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X Games host, X Games Real Street Competitor, star of many a quality snowboarding flick, Craig McMorris has done a lot with his snowboarding career (his voice has become synonymous with ESPN’s annual comp in Aspen). But the 28-year-old was looking to try something new. And he found it when the Freeride World Tour offered him a wildcard into its Kicking Horse event in Golden British Columbia.

This is Craig’s first big mountain competition, so never mind the fact that he hasn’t ridden any steep lines all year (Craig sure didn’t mind). I tagged along with him, mic’ed him up, and listened to the gifted snowboarder as he went through one of the most important aspects of a Freeride World Tour competition: the Face Check,  where competitors can scope their lines for the event. It was an interesting afternoon for sure, as Craig took in the process for the first time and spoke with other competitors about the radical venue that is Ozone at Kicking Horse Resort. Riders can look, but they can’t touch, so they must mind surf their run the day before competition to get an idea of what line they want to take on the day.

The competition airs tomorrow, Sunday, February 9 at noon Pacific Time at Freerideworldtour.com, when you can see how Craig and the rest of the athletes apply the Face Check to their competition runs. It’s a pretty radical process.

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