearted

How Are Big Mountain Skis Different

Big mountain skiing is no doubt an extreme sport. For this very reason, it is often referred to as extreme skiing and sometimes called freeriding. But regardless of what you call it, big mount skiing is in another league. 

Depending on the type of skiing you are doing, you will need different equipment. This is to make the sport safer for you but also to ensure that you can handle the terrain you are skiing on. 

In the case of big mountain skiers, the skis you use will need to be adapted to manage steep, often rugged terrain. Moreover, you will need skis that are much more adept at keeping you stable as you tackle this extreme ground. 

Typically, you will find that big mountain freeride skis are much wider as this allows them to handle powder snow much more effectively. This additional width is coupled with a longer length to provide the skier with a much greater camber underfoot for stability.

 If you are looking for a ski that will handle the steeper terrain involved in freeriding then going for one of a single core construction will deliver in this area. These skis will also work very well when used at high speeds, providing you with even better stability and control. 

Finally, skiing big mountain will have better-dampening properties which essentially help to lessen vibrations. This is important for all types of skis but when tackling big mountaintop terrains that are much more rugged, it becomes even more essential. The materials used and the construction methods of the skis will reduce the vibrations as well as the way the ski is structured. For example, a honeycomb structure or heavier skis can have a profound effect on their vibration level. 

Big Mountain Ski Competitions

To enter into the world’s best big mountain ski competitions, you need to be confident and unafraid to take on the challenge. Although, it takes a lot of training and dedication to reach this point. That said, even as a spectator, this is a sport that can get the adrenaline pumping. 

One of the biggest extreme skiing events in the world takes place at the Winter Olympics where there are two freeriding competitions. But while these events are a little more extreme, they take place on half pipes and are not in the same category as skiing big mountains. There is a lot of speculation if this event will ever arrive at the Olympics but as yet, we’re still holding out hope. 

However, there are other events all around the world with the 

 being one of the most extreme; but what else would you expect from this brand?

You’ll also find plenty of action and adventure at the Scandanavian freeskiing championships which take place annually. 


Part of the joy of skiing is presenting yourself with new challenges. If you feel you have gotten everything you can out of the sport so far, don’t hang up your skis just yet because until you have tried big mountain skiing with its fast speeds, steep slopes, and eye-watering jumps, you haven’t experienced everything that skiing has to offer. 

This version of the sport is often seen in Hollywood movies with characters racing down the slopes performing gravity-defying jumps at ridiculous speeds. While you do need different equipment to ensure safety and stability on powder snow and demanding terrain, anyone can get involved with big mountain skiing once they’ve honed their skills. 

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and heading to new heights, then you must make sure that you have everything you need. For information on the best skiing equipment and plenty of top tips, our skiing pages are packed with all you will need to get started even for inexperienced skiers.

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About Frank V. Persall

Frank is originally from the UK, but he has a passion for skiing that knows no bounds. He has made it his life's mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the World. Frank loves spending time with his wife and three children on ski slopes, as they all share his love for the activity.

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