Telemark skiing is very popular at the ski area I frequent - I've been intrigued for years watching all the folks doing it, but never had the chance to try it out. I finally hit a demo day last year, and really liked the sport. I didn't have a clue what to do technically, but pretty much just copied the tele-turn body position I saw everyone else doing, got real low, and it worked (although I think was drastically over-weighting my front ski - who knew it was supposed to be 50/50?) I took 4 runs that day - beginner run, intermediate run, then expert run (all groomed), then took an intermediate a mogul run - had a few biffs, but pretty much did it and got fairly comfortable - for a grand total of about 3800 vertical feet or so in 45 minutes. My legs were completely smoked for the entire rest of the weekend. I was sold, and planned to switch to tele for this upcoming season. I figure after a season on the things, I'll be able to kick through a car door.
I am (historically) a fast and aggressive expert mogul skier that also likes to hit snowboard-park big airs on occasion. I'm 5'10" and an athletic fat guy of about 210-215#, and do about 25 days/season. Unfortunately, my advanced age (50) coupled with an advanced waistline and an old college hockey injury has resulted in a knee that has pretty much turned to rubble. I've been working on trimming the waistline (tele skiers seem to all be beanpoles - I am not built that way, but working on it) and am hoping that all of the quad work will ultimately help my knee. My orthopedic surgeon thinks that switching to tele is a great idea, especially after what will be my 4th operation on the damned thing next month.
I suspect that technical prowess in telemarking will come quickly, and expect to be able to ski fast and hard on telemarks before too long (as long as my legs hold up), including woods and moguls. I have no plans to ever tour or climb if I can help it - call it 99.9% lift served. I've been bargain-shopping for equipment for months, and ended up buying a new pair of Garmont Prophet boots, new Rottefella NTN Freeride bindings (blue springs @ 3-4), and pair of used-but-decent 177cm Volkl Karma twin-tips. I'm going to use normal ski poles w/o the adjustable length thingie on them. I went NTN for the pseudo-release feature - with my knee, a non-releasable binding seems a bad idea. I considered the BD Push or Custom with a 7tm (?) or similar releasable binding, but came across a bargain on the Prophets, so went the NTN route (even though I think the BD boots might fit my foot shape a little better). Does the Garmont/NTN/Volkl set-up sound like a reasonable rig to get started with? Any relevant hints or suggestions regarding equipment choices?
I haven't been able to find much to read on technique on-line. The 50/50 weighting was a revelation, and I think I can get away with way less knee bend once I know what I'm doing a little better. I've watched a few videos, but that's about as far as I've been able to go on pre-season instructional materials. Any suggestions on stuff to read? Any suggested drills or on-snow exercises?
thanks - JayC