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tele help

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Since I cannot seem to be able to sign up to the telemarktalk forum I figured I would come here for help.  I have spent the last month or so trying out tele during the afternoons.  My daughter and I have been doing it together, figuring maybe we can at least get good enough to skin up the mountain when things go on windhold.  Here is a video of me from the weekend.  What are the areas I should be focusing on?  What am I doing wrong?  

 

We have been winging it so we really don't have a great feel for how it should be done correctly.  We tend to watch others on the slope and go from there.  Thanks in advance.  Pete

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKFLfnfE0o8

post #2 of 25

Well, someone linked your thread over on ttips, so hopefully people will start rolling over.  Your'e looking quite good, there might be a little downhill leg bracing going on with a bit of underweighting on the trailing leg, but it was kinda hard to tell.  As a side note, there is a telemark festival at Mt. Abram this Saturday which will feature quite a few workshops!

post #3 of 25

Actually, you don't look half bad - a lot of those turns are really nice.  About the only advice I have is to remember to weight the back foot a little more here and there.  But you've got good body position for the most part - milage should help.  If you take it to steeper runs, you'll want to get your pole plants down.  

 

Get some footage of you on something steeper and there might be more feedback.  

post #4 of 25

Over all it looks pretty good.  Maybe a little tiptoe on the rear foot.  That's consistent with the weighting comments.  That will become more noticable in deeper and steeper terrain.  Keep it up.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thx.  Damn, I thought I was pressuring that rear foot.  How do I go about pressuring it more?  I figured out that If I feel like I am pushing on the front (tongue) of the boot near the cuff, then I am able to control the rear foot fairly well.  Big toe little doesn't work for me but I found that pointing the inside knee to where I want go helped a lot. That helped to keep some space between the two skis.  Should I work on pull the front foot more forward?  

 

I will hit some steeper terrain next.  I have done a good job of leaving my ego at the base of the hill and not putting myself into situations beyond my capabilities.  I have gradually been going to more challenging terrain so my form won't go completely to hell.  

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Actually, you don't look half bad - a lot of those turns are really nice.  About the only advice I have is to remember to weight the back foot a little more here and there.  But you've got good body position for the most part - milage should help.  If you take it to steeper runs, you'll want to get your pole plants down.  

 

Get some footage of you on something steeper and there might be more feedback.  

Funny thing about the pole plants.  I think I changed it back in the video, but I made my poles super short to stop cheating.  When I started a few weeks ago, I used the poles as crutches.  I thought to myself, "ya, this is just going to lead to some really bad habits".  

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

Thx.  Damn, I thought I was pressuring that rear foot.  How do I go about pressuring it more?  I figured out that If I feel like I am pushing on the front (tongue) of the boot near the cuff, then I am able to control the rear foot fairly well.  Big toe little doesn't work for me but I found that pointing the inside knee to where I want go helped a lot. That helped to keep some space between the two skis.  Should I work on pull the front foot more forward?  

 

I will hit some steeper terrain next.  I have done a good job of leaving my ego at the base of the hill and not putting myself into situations beyond my capabilities.  I have gradually been going to more challenging terrain so my form won't go completely to hell.  

Your comment about pressuring the cuff is dead on accurate.  One thing to think about it driving BOTH cuffs, not just the back leg.  That'll get you into a more balanced position and force you out of leg bracing.  It will lead to a face plant or six, but you'll wind up with really balanced weight.  I've been working on that quite a bit lately.


Edited by flyingcow - 1/28/13 at 8:42am
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thx for posting this over on teletips.  Hopefully one day they will accept me, realize I am committed to the cause, and I will be deemed worthy so I can actually reply to the very helpful comments I received :)  However, if I continue to be ignored by the adminstrator over there, I will strap on my new shiny Head rev 105s and run down all tele skiers I encounter and scream "alpiners rule" as I do it.  Pete

post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

Thx for posting this over on teletips.  Hopefully one day they will accept me, realize I am committed to the cause, and I will be deemed worthy so I can actually reply to the very helpful comments I received :)  However, if I continue to be ignored by the adminstrator over there, I will strap on my new shiny Head rev 105s and run down all tele skiers I encounter and scream "alpiners rule" as I do it.  Pete

 

Yeah, we've had completely absent administration over there for at least 6 months... it's getting kinda annoying. 

post #10 of 25

I think t-tips is in a slow death spiral. To bad really.

