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Telemark skis. Can i use an old pair of downhill skis?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am just getting into telemark skiing and do not want to invest tons of money until I know this is what I want to do. I have a pair of boots and need to know if an old pair of downhill skis will work?  Specifically I have a pair of Dynastar Speed 63's.  They are shaped and seem to be the right length based on other reading. I loved them when I used them for downhill.   Can anyone provide some feedback on whether this is a good idea or not?

 

Moderator note: moved to Backcountry, Telemark & XC

post #2 of 9

I'm not specifically familiar with the Speed 63s, but there's actually two parts to your question, so I'll give you two answers:

1. Downhill skis for telemark - absolutely yes (wouldn't use anything else).

2. Old skis for ..... anything: how old? how much use did they get?  If they weren't heavily used then probably OK, but definitely get them tuned up (bases and edges) by a qualified tech.

 

As with an alpine rig, you should probably focus on the boots first; also, what bindings?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info.  The skis were not heavily used.  They are shaped skis with under 500 hours of skiing.  The bases and edges are in great condition so a tune up should do the trick.

I believe the "63" in the name refers to the width under the boot. This concerns me only because i am considering telemark bindings with built in brakes.  The brakes on the bindings are 100mm wide so there will be a considerable amount hanging over each side of the ski. should i be concerned about this?

Since i brought up bindings.... what is the feeling on the traditional 77mm boot and bindings versus the new step in binding and boots?

post #4 of 9

In general, yes, most "downhill" (ie fixed heel) skis can be used for telemark skiing, with the obvious exception of a "system" ski which comes from the factory with alpine bindings installed on proprietary mounting hardware.  

 

A related and less obvious issue is the plate on alpine race skis; even if you can mount a telemark binding, these might make it more difficult to flex the ski for someone new to telemark and you would want a pretty active (stiff) tele binding.   Coincidentally I figured this out the hard way on some similar vintage Dynastars as the Speed 63 -- had good success with a pretty active binding (Burnt Mtn Spike XT) on a Dynastar SkiCross 10 with plates, but less active 7tm Power on Dynastar Omecarve 10 was nearly unskiable.

 

 

As to your last questipn, "traditional 77mm [sic] boot and bindings versus the new step in bindings and boots" - conventional wisdom if you're starting out with a limited budget and not certain you'll stick with it is find a cheap pair of 75mm (not 77mm) boots that fit you well and go from there. In the unlikely event you find a good deal on NTN boots that fit [i.e. the "new step in" variety] , no harm starting out on NTN gear; it may cost a bit more but if you stick with tele you'll like it and if you don't you'll have an easier time selling it.

 

Better and more detailed answers here:  http://www.epicski.com/t/143214/craig-dosties-tele-gear-for-newbies-october-2015

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old dude View Post
 

I am just getting into telemark skiing and do not want to invest tons of money until I know this is what I want to do. I have a pair of boots and need to know if an old pair of downhill skis will work?  Specifically I have a pair of Dynastar Speed 63's.  They are shaped and seem to be the right length based on other reading. I loved them when I used them for downhill.   Can anyone provide some feedback on whether this is a good idea or not?

 

Moderator note: moved to Backcountry, Telemark & XC

Yes, alpine skis work just fine. I've been on teles for 15 years and they have all been alpine skis. Is that the kind of gold colored ski with the "63" on them and a racing stripe? They might be a little stiff in the tail, but the shape will ski nicely.

post #6 of 9

Was going to say that generally you can us and alpine ski, but pretty sure the Speed 63 was a SL ski and might be less than ideal for tele use.

post #7 of 9

Many years ago, one of the favored downhill skis for telemark was the Volkl Presto; I had the blue version, only problem was that it was a foam core and I kept tearing my bindings out but it skied well.  Many good, aggressive skiers moved on to the Volkl Mantra.  Much later I used an Atomic R:EX, which was also very good.  As noted above, ever since tele began growing in popularity people found using used/older/cheaper downhill skis was better than using underperforming more expensive designated tele skis.  Today, Alpine Touring and Tele skis are the same and superior to downhills skis for deep bc just because they are usually lighter and more suited to the bc than downhill for many people.  But just today I saw a strong skier on Head Venturi 95s with tech bindings.  A friend of mine is on Volkl 2s for AT.  I was actually tempted to convert my Kastle LX92s to AT.

post #8 of 9
Skied on some Pre SP's in the early 90's and loved that ski I think you should be OK with your skis, and enjoy.
post #9 of 9

Yup.  I am a part time tele hacker.  My daughter and I decided to try it a few years ago.  

 

We found cheap used bindings, a pairs of really old skis and hit the kiddie slopes.  At first you will suck so bad it will just not matter.  Boy, the looks we got from our vintage 1979 gear.  We had a ball.  Once things started to click, it was time to upgrade.  We are not using the NTN bindings.  I think we are using the Vice, a cable binding.  What a difference from the old stuff.  I got a rippin deal on some Fischer Watea 90s.  Perfect ski. Soft and not too much side cut.  Next were boots that actually fit.  Christ, it was like cheating.  

 

I guess my point is just go and have fun.  Once it starts to click, upgrade.  It is a lot of fun, although I still enjoy the quest of the perfect carve on slalom skis more.  Heck it is skiing, it is all good :)

 

Pete

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