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Taking the tele turn to the next level

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

So a question for the free heelers on here. I'm sure I'll get a lot of the "fix the heel, fix the problem" answers, but I'll ask this anyway.

 

I've been riding telemark bindings for about the last 3 seasons exclusively, (25 years alpine and AT). I'm looking to push the limits of what I can do on them. I used to be able to go down anything I wanted, drops, serious air, all that stuff, and I really want to be able to do it all again, but not have to be locked back in again. I can get down the runs I used to, but find myself going into parallel turns to save my ass if it gets a bit hairy

 

I suppose I'm asking (even though I should know the answer) about lessons. I haven't actually taken any, nor have I skied with any free heelers. Everyone that I ride with are all still locked in.

 

Just got a pair of HH's this year, so I'm hoping with a more active binding that I'll be able to put down bolder lines.

 

Anyone else made a late change one way or the other? Did you take lessons, or like me, just keep trying to teach yourself?

post #2 of 26

I have never seen you ski.  The problem that I see with most proficient alpine skiers who try to teach themselves to tele is too much pressure on the outside ski.  With the tele turn, you need to pressure the outside edge of the inside ski...  Think little toe.  I like a stance with not a lot of lead change and pressure on both feet.  During my lead change I like to try to simultaneously pull the lead foot back and push the trailing foot forward.  This allows me to more naturally maintain my CM near the middle of both skis.  Try to slow down the lead change so that it lasts through the entire arc.  I have historically been very fast with my lead change.  I'm currently working on improving this.  The value of the slower movement is that it lends itself to a more progressive flowing turn.  It's easier to be in balance when something is moving.  Balance is dynamic, if a skier gets static in some position their balance inevitably suffers a bit for it.  

 

Think about bending both knees.  If the outside ski is over pressured it can be hard to bend that knee.  The trailing ski in this case tends to be ineffective and uncertain.  I see lots of fake a markers with a locked outside knee and a wobbly inside ski.  The other component to pressuring the inside ski is rotating the hips so that your butt points a bit up the hill.  I may not be explaining this very well verbally.  Try standing in a tele stance and playing with this movement.  You should be able to feel the pressure more naturally directed towards the trailing foot.  I feel that counter in the tele world plays a stronger role than anticipation in the alpine world.  

 

I also try not to get too low in my tele stance.  Getting low increases pressure and power in the turn.  Getting too low limits your options regarding terrain absorption and reaction.  Going deep on every turn also tires me out much faster.  I will make a fair amount of parallel turns to save energy on a tele day.  I think it's important to know how to make both turns if you want to be a good telemarker.  The tele turn offers much better fore/aft stability.  I tend to exclusively make tele turns in bumps, crud, and other variable snow.  I will make parallel turns on groomers and some times in deep powder when a tele turn tends to slow me down too much.  I tend to favor the tele turn to save my ass when things get hairy.

 

I use a pair of HH on one of my tele set-ups.  I like the binding.  I also like the BD O2.  You will need a beefy boot with either of these active bindings.  There is no doubt that the stiffer binding boot interface offers more control.  The real deal though is to have the correct movement patterns.   I hope this helps.  Have fun with the Tele!

post #3 of 26

Like you, I came to tele skiing after a lifetime of alpine.  Had very minimal instruction, other than skiing and talking to friends that were excellent exclusive telers.  I now do it about 1/3 of the time.  All day at my local fairly mellow area, and often mornings at bigger mountains before resorting to the"heavy metal" of my alpine gear when my legs start to tire.

 

I think in many ways it is harder for an ex-alpine skier to become a good tele skier because we are used to riding that one solid feeling edge, and have trouble giving it up.  In alpine you are basically balanced on one ski and then the other, which you can do with tele skis, but the real deal only comes when you abandon that for the magic spot in between your skis.  Once you learn to quit putting so much weight on the front ski you can stay in the spot between your skis where your balance is truely not on either ski.  I am sure you have experienced it as your balance point passes it going back and forth between the forward and rear ski.

 

My recommendation is to ski small bumps on a mellow slope.  Because of the need to quickly change your lead ski and turn (you cannot hold onto your turn, which is death to smooth tele turns), you will not have time to keep your weight on your front ski.  Once you get comfortable on the "spot" you can cruise bumps and terrain and snow variations and turn at will, because what your skis are doing will not be throwing you off balance.  The feeling of constantly floating between your skis (and not on them) is what makes tele skiing so seductive.