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 

I have to show my daughter too.  She has been doing it for about six weeks, and only for an hour here and there after her ski group ends.  We mounted up her old skis with some bindings and I found a pair of used scarpa t2s on ebay.  I'm in the end of the video sporting the old skinny sticks.  They are what I have primarily been using, until I mounted my old gotamas a week ago.  

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaIJ-A6ak4I

 

We hope to spend a full day together practicing during February vacation. 

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

Thx for posting this over on teletips.

De nada.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

Hopefully one day they will accept me, realize I am committed to the cause, and I will be deemed worthy so I can actually reply to the very helpful comments I received smile.gif  However, if I continue to be ignored by the adminstrator over there, I will strap on my new shiny Head rev 105s and run down all tele skiers I encounter and scream "alpiners rule" as I do it.  Pete

Go ahead, you've earned it.

Good comments there on dropping your butt down over your rear foot.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

So let's talk more about rear foot weighting.  I have some questions.  How do I keep that rear foot more under my butt? Is my problem stemming from not getting the front foot out further?  I really have to fight the urge to get forward and drive the front of the ski tip.  I also, feel it is bad to lean back (do to my alpine habits).  Will the sensation of leaning back a bit help me get more rear pressure?

 

Someone above nailed it on the head with my left foot; I definitely feel more awkward weighting it than the right.  I can fix that through practice though.  

 

 Pete

post #14 of 25

Don't push your front foot out farther.  Try thinking of dropping your hips straight down between your evenly weighted feet, or even more over your rear foot.  Try a slightly tighter (feet closer together) stance and see how that works.  

post #15 of 25

Well I don't know a whole lot about tele, but isn't one of the principles "edge change before lead change"?

I don't see that happening often.

Also, those non cambered goats on groomers really need to get over on edge to be effective - which is more difficult because they're wide.
 

post #16 of 25

Hi Peterk

 

 As others have said, your basic turn actually looks pretty good. One simply way to keep more weight on the rear foot is to work on your lead changes. Most of your lead change is happening when you take your old trailing ski and push it forward. The result is that your center moves over your new lead ski making it hard to not get carried past the point you can still weight the trailing ski.

 

Try moon walking. on the flat slide backwards pulling one foot back, then the other. figure out how far back you can slide your foot and keep weight over it. Now try a few turns making your lead change by pulling the new inside foot back. As you go through the lead change you have been mostly picking your heel up, rather then bending your fore foot at the bellows. Think about placing your foot on a flat surface. What you tend to do is pick up your heel, pivoting around your toes. Try instead leaving the ball of your foot on the floor and pick up your heel by bending at the ball of your foot. An excellent example of this is looking at the hind leg of a cat or dog. they are standing on the ball of their foot and what we think of as their shin is our foot bones, and where there knee is, is actually the ankle. Your practice of pushing the cuff of the boot toward your toes is a good way to work on that. Just be sure you are keeping your forefoot loose and let it flex as you do it.   

 

As you get more comfortable with keeping your feet home start thinking about your upper body. It's not that you should lean back, it's that you should be more upright. Think about how you settle into a rocking chair. You don't stay bent over at the waist, neither do you lean back to meat the chair back with your shoulders. You keep an upright upper body as your hips move back into the seat. A simple drill to try is... Take off your poles. Hold both in the downhill hand while you start in a traverse. As you turn downhill start reaching your hands behind your back. More or less on the fall line transfer your poles from one hand to the other. As you finish the turn bring your hands back forward. You should again have the poles in your downhill hand.

 

Thing number 3 to look at is how you are steering your feet. Most of your steering is coming from the knee down. If your foot was flat on the ground that twisting movement that would turn your ski. Unfortunately with your heel up in the air that movement has been translated 90 degrees and is now an edging movement. You already have the answer. Pointing the knee where you want to go. Rather then twisting your inside foot rotate your whole leg from the hip socket the direction you wish to go. I visualize it like the inside knee of grand prix motorcycle racers. It really lets you pressure the cuff of the inside boot as well as twist the ski all the way through the turn.  

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Well I don't know a whole lot about tele, but isn't one of the principles "edge change before lead change"?

All due respect, but I don't think so.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave W View Post

Hi Peterk

 

 As others have said, your basic turn actually looks pretty good. One simply way to keep more weight on the rear foot is to work on your lead changes. Most of your lead change is happening when you take your old trailing ski and push it forward. The result is that your center moves over your new lead ski making it hard to not get carried past the point you can still weight the trailing ski.

