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How does Telemark skiing affect one's performance in Alpine? - Page 2

post #31 of 43

And correct.  Tele's slower, particularly in more difficult conditions. 

post #32 of 43

Don't worry about how tele effects your alpine skills.  Once you start tele-ing you won't go back.  Or at least, there's no reason to because you can easily do alpine turns on tele gear.  Unless you're into competitive racing you don't need your heel locked to do alpine turns.

post #33 of 43


Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

People they take up tele, because they suck at alpine.  They suck even more at tele, but nobody notices. 

That's just silly. People tele because it is different and challenging. It also is a great way to go backcountry. Not much compares to the delight you get from teleing in powder.

Originally Posted by Que View Post

  • You'll stop taking showers every day.
  • You will become proficient at cutting silky tofu (thawed)
  • You will feel an undeniable urge to own a dog named "Flurry" and a cat named "Sativa".
  • You will change your ring tone to ACDCBAG.
  • You will save money on razor blades.
  • You will ditch the dreams of the Audi S7 and start obsessing about restoring a vintage '83 VW van.
  • You will learn the art of eating a complete lunch just from frequenting the condiment bar.
  • You will no longer like the idea of using soap that isn't made from olive oil and tree bark.
  • You will talk endlessly about the evils of SLS in detergents and toothpaste.
  • You will find that even though Tom's deodorant doesn't really do much, you'll still like the smell.
  • You will begin to think that "energy work" is an acceptable substitute for say, "surgery".


All kidding aside, my wife went tele some years ago. I've had a few friends who ripped alpine gear go tele. Some have gone over the edge and some are still bi-curious. A few things they told me:


1. you'll develop far stronger legs

2. you'll develop better balance

3. you'll develop a better appreciation and knowledge for turns and "turn dynamics".  Not sure what that exactly is but they claim that you'll learn a ton more about the forces affecting a ski as it arcs.

4. you'll have a more enjoyable time carving turns on slopes you used to see as just a means to a destination


Give it a try.

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Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post


I think I would dispute this. I honestly believe that tele skiing improves your alpine skiing more than alpine skiing does. Besides myself, I have lots of friends that go back and forth between alpine and tele.  The best example is a friend who was a mediocre alpine skier. He started dating a girl that only teled and did that exclusively for a full season. He broke up with the girl and came back to alpine skiing and was immediately better than he had been, and improved at a very rapid rate. The constant focus on what both skis are doing, and balancing on a spot that is not dependent on one solid platform gives you a much better feel for the snow and your movement than alpine skiing.  Tele skiing is harder to do, so it takes more focus, which will only improve your alpine skiing.


I often start the day on my teles (hardpack or powder)  and then switch to alpine gear after about 2 hours when my old legs start to burn. I always feel that I am more "on" my alpines skis on those days than when I alpine all day

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post #34 of 43

absolutely... alpine ski improve 40% more or less... after telemark... alpine is so easy...

post #35 of 43

4 year old thread. :)

post #36 of 43
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

4 year old thread. :)

Nice bump, though, because it's funny what I wrote about going back in April (2011): we did have an epic April, and epic May... I think I did get on the teles once that May, but we skied into July that year. Didn't help my tele career  very much.

post #37 of 43

Seg, don't know if you saw this on the 'using a lurk' thread, but here you go :)   :


post #38 of 43

UNPOSSIBLE!!!  Obviously entirely photochopped!   ;)



Truly refreshing - great lead in for the new season!

post #39 of 43
Originally Posted by Alta Skier 110 View Post

I'm posing this question because I am considering whether or not to invest in Telemark skiing.  I've been told by some that it improves your balance and overall performance in alpine skiing.  However, I am not sure whether its worth the time and effort, and therefore whether I should just stick to alpine skiing.  Can anyone testify to seeing noticeable improvements in their alpine performance after doing Telemark?  Or would this testimony be confounded by the fact that already great alpine skiers (or constantly improving alpine skiers) are just passionate about skiing in general so they tend to get into Telemark? Is there some cause-and-effect relationship or just a correlation that exists because passionate alpine skiers can't resist trying out Telemark? What are people's thoughts?

I can only tell you why I telemark ski. After alpine skiing for about 30 years and snowboarding for about 9 years, I wanted to expand my horizons a bit more, put some new tools in the box and drum up a little humility. I mounted an old pair of Volant Power Karves with pinners, found some leather boots for almost nothing at a swap and made a commitment to ski at least 2  top to bottom runs a day on the telemarks. The big problem was that I was skiing with my normal posse and took some big falls trying to keep up on the long pitches. It paid off. By the end of my first season the legs were strong, my speed was up and I began venturing into varied terrain. That is when I started to see improvement in my alpine skiing. As long as I was just dropping the knee on groomers, my alpine technique remained about the same. The mixed conditions on the telemarks developed my lateral stability and gave me more edge control on the alpines. After a couple of seasons I acquired modern gear and got my wife into it as well. She is also a long time alpine skier and picked it up rather quickly. For me, telemark skiing goes back to the roots and harkens back to a time when accumulating vertical was not the goal. Telemark in general, is a much more intimate, overall mountain experience in my opinion. I would highly recommend you give it a try. Used gear can be fairly cheap. Just do it.

post #40 of 43

Bought some used Tele equipment this year. My DH and ski buddy has had some medical issues and we no longer ski the same terrain on alpine equipment, so I took up tele to make the terrain he skis now more fun. It was late season, so I only spent about three days on tele gear. Even that little bit of time, I can attest that it helped my alpine skiing.


I also agree about it feeling more intimate and requiring more focus. Maybe that's because it's new for me.


Intend to take a tele clinic this year and see.

post #41 of 43

Dropping a knee into the snow that may be hiding a rock or stump is terrifying to me. 


I could see doing it if you are really bored and are skiing on marginal conditions with out a lot of powder days. 


But...if you want to be good at x you should probably keep doing x instead of going with Y imo. 


If you are doing it for touring I think the advantages of new touring gear outweigh the aspects of tele skiing. The gear has just gotten so good I don't see much of a point in tele skiing. Again, if it's out of boredom than go with it. I think switching things up is good but from a performance stand point I wouldn't do it. 

post #42 of 43
You don't 'drop a knee' so much as keep your CoM between your skis. In 12 seasoms of teleying exclusively, I had skis pop up and hit my knee, have hit buried avy debris, but never skied with knees to the ski and never worried much about hitting anything. Yes, always wear knee pads just in case. The guys in the vid? Ive skied with Nishida-san a good bit and Hide a few times. They aren't knee to the ski guys either.
post #43 of 43

what Mark said - knee hits generally resulted from overweighting the front ski (pretty common in the good ol' days - see poodling), or simply being wildly out of control (also common during the golden age).  Freeheelers are much more upright,compact and stable these days, to the point that unless you really know what to look for, they are often mistaken for fixed heelers. Hitting something hard and immovable while skiing, no matter what part of the body, will do serious damage - some of it  a lot worse than a shattered knee. 

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