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How often do you straightline in off piste terrain, like around chutes and cliff drops? I just saw this video
, which makes sense, but it techniques that Xavier uses may not be all that practical to regular boarders (another video he was showing how to straightline black ice steep terrain lol). I've been practicing straightlining on blue runs and find its pretty easy as long as your binding setup is not asymetrical.

When do you straightline? Are you doing it on chutes? Down semi cliff drops like the palisades at Squaw where you are dropping onto an extreme angle sometimes from a cliff?

I want to get into cliff drops or semi cliff drops like the following video. It just seems way more awkward to launch facing the side and trying to get your body perpendicular to the slope, vs chest forward and leaning down
 

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Well it gives the most speed, so that can be reason enough sometimes. Besides that it's a nice feeling, you could need speed for crossing some flats, traversing, getting up a ridge or clearing a distance on a jump, or you just built up so much speed going down (possibly after a drop) that you can't safely turn anymore. Xavier explains this in the ice video. Sometimes the runouts on lines are boring or safe with no features, and if your legs already burn from further up, it's nice to just straightline the rest.
 

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When there’s ice. Ice and and edges don’t mix well. That’s pretty much Xaviers summary. So you have to go really slow or bomb it to get past. If it’s a relatively short stretch of ice and I can see my edge-able landing spot I’ll straight line the ice to get past that section.

Otherwise I just straight line runs that are boring without features to play on. It’s good practice to be comfortable at speed. But even straight lining can get boring if that’s how you ride all the time.
 

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How often do you straightline in off piste terrain, like around chutes and cliff drops?
More and more !
As many do, I tend to speed check too much, only to realize that it puts me in a bad posture for the next thing (turn, jump, whatevere…). But with experience you realize that the best option is often to be as stable as possible on your leg and just wait until the next turn 🧘‍♂️. Terrain reading is essential here. You have to look far away, spot a place where you will be able to slow down and tell your brain to just let it go! You'll grow comfortable with the feeling of not being in total control over time.

A good way to practice can be to find real bad bumpers and just aim for the next turnable area—they are boring anyways :p.
 

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it's all about the runout IMO. It needs to be clear of people or obstructions. Also, no blind rolls, you have to have a good sight-line. Concave slopes work best, where the run-out is less steep than the section to straight-line.
One last thought: if I am in a constricted area like a chute, and it would be hard to turn to check speed once I start accelerating, then I need to predict what my acceleration will be if I am forced to straight-line until I reach the runout (which is where you would then be able to turn as you wanted) and be comfortable with the speed I would pick-up until that point.
agree with what Etienne said above. I also straight-line more as I get more experienced.

I have FPV video of a steep chute I rode a few years ago and every time I watch it, I realize that I would change the way I ride the lower portion of it: straight-line it instead of try to make more turns so I could get out of there quicker. There was sloughing heavy wet snow that had a surprising amount of weight to it given it's thin depth that I would want to avoid. I am a mere mortal and not Xavier, so I didn't have the guts to straight-line the whole thing
 

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I figured I'd let you figure that out on your own ;)

View attachment 158106
Wut trash...board and body damage

One day I'd love to hit this...but would want the vis. The first part is about 200 feet of wall that is too narrow to even turn or get sideways even on a snowboard...at the 26 sec mark he looks back at the top...slightly to lookers right.


and another
 

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Not steeps but riding out of really light powder on shallow inclines, when keeping every bit of forward momentum is paramount.
Those are some of the powder lessons that only take once to learn! Been there done that. Nothing worse than being stopped in waist deep powder.
 

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You're generally not going to use these techniques at Squaw Valley. Too much uncertainty. The gnarly steep shit at Squaw is too steep, with too much treeline terrain, with a lot of rocks and obstacles, and relatively few mellow run outs with good top to bottom visibility. A few zones you could make it work (maybe a first lap dropping off Sibo or Palisades), but few and far between. Mainline Pocket specifically, that zone is super fun but very short, few hundred feet of vert. If I "Eagle" it, I'm probably down in <10 seconds, and going WAY too fast considering Mainline Pocket is literally right above a lift unloading zone and a busy traverse zone. You can even see it in the video you share, those skiers are at the bottom of that grade very quickly.

This style of riding is more suited to somewhere like Alaska and the Alps (where XV is based) where the treeline is so low that it's basically an afterthought. Mark McMorris refers to that peace of mind from the low AK treeline in the new Natural Selection hype video. So much gnarly shit come out of AK because the lack of trees removes a lot of uncertainty and creates a safer environment to try gnarly shit.
 

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I tried the eagle position after watching this video and honestly I couldn't do it. I think you need to have a pretty forward stance and a lot of speed to make it work. For me, it just felt really off balance, but I prefer a 21 / -9 stance. I think Xavier is like a 18 / +3 so it might work better that way.
 

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Those trees are tight!
Riding that stuff is how we get all the good stashes when we go out west!

I have no idea how snowboarders ride the tougher glades there.
When I first joined here, there was a thread about if side slipping was ever a legitimate proper technique, Picturing lines like that, I wrote out a long description on riding lines too tight to even get your board around in spots. Never got mod approved. :D
 
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