 

Another tip is to use shorter poles.  Alpine length poles are too long for good tele turns and inhibit your stance and rythm. You often see tele skiers with arms wide struggling to get their pole plants to keep up with their body.  Trying shortening them 1-2" inches and see how it makes it easier to charge your turns.

 

Hope that is of some help.

post #4 of 26

Here is some video that we can rip to shreds for MA.  

 

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post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

 

Quote:
I have never seen you ski

Problem #1 yes. But I thank you on giving some advice regardless

 

 

 

Quote:
The problem that I see with most proficient alpine skiers who try to teach themselves to tele is too much pressure on the outside ski.  With the tele turn, you need to pressure the outside edge of the inside ski...  Think little toe.  I like a stance with not a lot of lead change and pressure on both feet.  During my lead change I like to try to simultaneously pull the lead foot back and push the trailing foot forward.  This allows me to more naturally maintain my CM near the middle of both skis.  Try to slow down the lead change so that it lasts through the entire arc.  I have historically been very fast with my lead change.  I'm currently working on improving this.  The value of the slower movement is that it lends itself to a more progressive flowing turn.  It's easier to be in balance when something is moving.  Balance is dynamic, if a skier gets static in some position their balance inevitably suffers a bit for it.

 

  Yup that all makes sense (except "CM" not sure about that one)  
I do try to put more pressure on my little toe than I'm used too, guess it's just a practice thing. So here I am in the living room trying to get the right feeling of when I have pressure on the big and little toes, pinching the hips, keeping my shoulders square to my imaginary fall line switching lead foot (it helps with facecloths on the hardwood lol). As for sticking my butt up hill, I can picture what you're driving at there.  The boots I'm in are the Ener-g so I've got lots of boot for the bindings. 
 
As for the vids you put up WTF is up with a step tele-turn?     That's um... odd?
 
Mudfoot: I'll give the bumps a try. Normally I avoid them like the plague, but I can see where you're coming from.
 
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm looking forward to getting out there, taking things up a couple notches and pushing it HOOOO YEAH!!
 
 
 
post #6 of 26



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iceclymbrr View Post

 

Mudfoot: I'll give the bumps a try. Normally I avoid them like the plague, but I can see where you're coming from. 
 



As I said, small bumps on a mellow slope.  Big bumps are the ultimate test for your tele turns, but they will immediately eat your lunch at this stage of the game.  Bumps push you back and forth from front to back ski, which I think helps you find the middle faster than the groomed runs.  Even more so than with alpine, groomed runs are very forgiving and allow you to get away with very bad tele-like turns.  That can be fun, but if you want to take it to the next level you need to start carving with both skis, and balancing strictly on neither.  If you are a moderately proficient teler I think you will find the bumps easier than you think.  The ability to slide the front ski into a trough and direct it makes the bumps eaiser than on alpine skis in many respects.

 

Good luck, and as they say, "free your heel, free your mind!"

post #7 of 26

I think you are referring to the wedge 2 tele drill.  The one video was outtakes from a training clinic.  I was very disappointed with my wedge 2 tele demo in that video.  It's not a real way to ski, just an intermediate step in a PSIA progression.  OR you might be talking about the moonwalking drill at the end of the video.  That thing is really hard and definitely demonstrates an ability to weight the inside ski. and get a clean release into the next turn.  Also not a way to ski...  Just a stupid human trick.  BUT if you can do that drill you have solid skills.

 

I was home yesterday listening to the rain and checking out the PSIA national site.  There was a pretty cool lead change drill that addressed the simultaneous lead change I spoke of.  It involves using a snow saucer and forces both feet to move together.  It's a drill probably best done in your living room.  A lot of those video clips are fluffy, but some are pretty good.  I like Scotty McGees Load & Launch clip for example.

 

Bumps are great.  You should ski them, they are even more fun on tele gear.  I agree with mudfoot on most points, but disagree on the fast lead change comment.  I would have agreed five years ago, but have found that the lead change and the edge change aren't neccicarrilly connected.  You of course need a decisive and well timed edge change.  However the slower lead change will help with the your flow.  IMO you will have more tendency to get "stuck in a turn with a fast lead change.  Ideally the tips will pass each other in the fall line.  I fought my trainers hard on that one, but have been forced to concede that they were correct on that point.  The fast lead change uses up most of your range of motion early in the turn and can contribute to park and ride and therefor getting stuck in the turn.  It's less of an issue in short turns, but still important.  Check out the bump segments on the PSIA stuff and see how those high level tele skiers keep it moving through the arc.

