Aerials is one of the most technically challenging and spectator-captivating sports in the world. At the World Cup level, competitors hit the jumps, or ‘kickers’, at speeds of 60 km/h or faster, launch themselves some 20 metres in the air and perform up to three back somersaults with as many as five twists, touching down on a landing hill so steep that most people would be nervous just skiing down it. Aerialist’s tricks are the most difficult maneuvers performed in any acrobatic sport.
Competitors must perform two different jumps consisting of single or multiple somersaults with or without twists. Each jump must vary by one somersualt or one twist. Points are warded for takeoff (20%), form in the air (50%) and landing (30%). Scores of both jumps are combined for a final total mark.
Competitions usually include a qualification round and a final round with one or two jumps in each. The exact format for each event is determined by the FIS and the event organizing committee.