The exciting sport of skicross is still relatively new and unknown in the sporting world. This exciting form of competition combines freestyle skiing speed and gives it a competitive edge that is simply unbeatable.
Skicross is also sometimes known as skiercross or even as skier-X. The sport is based on Boardercross – a snowboard discipline which sees a group of racers start at the same point, at the same time at the top of a course marked out on a slope. Each boarder then has to try to reach the finish line at the bottom of the course first. Along the way they may face a variety of obstacles, such as cambered turns, gap jumps, berms, steep and flat sections and drops. The various obstacles all challenge the snowboarder’s ability to stay in control as he fights for first place. Boardercross is generally seen as being quite a dangerous sport and it is not uncommon for competitors to collide with each other. Another unusual feature of the sport is the fact that the competitors wear full-face helmets such as is worn in motocross, one of the main influences from which the sport was derived.
Skicross is not all that different from boardercross. Of course, the most notable difference is the use of skis as opposed to a snowboard. The race is timed, yet it is considered a part of freestyle skiing despite this because so many of the terrain features normally found in freestyle skiing are found in this sport. Just as in motorsports, a time trial is run prior to the race to determine who will run the final race. During the trial, every person entered into the race will ski the course in the fastest time they can manage. The course is usually built to encompass natural obstacles as well as artificial obstacles such as rollers, banks and jumps. Once the time trial has been run, the fastest competitors will compete in rounds of four in a knockout series. In the women’s events, 16 people are chosen for the knock-out series. In the men’s events, the fastest 32 skiers are selected. Once the knock-out rounds begin, the first two people to cross the finish line each time go on to compete in the next round. The final two rounds will determine who takes 1st to 8th place in the competition.
Despite the fact that accidents do happen, competitors are not actually allowed to push or pull at each other during the knock-out finals and competitors that clearly try to come into contact with other competitors are disqualified or prevented from competing in the next race. The sport has become so big that there is now a worldwide skicross series which is known as the SAAB Salomon Crossmax Series. Various other major Skicross events are held in different countries across the globe and it has even been included in the 2010 Winter Olympic program.