 

I also use the Ener-g boot.  I love it.   Last year I put in an intuition liner and now it's even better.  Try and put all of your weight on the little toe.  That's not the outcome you are looking for, but you will get closer to the distribution you are looking for.  Most people won't allow themselves to easily break out of their alpine habits with out a bit of overkill.  What I should have said about the CM was keeping it centered between both skis, not centered over both skis...  That would be more like a parallel turn... Sorry about that. 

post #8 of 26

CM is center of mass.

post #9 of 26

TPJ:

 

By "fast lead change" I was referring to the bumps precluding you from holding onto a turn for too long ("park and ride" as you call it), which I think is a common novice tele problem.  Having to constantly deal with the next bump forces you not to get too far forward or back, and also to charge the fall line, which IMO are all things that help to figure out how to stay centered between your skis.  A fast lead change is not necessarily a good thing, but I think it can be a good learning device for an alpine skier trying to stay off the front tele ski.  MF

post #10 of 26

Step 1 - get your ass out here.

 

I'll introduce you to a buddy of mine out here who kills it on tele gear and is in some tele association. Super solid. Drop a knee squat to pee. You know the rest of them... And keep your damned ski tips away from my shins. Yes Ren, infact I am all over the internet lol.

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

TPJ:

 

By "fast lead change" I was referring to the bumps precluding you from holding onto a turn for too long ("park and ride" as you call it), which I think is a common novice tele problem.  Having to constantly deal with the next bump forces you not to get too far forward or back, and also to charge the fall line, which IMO are all things that help to figure out how to stay centered between your skis.  A fast lead change is not necessarily a good thing, but I think it can be a good learning device for an alpine skier trying to stay off the front tele ski.  MF


If the turn is quick, the lead change is quick. The point TPJ was making in his excellent post is that the lead change should last as long as the turn. It's a bit confusing because the lead change should actually happen in the fall line, but the action of moving into and out of a telemark position should be continuous. You should be at your lowest, deepest telemark (and I agree this needn't be too low) at the transition (edge change) and in an alpine (parallel) position in the fall line.

 

I know you know this mudfoot but for the OP and others learning. Good advice from you and TPJ thus far and I fear I may have muddied the waters (forgive the pun) with this post, but maybe not.

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by time2clmb View Post

Step 1 - get your ass out here.

 

I had tried calling a couple days ago... 
I hope Mrs. T2C gave you a good bruise when you came home from Bow summit without me dik lol!

 

TPJ: THanks for the continued tips, I'll be trying them out. 

TRod and Mud: I'll try everything right now, see which works for me. I'm going to be investing in some advanced lessons as soon as the hills around here open.

 

 

As for you T2C, that wouldn't happen to be repete would it?
 

post #13 of 26

One more point if I may. While I agree with everything in TPJ's post including that (generally speaking) you should try to both pull the inside ski back while also advancing the outside ski, but for quick turns especially in moguls, try just pulling back the inside ski and don't try to push the outside ski forward. It should help you stay over your skis and out of the backseat. Also allows a quicker change of direction. Try it!

 

post #14 of 26

About the lessons, see if there are Telemark clinics scheduled for your area. I've learned a lot and met other local freeheelers at clinics. Sometimes they are part of a Telemark Festival of some kind, so keep your eye out for this type of activity at a hill near you! If you can get in a group lesson I think it would more fun than taking a private. 

post #15 of 26

Thanks  for the affirmations TRod!  I think I know what you are saying about pulling the inside ski back.  I would describe it as pulling the outside ski back at turn initiation (new inside ski?).  Semantics and timing I think.  Pulling the inside ski back generally sounds like an alpine tip to me.  I still advocate moving both feet simultaneously, but the OP should try a bunch of techniques and see what works best for him.  Ask 12 telemarkers and get 13 opinions.  Clinics and festivals can be really fun social events.  I wouldn't take a private tele lesson in most circumstances.  Most group tele lessons around here are de facto private lessons.  Group lesson with group size of one.  We tele instructors joke that Telemark skiing is a fun and healthful activity that is regularly enjoyed by dozens of people every year.  I had a "busy" season with telemark instruction last year.  I think I taught a dozen tele lessons.  I've given more money to PSIA in tele clinics and assessments than I have made teaching tele.

 

Last night I put together a sloppy vid of some misc telemark footage that I had on my computer.  None of the skiers are particularly good, but it they demonstrate some of the more common problems that I see in telemark skiers.  Youtube must have timed out last night or something.  I am going to try and upload it again but wont get it posted for a while as I am leaving soon to go on a ski tour!  Possible video to come.

