After the exiting announcement of Tanner Hall’s wild card invitation to the 2019 Freeride World Tour, these 7 heavy hitters will be joining him on the roster for the season’s tour. American names include Jackie Paaso—a Squaw Valley legend who sends it harder than most men, and Drew Tabke—the “flyin’ Hawaiian” who executes some of the most creative lines in freeride history.
According to the FWT, wild cards are granted to exceptional athletes, competitors recovering from injuries, and local riders. This year’s roster of wild card athletes includes two injury wild cards: Carl Regnér (SWE) and Jackie Paaso (USA); and five additional wild cards: Drew Tabke (USA), Aymar Navarro (ESP), Maude Besse (SUI), Fabio Studer (AUT), and Wakana Hama (JPN).
Let’s take a look at the FWT19 wild card line up…
Carl will receive an injury wild card after breaking his wrist in Japan during the 2018 season. Regnér will make a triumphant return to the tour with a reputation as an innovative rider that brings progressive park tricks to freeride competitions.
Jackie is one the USA’s most decorated FWT female athletes and Xtreme Verbier Champ. Known for going big with huge airs, Paaso has been struggling with a knee injury after a dramatic crash during the 2017 Verbier Xtreme.
Drew is one of the tour’s most experienced riders with multiple titles under his belt. Tabke is known for a creative riding style, always finding overlooked lines and riding them with finesse.
Aymar is known for his incredibly powerful riding style and is a legend in the Pyrenees. Navarro has thrown down huge lines at competitions on his home turf and beyond.
Maude has racked up countless podium finishes in the FWQ is a rising star in the women’s ski world.
Fabio has made a name for himself by throwing smooth and innovative tricks on FWT competition venues. Studer has been a force on the tour for years with several top-five finishes.
Wakana took the FWT by storm last year at Hakuba, Japan staged in Kicking Horse with a first place finish. She will be a key contender for the snowboard women’s category.
It will be exciting to see who comes out on top in the FWT19. With so many big names, it will be one for the books.