From 22 to 28 January 202220 years of Speed ridingin Valfréjus
Event

20 years of Speed riding

From 22 to 28 January 2022

As the resort that pioneered speedriding, Valfréjus is THE place to be if you want to try this sport. In the great outdoors, partly sking and partly in flight (thanks to a small kitesurf-type wing), you’ll experience a brand new gliding sensation that’s sure to get the adrenalin pumping!

“over 100 wings (…) united in flight”

Expect to see an avalanche of colour filling the sky with more than 100 wings flown by professionals and amateurs alike.

A chance for the public to find out more about these extreme sports and maybe even give it a try with a tandem first flight on skis.

Interview...

Franck Coupat (Instructor at Ataka speedriding school in Valfréjus)

« Freeride in 3D »

Speedriding began in Valfréjus in the early 2000s. Let’s take a look at this spectacular sport, which combines freeriding and flying, with Franck Coupat, an instructor at Ataka school in Valfréjus, the world’s 1st speedriding school.

 

What is speedriding?

Franck Coupat: Speedriding is freeriding in 3D; it’s the “new generation” of freeriding. It’s a combination of skiing, paragliding and parachuting where you alternate between riding and flying, for maximum fun. Imagine that you’re skiing off-piste and you spot a rocky outcrop further down the slope. What if, rather than avoiding it, you decide to fly over it – in complete safety? That’s speedriding! Equipped with skis and a small wing, you alternate between skiing and flying. The aim is not to fly as high or as long as possible but to race down the slopes enjoying the varied terrain. You don’t need to have any paragliding experience to learn. However if you want to try this fun sport, combining the thrill of sky and snow, we recommend that you have a 3rd star ski level.

Did speedriding start in Valfréjus?

Yes, this innovative sport started in Valfréjus. In 2000, Valéry Montant, a pioneer of base jumping and paragliding came up with the idea of using a smaller sail so he could fly more quickly and extend the flying range. Then in 2001, together with Frédéric Fugen – today a member of Soul Flyers – we started to ride off the slopes in Valfréjus using a small parachute sail and skis attached to our feet. We soared into the air and touched down on the snow with our skis…That was the start of speedriding. Then in 2003, a few paragliders stepped up to the mark, developing equipment and starting to organize and regulate the sport.

How did speedriding then develop?

Together with Fred Fugen, Antoine Montant and David Eyraud, the big names in paragliding, we came up with the name “speedriding” : now we could really ride …but ride faster! The mountain then became a giant snowpark…In 2006, the Fédération Française de Vol libre (French Free Flight Federation) officially recognized the sport and Ataka, the 1st speedriding school, was set up in Valfréjus in the same year. Today you can practise speedriding in many Alpine resorts. Ataka has helped train hundreds of speedriders with sails visible in the skies above Valfréjus throughout the winter.

What makes the resort so attractive for speedriding?

From the bottom of Valfréjus, you can quickly reach Punta Bagna – the top of the ski resort which stands at 2,737 metres above sea level – by taking 2 ski lifts, 1 gondola and 1 chairlift. The layout of the runs from Punta Bagna, means you can ski on all the slopes with something for all levels. When it comes to off-piste, there’s lots of variety with nice, challenging couloirs. It’s a genuine dropzone for all skiers, from beginners to experienced. Thanks to the resort’s super-speedy chairlift and good conditions, you’ll get the chance to enjoy 40 rotations, or 40 flights…These are just some of the features that make Valfréjus the best “3D” freeriding spot in France!

Programme
forecast*

 

* Subject to change depending on weather conditions

 

Saturday 22/01

2pm to 4pm
• Welcome reception for participants: Distribution of keys and lift passes, and presentation of the week’s schedule
• 20 years of speed conference

 

Sunday 23/01

10am and 2pm
• Avalanches of colour over Punta Bagna organised by the club Les Têtes Brûlées
• Attempt at the world record for the largest formation of Speedriders
• Evening at the Celtic Pub

 

Monday 24/01

10am and 2pm
• Paragliding stunts demonstration with the founders of worldclass acro-paragliding.
• Les Rodriguez for Spain / Tim Alongi and Théo de Blic for France
• Takeoff from Punta Bagna, landing at La Bergerie on the Arrondaz plateau

 

Tuesday 25/01

10am
• Speedcross speed competition on the Pas du Roc slope

From 2pm
• Sessions at liberty
• Evening at the Rock and Beer

 

Wednesday 26/01

10am
• Freeride speed contest organised by the Club Alpin Français

 

Thursday 27/01

9am to 12pm
• Sessions at liberty

12pm to 2pm
• Proximity flight demonstration with a wingsuit
• Evening at the Morricone

 

Friday 28/01

10am to 1pm
• Secret Spots discovery for riders

3pm
• Prize ceremony

 

Saturday 29/01

• Return of keys, lift passes and equipment

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