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post


If the turn is quick, the lead change is quick. The point TPJ was making in his excellent post is that the lead change should last as long as the turn. It's a bit confusing because the lead change should actually happen in the fall line, but the action of moving into and out of a telemark position should be continuous. You should be at your lowest, deepest telemark (and I agree this needn't be too low) at the transition (edge change) and in an alpine (parallel) position in the fall line.

 

I realized that we are all talking about the same thing, but that my description was a little confusing.  By "fast lead change" my intention was to point out the fact that the moguls force a "constant lead change," which is a good learning tool. You do not have to do it quickly, you just have to keep doing it.  It is like walking.  You are never just taking a step, you are walking, so you are always on the way to the next step (turn). Sometimes it is in slow motion, and other times rapid fire, but the moguls help you feel the groove of constantly rolling into the next turn without hesitation.

 

Bumps = no time to get too low or hold a turn too long.  Terrain as teacher is always a good thing.  Eventually you get to a point where it does not matter if the snow or terrain knock you off balance, because you are always on the way to another solid turn.

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

Thanks  for the affirmations TRod!  I think I know what you are saying about pulling the inside ski back.  I would describe it as pulling the outside ski back at turn initiation (new inside ski?).  Semantics and timing I think.  Pulling the inside ski back generally sounds like an alpine tip to me.  I still advocate moving both feet simultaneously, but the OP should try a bunch of techniques and see what works best for him.  Ask 12 telemarkers and get 13 opinions.  Clinics and festivals can be really fun social events.  I wouldn't take a private tele lesson in most circumstances.  Most group tele lessons around here are de facto private lessons.  Group lesson with group size of one.  We tele instructors joke that Telemark skiing is a fun and healthful activity that is regularly enjoyed by dozens of people every year.  I had a "busy" season with telemark instruction last year.  I think I taught a dozen tele lessons.  I've given more money to PSIA in tele clinics and assessments than I have made teaching tele.

 

Last night I put together a sloppy vid of some misc telemark footage that I had on my computer.  None of the skiers are particularly good, but it they demonstrate some of the more common problems that I see in telemark skiers.  Youtube must have timed out last night or something.  I am going to try and upload it again but wont get it posted for a while as I am leaving soon to go on a ski tour!  Possible video to come.


Yup I'm going to try a bunch of different thigns that have been put up on here. As for lessons, I'm not really a big fan, maybe in MT this year, hopefully.

I find it kind of hard to find free heelers to ski with up here. Actually in 3 years that I've been strictly on the tele, I have yet to ski with another person on the freeheel gear. Odd huh?

 

 

post #18 of 26

You might want to check out Dickie Hall's "Joy of Telemark Skiing" DVD: http://store02.prostores.com/servlet/northamericantelemarkstore/Detail?no=1  It includes a lot of the sequences that he teaches in NATO (North American Telemark Org) workshops.  I've done the workshop twice (slow learner) and it's really quite helpful with a lot of focus on some of the points noted above -- slowing down the lead change, more "two-footed" skiing.  "Goofy" telemark (i.e., reverse tele stance), switch telemark (what it sounds like), "monomark" (no lead changes at all, ride it through like a snowboarder) -- all sorts of fun that will bring your tele skiing to the same level as alpine. BTW the NATO clinics are great but but not in your part of the world and sounds like you're not keen on lessons anyway. 

 

I'll second the suggestion re telemark festivals.  Some are posted here: http://www.telemarktalk.com/phpBB/viewforum.php?f=6) and I think last year Telemark Skier magazine had a listing of different tele fests all over the US and Canada.  I remember one in Sun Valley but they'll probably publish a listing for this year and I bet if you post a query on telemarktips you'd get some answers too.  The festival environment is great -- they often have free lessons and demos, free beer (!) and a lot of other freeheelers to watch and learn from -- and less pricey than regular lessons or clinics. 

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

...Pulling the inside ski back generally sounds like an alpine tip to me...


Where do you think they got it from? Active inside ski, engaged little toe edge, also concepts stolen from Telemark... The only problem is you cannot pull your inside foot back with fixed heel bindings, but it doesn't stop them from trying! 

 

Lets not worry about inside/outside vs. uphill/downhill.

 

If you're with me on the idea that the actual tip lead change should be near the fall line and the tip lead is greatest at transition (edge change), then it needn't be a source of confusion.

