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Newbie Telemark Question

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I'm going to make the switch over to the dark side next year. I've never telemarked and it looks like a lot of fun and can make those "groomer days" more interesting. I have a pair of G3's that I want to mount with telemark bindings. This is where it gets hazy for me I have NO clue what boots/bindings to get. I'm a very strong alpine skier and I'm not using whatever setup I get for backcountry at all, more for skiing between snowfalls. I ski East coast so edge grip is going to be the most important thing. Should I get linken bindings or stick to cables? I have a feeling that I'm going to be looking at a boot like the T-1 but I hear that scarpas are for narrow feet, are they narrow like Langes? Does anyone know of a good shop around Albany NY that carries a decent line of tele stuff?

Thanks for all the help!

[ March 27, 2003, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: laseranimal ]
post #2 of 5
Originally posted by laseranimal:
So I'm going to make the switch over to the dark side next year
From the rest of your post, it sounds like you have it backward: you are currently on the dark side and are considering coming into the light. (that's how the typical analogy goes)

Definitely get big, T-1 category boots. Just like with alpine, try on all the major brands to find those in the big-boot category that best fit your foot. This will make the transition from alpine much easier and faster. Then get a good ski for east coast hard pack.

Binding-wise, I believe the best binding by far is the Rainey Hammerhead; this is particularly true for beginners who will need all the help they can to keep the ball of the foot down on the rear ski. This binding, however, needs to be ordered online ( then (if you don't know how to mount bindings) you need to find a shop that you have confidence in to mount it. But it's worth this extra hassle for the performance enhancement.

And then read the two best books on telemark technique:
Allen & Mike's Really Cool Telemark Tips (click here)
Paul Parker's "Free Heel Skiing" (click here)

Welcome to the tele world, and have fun!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 5

I used to think that I wouldn't ski on free heel gear using telemark technique when the conditions were ...pirate snow (harrrrrrrrd.)

I gotta tell you that I actually love the challenge of edge purchase on hard snow with tele technique. I've found it really fine tunes the blending of skiing's skills on that type of surface as you seek the perfect turn. I haven't had alpine gear on in over 350 skiing days.

I also think AC is right on the money regarding your binding choice. Hammerheads are a god-send to area telemark skiers because of their ability to adjust for more or less forebody ski pressure with the trailing ski. A big boot is also a benefit for the reasons of energy transfer from body to ski. However, Russel Rainey preaches that his binding is better suited to a mid-level stiffness of boot because his bindings are that good at transfering your body's energy to the ski.

I use a Scarpa T1 with an Intuition Liner (No, it isn't low volume like a Lange but I wish it were) and the HH. It's a fantastic combo.

Let us know what you're deciding on getting. Oh, and beware of faulty binding boot interface. In some cases the heel throw of some bindings won't engage all the way up with some boots. This leads to the unexpected release of the heel throw.
post #5 of 5
For my money, Linken delivers everything I need, and nothing I don't. That said, there are lots of die hard Hammerhead lovers. But with your G3 you've got a binding that will allow you to learn the subtleties of the turn and leave enough room to handle whatever you throw at them when your skill level progresses.

Big boots for sure. There must be demo days at West or Gore you can check out a few different pairs to see what you like.

Welcome to the addiction!
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