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What makes a tele ski?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Given the lack of snow in NE, my wife and I tried a day of tele a couple of weeks ago and were pretty psyched. We would love to get gear, but are a little hesitant to go out and break the bank on the latest and greatest. Especially since we just upgraded our alpine gear...what if we become one of those tele people who never go back...

It seems that any shaped ski can be fitted with tele bindings and will work fine, a softer ski being better. If that is the case, why are there so many tele specific ski models out there? What makes them tele specific? Lastly, what size in relation to alpine gear do people traditionally use? (ie should tele gear be shorter/longer/same as alpine gear for a given skiier?)

Any tips on where to get cheap gear would also be appreciated.

Thx in advance!

PS If you've never tried it and find yourself at the mtn on a day with marginal conditions, I would recommend giving it a whirl.
post #2 of 8
Yo Yo; My wife tried it, never went back,so I inherited a nice pair of Snow Rangers. It's common here to mount old alpine, or new , with tele bindings.. The lighter gear is as much for hiking up as performance. If you're using a lift weight is less important, I'd reason. Ruth has a pair of tele-specific Black Diamond Resolutions in 180, about 10cm's shorter than what she skied on with alpine straights, and a pair of Tele-mounted 178 Dynastar 4+4 ATV's{pretty fat alpine} which she just rocks on. Absolutely loves 'em.. ski's powder to boiler plate. Something about the dipped knee, one ski out in front creates a two ski platform almost twice as long; tele physics.. In any case, it's hard to get her off the mountain, which suits me fine..Bob
post #3 of 8
The only real differences in tele and alpine skis, is mounting plate and flex. The tele skis get a beefier mounting plate, to hold in the binding, as it is quite easy to pull a tele binding out of an alpine ski. Double shimming helps, but in a non releasable setup, something has to give sometimes. The tele skis also have a rounder softer flex , without a "flat spot" that you might have in a alpine ski. Look at Rossi's tele line. The Big Bang is the old Bandit XX. The Mega Bang is the new XXX. In Tua's line alpine and tele skis out of the same mold can be distinguished by the name. The AT version will be the Ride 112 (shovel mm)or something, and the Tele Version will have a name, but no number.
post #4 of 8
Tele specific skis from the major manufactures are basically alpine skis without the metal layer and different graphics. The Rossi Hellgate, Big Bang, and Mega Bang are similar the the Bandit Series. The Atomic TM18, TM20, and TM22 are the same skis as the 8.18, 8.20, and 9.22, again with different graphics. All of K2's tele specific skis are based on their alpine skis also. You can use heavy, metal layered alpine skis for tele, but most people find them overly damp and slow responding.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 09, 2002 05:19 PM: Message edited 1 time, by TJ ]</font>
post #5 of 8
The only difference between a tele ski and an alpine ski is the binding.

Some of the best performing tele skis , are stiff alpine-designed boards (e.g., Volkl G4, Atomic 10.ex). A stronger mounting plate is nice, but not required for tele bindings. Its is mainly a marketing distinction (tele boards do tend to be softer, but that does not make them better for tele -- just different from alpine skis made in the same mold and therefore applicable to a differnt marketing scheme).
post #6 of 8
Ditto's to AC
post #7 of 8
Keep in mind if you mount tele bindings on alpine skis, you are not covered under warranty. This is of course not a problem until the binding rips out. We had a bunch of problems with this happening (especially on Volkl Snow Ranger) a few years back. People were really pissed to find out they were up the creek with out a warranty. Of course, we told them when they bought the setup, but nobody pays any attention.
post #8 of 8
If you use riser plates on alpine-tele skis, use such plates that attach to ski with set of screws separate from ones that keep binding attached to plate. Binding-riser plate sets with screws going through the plate are more prone to rip off.

Opinion: If a midfat alpine ski carves easily without tip pressure, has some stiffness in tail and is reasonably stable, it is most propably a good allround telemark ski.

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