 

Try moon walking. on the flat slide backwards pulling one foot back, then the other. figure out how far back you can slide your foot and keep weight over it. Now try a few turns making your lead change by pulling the new inside foot back. As you go through the lead change you have been mostly picking your heel up, rather then bending your fore foot at the bellows. Think about placing your foot on a flat surface. What you tend to do is pick up your heel, pivoting around your toes. Try instead leaving the ball of your foot on the floor and pick up your heel by bending at the ball of your foot. An excellent example of this is looking at the hind leg of a cat or dog. they are standing on the ball of their foot and what we think of as their shin is our foot bones, and where there knee is, is actually the ankle. Your practice of pushing the cuff of the boot toward your toes is a good way to work on that. Just be sure you are keeping your forefoot loose and let it flex as you do it.   

 

As you get more comfortable with keeping your feet home start thinking about your upper body. It's not that you should lean back, it's that you should be more upright. Think about how you settle into a rocking chair. You don't stay bent over at the waist, neither do you lean back to meat the chair back with your shoulders. You keep an upright upper body as your hips move back into the seat. A simple drill to try is... Take off your poles. Hold both in the downhill hand while you start in a traverse. As you turn downhill start reaching your hands behind your back. More or less on the fall line transfer your poles from one hand to the other. As you finish the turn bring your hands back forward. You should again have the poles in your downhill hand.

 

Thing number 3 to look at is how you are steering your feet. Most of your steering is coming from the knee down. If your foot was flat on the ground that twisting movement that would turn your ski. Unfortunately with your heel up in the air that movement has been translated 90 degrees and is now an edging movement. You already have the answer. Pointing the knee where you want to go. Rather then twisting your inside foot rotate your whole leg from the hip socket the direction you wish to go. I visualize it like the inside knee of grand prix motorcycle racers. It really lets you pressure the cuff of the inside boot as well as twist the ski all the way through the turn.  

That was a great explanation; a lot to digest, but awesome nonetheless.  I think I will print this out and bring it to the slopes this weekend.  Pete

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

That was a great explanation; a lot to digest, but awesome nonetheless.  I think I will print this out and bring it to the slopes this weekend.  Pete

 

No problem, let us know how it goes. It is a lot to digest, if I were to be in person I could show you these moves in way less time then it takes then it does to say, let alone type. However, if I were doing this in person I would expect this to take around 3 hours to give you a chance to start to feel it.

 

 

Tog and Bob Lee,

 

Like all questions in skiing the answer is "it depends.". Most of the time I'm looking to change edges at the same time as I'm starting the lead change. For most alpine crossovers it's easier to get a clean turn by thinking the edge change starts first. Otherwise dread fakamark becomes likely, where the lead change (sorta) happens while standing on the downhill ski. Once the uphill ski gets out front, you stand on it and make an alpine turn weighting the new outside ski.  Remember it's a dance not a stance. Just like I'm always either inhaling or exhaling, my feet are always either moving towards, or away, from my center. If you speed the lead change up to a ballistic shuffle then hold that position, most of the dynamics bleed out of the turn.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

So let's talk more about rear foot weighting.  I have some questions.  How do I keep that rear foot more under my butt?

 

 

Along with the lead change thoughts here is a static thing to try.  Drop the hips and shift your feet to a tele stance.  If you are well balanced it should be easy to pick up either the front or rear foot.  Most will find that the rear foot is too far  back to do this at first.  It will also help the sense of how much weight can be on the rear foot/llittle toe for edging.

post #21 of 25

Try getting off the groomers.  I believe the telemark turn was developed to gain fore/aft stability in soft snow on a free heel binding.  On groomed snow fore/aft stability isn't an issue--usually later stability is, in which case a parallel turn really works better.  But once you get into powder/crud/bumps you will reallly need the stability that a tele turn gives you.  I think that this will help you get more weight on your rear ski.

 

Also, lead change happens during unweighting.  The idea of pulling your front foot back, rather than pushing the back foot forward, is a good one.

 

You are looking good.  You are ready to take it to the next level.  Just remember to pull out that old padded race sweater and some extra thick warm-up pants.

