Instructor Wade Garrod (above right) watches over Tieran Cawley

Freestyle club set to soar

Silver Star Freestyle Ski Club getting a jump on early ski season.

Looks like ski season is starting early this year, and the Silver Star Freestyle Ski Club is well prepared for it.

The club’s fall training program was at capacity with 56 skiers and two snowboarders getting in shape with coach Wade Garrod and other local trainers in partnership with Pacific Sport Okanagan.

Trampoline training and fitness session were held at St. John’s Lutheran Church gymnasium, Polson Park, Lakeview Park, Kal Fitness and Kal Tire place.

“We even had Noah Morrison stop by for some trampoline training with the competitive freestyle groups,” said Garrod.

Vernon’s Morrison is an Olympic hopeful in slopestyle skiing for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The freestyle club is offering a full line of programs up at Silver Star Mountain Resort, including Jumps and Bumps (ages 6 up), Freestylerz (8-12), G Team (girls 9-13), competitive Freeski Team (13-17) and the Competitive Freestyle Ski Team.

For skiers interested in trying freestyle, the club is hosting four free, early-season sessions (Dec. 15, 20 and 29, and Jan. 4) instructed by a certified freestyle coach. The goal is to introduce kids to the sport in a safe and fun environment.

The free-ski team is a new addition to the club’s program lineup. Participating athletes will learn all-mountain ski skills, including line selection, with an emphasis on skiing the big mountains of B.C. responsibly.

Free-ski competitors will have the opportunity to attend junior tour events in places like Golden and Nelson.

“It is great to give local kids another option to take their passion for skiing,” said Garrod.

One of the most anticipated additions to the freestyle program this season is the arrival of the Katal Air Bag. Measuring 20×16 metres (it is 3m tall), the air bag offers novice to pro skiers and snowboarders the ability to safely learn the art of aerial maneuvers.

“We are incredibly excited to be partnering with Silver Star Mountain to develop the safest, most progressive freestyle training site in North America,” said Ken Gaskell, club president.

The air bag will be a key training tool for the exclusive use of club members during training days, but it will also be open to the public Friday and Saturday nights, and on weekdays during the Christmas holidays.

The air bag is located just outside the village and below Main Street Ski Way at the bottom of Milky Way.

The freestyle club is partnering with Silver Star for a variety of events this season, including the inaugural Alumni Day, the annual Hot Dog Moguls, B.C. Super Youth Challenge, B.C. Timber Tour No. 3, and the ninth annual Showdown, Hoedown, Throwdown.

Registration for all club programs is now open. To register, or for more information, visit www.ssfreestyle.com.

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