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New to Tele

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have a downhill background and I'm getting bored. I need some help on a set up for teleing without spending all my money. I have a pair of Head supercross Ti's that I want to put some tele bindings on. Can you also suggest some reasonably good boots.
I will be doing mostly lift accessed skiing to start.
How long does it take to get good at telemarking.
post #2 of 16
Another one switchs over to the dark side

Starting with the bindings .. these will cost you from $100 - $250 depending on what models you choose. Since you're just starting out I would say go with the cheaper end and get a cable binding - G3 Targa, Rotefella Cobra (I think this is the new model), something along those lines. Personally I can't stand the Rainey Stupidloops, but they fall into this category as well. Shop around online and you should find a good price. Check E-bay as people who try tele'ing and hate it are usually unloading gear cheap.

Boots.. as with alpine good boots are always key. My experience is limited to the Scarpa T1 and T2. As you are sticking to the resort I would say try a pair of T1's. If possible rent/borrow some boots until you find a pair you are comfortable with. I've heard that different manufactures boots are much more comfortable for different size feet. Nothing ruins a day like a bad boot fit.

Progress... well everyone's learning curve is different, but my experience was that I picked up decently quickly. The first few days I was on the ground a lot, but once I got the hang of it I progressed rapidly in skill level. I had been an alpine skier for 15 years before I switched to tele'ing at the end of a season, mostly because I was bored at the resorts. By the end of the next season (25 days?) there was really no terrain that bothered me on my tele gear.
post #3 of 16
Davo, a warning: tele skiing is very addictive, after you start to get good, you may never want to go back to alpine [img]smile.gif[/img]

The Head Supercross Ti make an excellent all around tele ski. For the money, I would get the Voile Hardwire bindings. For $130 (list - cheaper on sale) you get a great, high performance binding along with a 20mm lifter. Stay away from the older cable bindings that you might be able to get real cheap. The newer telebinding are way more durable with better performance for shaped skis.

Boots: Scarpa, Crispi, and Garmont are all good products. Get the boot with the best fit for your foot shape. If you are skiing mostly inbounds stay away from the low cut/very soft back country boots. You won't need a full blown race boot, just a good all around boot like the Scarpa T1 or T2, Crispi CXP, or Garmont Squadra. Like the bindings, Telemark boots have come a long way in the last few years, so don't get a boot that is more than a few model years old.

Since you alread have the skis, and if you are willing to look around at this time of the year (visit shops or surf the net for deals), you probably can get a great pair of boots and bindings for around $350 - maybe less if you are good at negotiating.

[ July 15, 2002, 06:51 PM: Message edited by: TJ ]
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey people
Thanks for the heads up.
Australia doesn't offer much in the way of tele gear so I might have to shop in CAD when I come over, OUCH!!.
What is money for anyway?
post #5 of 16
Tried Wilderness Sports in Jindy????

Lotsa stuff there
post #6 of 16
Excellent point Dis .. tele gear has improved drastically in the past couple of years. Make sure you are buying something more recent if you opt to go for the used gear route.
post #7 of 16
I use the Head Super cross ti and find it a strong tele ski. I use Rainey Designs Hammerhead binding. It will provide awesome control with just about any boot. However this ski needs a big boot to drive the ski. The T1` or Garmont equilvalent would be best. Fit is important.

PS I great tele web site is telemarktips.com

[ July 16, 2002, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: Thom ]
post #8 of 16
I really don't have that much to add, except that you have to try the boots out real careful.
The shells usually skip a half-size. (eg. same shell for size 8 and 8,5)so when you try a boot, make shure the joint of the shell is in the right place, otherwise your toes will kill you after an hour or so...
On the learning... A friend of mine started teleing this season, had about 25 days by the end of it. By then he did most stuff, not steep and tight though... [img]tongue.gif[/img]
And he's a former racer who's been boarding for the last 10 years.
post #9 of 16
You are going to LOVE tele skiing, but be prepared to be a beginner again. As to how long it will take, that depends on what level you need to get to to "be there." I found the first couple months among the most fun, not because I could tele very well but because you are improving so quickly. Every day there is a very noticeable improvement in your skills. It will probably take 2 years or so to get to your Alpine level (if you were a strong alpine skier), but having an alpine background will enable you to improve MUCH more quickly than otherwise. You will also find that everything is fun on tele skis, not just challenging terrain as is often the case with alpine skiers.

As for gear,I highly recommend big boots with a soft flexing bellow (toe). Coming from alpine, you will appreciate the height and torsional stiffness of the big boots and they'll let you parallel turn easier if you need to (or want to). You'll improve faster with these. However, stiff bellows (and even the Scarpa T1s have pretty stiff bellows) will make it harder to learn to get the ball of your rear foot down on the ski (a hard thing for beginners). Fit is key, but if you can get a good fit in a tall Crispi boot that would be idea. If not, then try Garmont and then Scarp T1.