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 

So we spent some more time on the tele gear this weekend.  I have another short vid, mostly of my daughter, but I was able to get some of my own clips in there.  My daughter needs to be on alpine gear to keep up with me and take video.  Maybe next time.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJJ90TqRb30&list=UUOC6MBuMuc500zJJXmSflTQ&index=1

 

We had about four inches of snow on the ground.  What a game changer.  It is was so much easier for both of us.  We had a ball.  On day two (no vids of this) we skied the storm that hit the northeast.  I started on alpine because some of the trails had snow to my thighs, thanks to the help of a bit of wind.  I figured tele was out of the question.  Then everything went on windhold so I thought, what the hell, lets do some face plants on tele gear.  I threw on the skins, and hiked up to some of the slopes.  Lots of fun and a lot easier than I had figured.  The snow was so light that turning was never a problem until...............I hit the areas where the lower lifts were working and people were skiing.  These places got bumped up.  It kicked my ass.  Another area I had trouble was one of the slopes I hiked up to.  It was steeper than most and the snow was packed from the wind.  I found myself putting all my weight on the front foot.  And took a while to realize that I was being a chicken and holding back.  I was making things harder on myself by not picking up some speed and staying in the fall line.  Once I did that I was in better shape.  I tried a tree run too; I won't even bother to get into that one.  

 

So, I still have rear foot issues which becomes evident in more challenging terrain.  I am also beginning to realize that I have to try to work on delaying the drop into tele position because that seemed to help me in the bumps and harder terrain.  Am I on the right track?  

 

P.S. Tele in a couple feet of light snow is stupid fun.  This is coming from a guy that loves to alpine. 

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

P.S. Tele in a couple feet of light snow is stupid fun.  This is coming from a guy that loves to alpine. 

 

YES, re stupid fun!

 

Haven't digested everything above, but three suggestions, two in response to your rear foot weighting question and one general:

 

1 - Mental trick while tele turning: FORGET your front foot; make every turn a transition from rear foot to rear foot.  I.e., forget your outside ski entirely, focus only on the inside ski, transition from inside ski to inside ski.   Your outside ski won't give you problems the way an unweighted inside ski does, because you'll never totally unweight the outside ski, your muscle memory will keep it stable even if you're trying to ski 100% on the inside ski.  

 

2 - Physical trick while on tele skis: try several "monomark" runs on gentle and then increasingly challenging terrain.  (http://telemarkturn.com/?p=168#monomark; http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19061&highlight=monomark)

 

3 - http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Really-Telemark-Revised-Better/dp/076274586X  

post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01 View Post

 

YES, re stupid fun!

 

Haven't digested everything above, but three suggestions, two in response to your rear foot weighting question and one general:

 

1 - Mental trick while tele turning: FORGET your front foot; make every turn a transition from rear foot to rear foot.  I.e., forget your outside ski entirely, focus only on the inside ski, transition from inside ski to inside ski.   Your outside ski won't give you problems the way an unweighted inside ski does, because you'll never totally unweight the outside ski, your muscle memory will keep it stable even if you're trying to ski 100% on the inside ski.  

 

2 - Physical trick while on tele skis: try several "monomark" runs on gentle and then increasingly challenging terrain.  (http://telemarkturn.com/?p=168#monomark; http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=19061&highlight=monomark)

 

3 - http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Really-Telemark-Revised-Better/dp/076274586X  

I was actually thinking of doing that but was afraid of building a bad habit.  I will give it a shot.  I was watching a couple talented tele guys coming down a relatively steep bumped up run.  They were doing very fast snappy turns.  It seemed like the front leg/knee was being aggressively thrown into the turn.  They were totally in control.  What were they doing, or was I just seeing things?

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

I was actually thinking of doing that but was afraid of building a bad habit.  I will give it a shot.  

 

Disclaimer on the "100% inside ski" concept - it's completely my own mind game, I don't remember any instructor or clinic ever suggesting it but for me it helps.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterk123 View Post

I was watching a couple talented tele guys coming down a relatively steep bumped up run.  They were doing very fast snappy turns.  It seemed like the front leg/knee was being aggressively thrown into the turn.  They were totally in control.  What were they doing, or was I just seeing things?

 

 

Can't really say - no harm in watching and trying to ski like better skiers but if I were to try to get more active with more front leg I'd lose control, for me what works is just the opposite: pulling the inside ski back aggressively and weighting it.  YMMV though, just play with it and see what works. 

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