Although the first event of the season in Japan was cancelled due to treacherous conditions, the Freeride World Tour have started to really push for more exotic contest destinations. The Hakuba stop (featuring Gigi, Terje, Travis Rice and Tadashi Fuse no less) would have been a first and there are rumours of a Chinese event next winter with tour legend Xavier de le Rue part of the scouting team.
But the FWT is more than just its five elite contests, it's built on a network of Freeride World Qualifiers taking place all over the globe. At each event, you'll find the core of freeriding, from hardened vets seeking a coveted spot in the big leagues to local legends getting involved on their home turf. You'll also find a clear and fair qualification process for the elite level, something still sorely lacking in most freestyle contests.
But that's by the by - today's news is that some dedicated contest organisers in Lebanon have succeeded in securing the Middle East's first ever FWQ event. Ride4Peace will be a 2* event taking place on the 17th and 18th February at Mzaar Kfardebian, with registration running right up to the comp date.
"I had the chance to meet a lot of nice people and it was right after my first conversation with Tom Winter from the FWT that the idea emerged... I imagined how positive it would be to host one in Lebanon, both for local and international riders." It was originally planned for 2019 but, spurred on by everyone's enthusiasm, it was brought forward to this season.
With spots still open, it's the perfect excuse for freeriders to experience a budding snowboard culture and score some lines down a new venue.