Free­bom again a huge suc­cess on Buller


THIS year’s Free­bom on Mount Buller was a big suc­cess, not sur­pris­ing when the in­gre­di­ents were 40cm of fresh snow, awe­some nat­u­ral bumps, un­bri­dled en­thu­si­asm and a bunch of very tal­ented skiers.

Grass­roots com­mu­nity ski events are few and far be­tween th­ese days and that’s what makes Free­bom such a fun event and for many, the high­light of the sea­son.

Held at Woodrun on Buller, Free­bom em­bod­ies ev­ery­thing that is good about ski­ing – fun, freedom, en­ergy, snow and the moun­tain.

The first Free­bom was held four years ago when my­self and a crew from Team Buller Rid­ers turned up at the bot­tom of Wood Run, Buller’s spir­i­tual home of mogul ski­ing, with a PA sys­tem, some re­fresh­ments and the idea to have fun.

The event hasn’t changed much since then with no set fenced-off course, no spe­cific rules and no par­tic­u­lar style of ski­ing be­ing re­warded.

Free­bom is a judged event but as the name sug­gests, the judg­ing is not lim­ited to some set cri­te­ria which fo­cuses on hand po­si­tions, turn­ing tech­nique or speed.

No, the Free­bom judg­ing cri­te­ria is about over­all im­pres­sion, who is rip­ping and who’s hav­ing the most fun.

Well, that’s the cri­te­ria I was judg­ing by and there were a lot of skiers of all ages who pushed that cri­te­ria to the limit.

Chris­tian Siri­anni’s mas­sively high Cos­sacks, Johnny Lapser’s back flips, Jock Gunn’s switch ski­ing on teles and Mitch Reeves’ high speed GS turns through the bumps are just a few of the things that stood out.

“This is what it used to be like,” said TBR leg­end Chris Sch­warz, re­fer­ring to the heady days of the early ‘90s.

In the end we saw the re­turn of the prodi­gal son with Buller leg­end Chris­tian Siri­anni tak­ing out the pres­ti­gious Spir­i­tual Leader award, win­ning a pair of Dal­bello boots and a cus­tom boot fit­ting from the Boot Lab.

Free­bom brings the Buller com­mu­nity out in force and it’s a day that Buller’s ski­ing soul shines through, a bunch of like-minded peo­ple cel­e­brat­ing ski­ing, its cul­ture and, of course, their moun­tain.

An­drew Pat­ti­son, TBR pro­gram man­ager, summed it up nicely: “It was a fit­ting cel­e­bra­tion of all that is great about Mt Buller.”

I think he’s right and Free­bom is the kind of event ev­ery moun­tain in Aus­tralia should have.

Thanks: A big thankyou to the spon­sors Oyuki, Dal­bello, Rip Curl Mount Buller, the Pho­to­shop, the Boot Lab and Mount Buller Re­sort. RE­SULTS:

FREE­BOM AWARD Spir­i­tual Leader Award: Chris­tian Siri­anni

Kirstie Mar­shall Award for Best Fe­male: Lisa McComb

Nick Cleaver Award for Best Male: Max Bernard

Pigmy Pos­sum Best un­der 12 girl: Lucy But­ler

Pigmy Pos­sum Best un­der 12 boy: Banjo Bur­rel

Fu­ture Fo­cussed Best un­der 18 fe­male: Mia Kol­lveris

Fu­ture Fo­cussed Best un­der 18 male: Ben Ashkanasy

Mrs En­er­getic Best over 40 fe­male: Genevieve Kain

Mr En­er­getic Best over 40 male: Josh Laney

Best fam­ily per­for­mance: Cushan Kain

Winkipop award for Best air: Johnny Lipzker

Client Li­ai­son award for Best dressed: Alice But­ler and Abbey Adams

Best crash: Paddy CalvertJones

HERE THEY COME: Skiers had free run of the Free­bom slope dur­ing com­pe­ti­tion - do­ing their own thing and be­ing judged on who was hav­ing the most fun.

IT’S ME: Watkin McLennan, one of the in­sti­ga­tors of this event, was there hav­ing the most fun of all. PHO­TOS: Cour­tesy Watkin Mclennan (Face­book)

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