As for binding, in the less expensive category the highest performing bindings are the Rainy Superloop (better forefoot retention) and the G3 Targa (easier to find in stores because of better distribution arrangements). If you are serious though, I'd spend the extra $50 and get the best designed tele binding, the Rainy Hammerhead. This is the highest performing binding on the market and is particularly helpful for beginners because you can adjust it to help force the ball of your rear foot down on the binding. The only downside to it is price and weight (and weight only matters in the backcountry). For the Superloop or Hammerhead, you have to order them online: Rainey Designs Website

Two very helpful books for learning Telemark are:

Allen & Mike's Really Cool Telemark Tips

Paul Parker's Free-Heel Skiing

[ July 17, 2002, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: AC ]
post #10 of 16
Also Davo, be prepared for total knee degredation compounded by advanced arthritis in at least one hip socket during your 9th season (or age 52) telemarking. Whichever somes first [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #11 of 16
Originally posted by Tele-Swede:
When you try a boot, make shure the joint of the shell is in the right place, otherwise your toes will kill you after an hour or so...
I'll have the high-instep *thing* and will do
the old searching_for_boots thing just as I did
with alpine boots : ....I tried on a pair
of too_large AND not_large_enough boots in January
....a little hint on what I should be feeling in
that area where the shell flexes...at one time or
another I picked a wrong shoe that killed me in
that same situation. Question: Can you do a little shaving somewhere on the top portion of a
boot...the outer side of the tongue?...etc.. to
add a little more room. The stock liners seemed
to be mushy..? I can't wear dense foam cause my
feet just aren't comfortable with it, but are
there liners *in between* the concrete and jello

**** CHEAP ! ****
Any ideas on liners that you've seen..? or can
you wear any old liner..?
[img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #12 of 16
AC, some comments about your boot/binding suggestions based on my personal experience. I use the Crispi CRX boot and totally agree with you on Crispi in general. All their boots have a nice flex in the bellows, and are torsionally stiff. Great boots if your foot shape fits the shell.

I had the Superloop and Targa for a few seasons. I have the Hammerhead and Voile Hardwire now. The Superloop was a great binding in its day, but many feel (including myself) its spring travel is too short for today's burly boots. There have been many reports of skiers ripping the Superloop off the ski when it runs out of travel. The Targa has had the same spring travel problems coupled with the some nagging QA issues. My Targa lasted exactly 2 weeks before blowing up. I did get a replacement under warranty, but it lasted less than a month. As soon as I got another replacement, I sold the bindings. Lesson learned.

The Hammerhead...defintely a big step up from the Superloop as far as performance. I skied on my Hammerheads all of last season, and can't decide whether I love or hate them. One problem is the long sidewalls on the HH sometimes cut into the bellows area on boots. This is especially true on Crispi boots with their large bellows. I definitely don't like skiing them in the #4 or #5 position--they put a weird flex into the ski because they develop so much heel hold down pressure. In the #1 or #2 position the feel like the Linken (which I also owned and sold)--almost too easly to lift the heel (hard to keep control in difficult snow), but they don't have the lateral stiffness of a plate binding. In the #3 position, they ski exactly like the Voile Hardwire or Chili Cobra, both of which cost less than the Hammerhead. I have no problem keeping the ball of my foot down, so that's why I like the Voile Hardwire. Easy enough to lift the rear heel without over flexing the ski, but with enough forward resistance to allow great power in difficult conditions. Add in their bullet proof construction (haven't heard of one failure) and long spring travel, I think they are the best telebindings for the money out there.
post #13 of 16
Good points TJ, and you have skied some boot/binding combos I have not. I found with my T1s (stiffer bellows than Crispi's) the #4 position was not only great, but needed becasue otherwise, even with ALL of my weight on the ski, I could not get the ball of foot down (and I weigh 190#). With the Hammerhead, it was easy. But I'm sure you are right that with the Crispi's softer flexing bellow, you don't need the HH's assistance. With my T2s (softer bellow), I use a more forward (less retention) position. I also have Linkens and like them a lot. But for a beginner, I think the ball of foot retenion is more important than the lateral stiffness that the Linkens are so good at. I don't think someone learning can go wrong witht he HH.

Also good points about the Superloops. I prefer the way they ski to the Targas, but I have heard of (though never experienced) them ripping out. I know that using a 5 screw plate instead of mounting them directly helps.

If this is confusing davo, let us know and we'll clarify.

Also Cheap seats has a point -- Wear kneepads! (UNDER your ski pants [img]smile.gif[/img] )
post #14 of 16
AC, the one thing I may try before I pass final judgement on the Hammerhead is to grind down the toepiece sidewall slightly. The issue really isn't the long length, it's the lenght coupled with the height of the sidewall at the rear edge of the toepiece. This is exactly where the binding is damaging my boots. I also noticed that this problem is not letting the duckbill sit in the toepiece properly (binding is contacting the bulge around the bellows instead of the sole of the boot). This forces me to run really high spring tension to keep the boot from moving side-to-side in the toepiece. This may be the reason why I'm getting the weird flex sensation in the #4 and #5 cable guide positions. It would only take a few passes on my grinder and some sand paper to smooth out the edge to change the contour of the sidewall to eliminate this problem. Then I should be able to reduce the spring tension AND have better boot contact at the same time. Hmmm...sound like a summer ski project is taking shape [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #15 of 16
TJ, let me know how it turns out. I'm tempted to get some Crispis ths season.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
All sounds good but a little more info than I expected. It appears the HH's are the go and some T1's or Crispis? Any suggestions on retailers in Canada?

I skied on Super Stinx with Black Diamond Riva Z's?, they had a 20mm plate under them and I still found that the snow would accumulate between the boot and the plate, most annoying. Could this be a technic, or lack of, thing?

The learning curve is different for everybody but I was doing mostly off piste, some bumps, and generally dark blue or black runs, however I could not keep up with my mate that I have downhilled with for about 16 years now. Perhaps I was expecting too much.

AC I'll try those links you advised.

Pray for snow!!
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