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Young mind and soul, aging body and knees

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking about getting into telemarking this winter (Southern Hemisphere), have got boots, bindings and I'm on the lookout for the right skis. I've been a little concerned about the wear and tear on my knees but saw on another thread that some of the posters/knowledgeable bears thought that telemarking was easier on the body and knees. What are other peoples thoughts or experiences?
post #2 of 12
Great thread title........I can relate. :

There is clearly can be more stress on the knees and quads than alpine, especially if you 'fake-e-mark' or 'kneel-e-mark' your turns. The objective is not to 'drop the rear knee', and leave all, or near all, of your weight on the lead ski. Having taught a fair amount of alpine converts in the past, the typical stumbling point was getting used to the idea of trying to put almost equal weight on both feet and pressuring the inside edge on the lead ski (big toe) while also pressuring the outside edge of the trail ski (press little toe) and keeping the center of your mass between your feet (press little toe).

The similarities between alpine and telemark far outweigh the differences. Telepining is a good way to get some mileage on tele gear to improve balance, confidence and a launch pad to gradually add and increase lead changes. Some of the smoothest telemarkers I know, ski very upright, have quicker lead changes and the knees don't feel the continual stress you'll get if you sink low all of the time. Sometimes lowering your mass between your feet will stabilize in bumps and mank and more demanding conditions. On groomers, focus on staying up like you do while alpine skiing. There are other excellent, powerful tele skiers that ski very low and can make quick lead changes.

Bicycling helps with knee & leg strength, smoother telemarking and of course stamina.

HTH

Remember that age is a state of mind and:

"We don't grow too old to play, we grow old because we stop playing." - Herman "Jackrabbit" Johanson
post #3 of 12
While I can't help with the telemark, I can comment on knees. I've got two marginal ones, cartilage wear and tear on both. Some days are OK others are excruciating. My take on it is full-speed ahead, damn the pain. Why both doing it at half-speed or not at all if that's not what you enjoy doing. The worst possible thing in my mind is sitting around not doing something because you are afraid it will make it worse. I may pay for it in the end, but then again when I am on my deathbed, having good knees won't make a difference.

0-G
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I don't think I will fully commit this winter but put a toe or two (equally weighted) into the snow this winter. I'm just deeply attracted to the flow and turn. My daughter is switching to the darkside (snowboarding) this year so I thought cruising the groomers with her learning to telemark would be the way to go. I do think that the more upright stance is the way to go for me. I'm also thinking of getting a longboard (9'+) next summer, the times they are a changing . . .
post #5 of 12
Can't comment on the telemark side of things, but I can relate to the worn knees etc. I first really noticed this about six years ago and for a while any activity such as skiing or extended walks were very painful.

Now I have very few pain issues unless I do something stupid. Things I've found to very helpful were:
  • Lose weight, every kilo you're not carrying around is less pressure on the knees
  • Strengthen leg muscles, particularly quads, do leg extension exercises with a weight machine, and cycling is good too
  • Supplements - glucosamine, omega 6 & 9 oils (flax seed & fish oil), Lyprinol, and green lipped mussel extracts all seem to help if taken for an extended time (6 months +)
  • Skinning up mountains - I do it on AT skis but telemark should be the same, seems to be really good on my knees and I found really enjoy it, and of course you get to ski on untouched snow instead of rock-hard groomers or bumps.
So I'd say give it a bash and see what happens!
post #6 of 12
After many years of alpining I took up tele skiing and now do it about 1/3 of the time on-area. Lots of 1/2 days until my legs get tired and then switch to my alpine gear. My experience is that it is not any harder on my knees, but during the learning period I sure fell down a lot, which has potential dangers. If you have knee concerns you should consider a releasable tele binding, of which there are several. You can check out telemark web sites for tests and reviews.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
"My experience is that it is not any harder on my knees, but during the learning period I sure fell down a lot, which has potential dangers." Believe this. Last day of the season here, fell completely splayed and did my knee in when I was virtually stationary, barely moving. I had borrowed telegear from a friend and the boots were at least 3 sizes too big. I'm writing this off as a one off due to the boot issue, but acutely aware of the learning curve and to expect many falls, ouch.
post #8 of 12
I think tele is actually easier on the knees than alpine-
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossi60 View Post
Can't comment on the telemark side of things, but I can relate to the worn knees etc. I first really noticed this about six years ago and for a while any activity such as skiing or extended walks were very painful.

Now I have very few pain issues unless I do something stupid. Things I've found to very helpful were:
  • Lose weight, every kilo you're not carrying around is less pressure on the knees
  • Strengthen leg muscles, particularly quads, do leg extension exercises with a weight machine, and cycling is good too
  • Supplements - glucosamine, omega 6 & 9 oils (flax seed & fish oil), Lyprinol, and green lipped mussel extracts all seem to help if taken for an extended time (6 months +)
  • Skinning up mountains - I do it on AT skis but telemark should be the same, seems to be really good on my knees and I found really enjoy it, and of course you get to ski on untouched snow instead of rock-hard groomers or bumps.
So I'd say give it a bash and see what happens!
I don't believe leg extensions are good for the knees.Parallel squats with moderate wts,leg curls on certain machines,bike and sprints 2-400 meters. 69yrs old and still skiing(not as good as you young guys) running and wt training.Knees are still in pretty good shape
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2meke View Post
I'm thinking about getting into telemarking this winter (Southern Hemisphere), have got boots, bindings and I'm on the lookout for the right skis. I've been a little concerned about the wear and tear on my knees but saw on another thread that some of the posters/knowledgeable bears thought that telemarking was easier on the body and knees. What are other peoples thoughts or experiences?
Many techno changes in alpine, enjoying skiing with the kid on less charger terrain, and missing--yet not wanting to gear up for--nordic are the "ratonal" influences, the movement the "irrational" for my switch to tele: if the game changes, change your game, a little
So far, the change is terrific. You may learn which side you favor by which hip is most sore, and one good knock of a knee on the top plate may settle the debate about knee pads. A quick balance correction may also remind you that that's not what your hands are for... otherwise, tele has been great for body fitness. I can also look at the fall line with a few new turns--including parallel--to make it fun... monotele/goofy-foot all the way down a green/red run means surf's up(and the forward ski quad let's you know your weight distribution is off if it "burns" too much). Haven't done a blue or black this way, yet(did I say fun? Ya'betcha).

With tele, the body's always engaged, both the right and left when the weighting(as mentioned "big toe forward ski, little toe rearward ski") is optimal. Key here, and to your thread title... my mind and soul has remet my old body, and it was my body that told the mind to have some soul and use knee pads!

Enjoy your season(s)!

rgds,
Dave, the Hooked-and-still-falling
post #11 of 12
I don't think that tele is easier on the knees. I do think that the act of tele skiing strengthens the knees and makes them feel and function better. Like what rossi60 says about skinning feeling good on the knees. I also dont agree with what Alpinord wrote about the weight distribution and not dropping the rear knee. I think he understands it, but wrote it wrong or at least unclearly. He is right about all of the alpine nordic similarities. Have fun with tele and your milage may vary.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by rossi60 View Post
... green lipped mussel extracts ...
Not gonna let that one pass!!
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