 

Ski from a Telemark to a parallel position as you approach the fall line and from a parallel position to a telemark as you ski from the fall line to the point where you start turning the other way. I think the  idea of constantly moving into or out of a Telemark position is the important point here.

 

Mudfoot, as far as getting too low in the bumps, OK, but... The extended range of vertical motion that Telemark allows can be a great asset in the bumps. I think using that range, going from fully extended to fully flexed gives Telemarkers an advantage in the bumps. I wouldn't advise limiting that range of movement, but would suggest avoiding staying very tall or very low for more than a moment. It's the same concept as with the constant lead change, to avoid getting stuck in any one position, high or low, but to be constantly flexing or extending.

post #20 of 26

I think that idea came from alpine racing, but I might be wrong.  There doesn't seem to be a large amount of cross pollination between the alpinoes and the nords, although there can be a lot of synergy when a skier pursues both disciplines.  The range of motion available to a telemarker is a huge advantage in bumps and variable terrain.  The trade off is in raw power and efficiency as measured by energy expended.  The alpinoes have the edge there.  

 

I like your post!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post




Where do you think they got it from? Active inside ski, engaged little toe edge, also concepts stolen from Telemark... The only problem is you cannot pull your inside foot back with fixed heel bindings, but it doesn't stop them from trying! 

 

Lets not worry about inside/outside vs. uphill/downhill.

 

If you're with me on the idea that the actual tip lead change should be near the fall line and the tip lead is greatest at transition (edge change), then it needn't be a source of confusion.

 

Ski from a Telemark to a parallel position as you approach the fall line and from a parallel position to a telemark as you ski from the fall line to the point where you start turning the other way. I think the  idea of constantly moving into or out of a Telemark position is the important point here.

 

Mudfoot, as far as getting too low in the bumps, OK, but... The extended range of vertical motion that Telemark allows can be a great asset in the bumps. I think using that range, going from fully extended to fully flexed gives Telemarkers an advantage in the bumps. I wouldn't advise limiting that range of movement, but would suggest avoiding staying very tall or very low for more than a moment. It's the same concept as with the constant lead change, to avoid getting stuck in any one position, high or low, but to be constantly flexing or extending.

post #21 of 26

Oh no, we expend far more energy! Telemark makes you more powerful too! We have more than a edge in energy and power, it's no contest!

 

I was learning to use little toe edge for Telemark when A-frame was still OK with alpiners (passive, flat, unweighted inside ski). I can't say for sure that they got them from us, but lots of the 'new' concepts that I learned in alpine clinics, I had learned the year before in Telemark clinics. Equal weighted skis is another one, but I guess that has fallen back out of favor with the alpinos except for powder and crud, not sure about that. It's been many, many year since I took an alpine clinic.

 

I think equal weighted skis and what I'm proposing with the pull back inside ski move are tactics that are appropriate in certain situations.

 

There are three ways to get into a Telemark position. We agree that generally it is preferable to move one ski forward and the other one back. I believe we would agree that striding one ski forward without pulling back the other one is never a good idea or maybe in breakable crust or something. But a common mistake for beginning Telemark skiers, especially self-taught is to push a ski forward without pulling the other one back. The dominant ski gets the action and the idea to pull back the inside ski is rarely intuitive. So it's a good thing to introduce the concept of pull/push. I do believe a focus on pulling back the one without necessarily pushing forward the other can be a good tactic for bumps and tight trees though.

 

Maybe it's analogous to jump turns. A great tool when you get a little beyond your comfort zone. Ideally a carved turn is desired but a jump turn might be a better choice for some skiers in certain situations. Getting into the Telemark position by pulling back the inside ski allows a skier to make a turn in a very small space, similar to a jump turn.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
It's not that I'm not keen on the lessons, I'm stubborn I suppose. I am willing to take the lessons. Just difficult to find a place to do it at that isn't more than a 9 hour drive away is all... LOL
 
It never even occured to me to check out ttips for a festival listing... SMRT...
 
thanks for the heads up ts01
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by iceclymbrr View Post



 

I had tried calling a couple days ago... 
I hope Mrs. T2C gave you a good bruise when you came home from Bow summit without me dik lol!

 

TPJ: THanks for the continued tips, I'll be trying them out. 

TRod and Mud: I'll try everything right now, see which works for me. I'm going to be investing in some advanced lessons as soon as the hills around here open.

 

 

As for you T2C, that wouldn't happen to be repete would it?
 



I forgot about that lol. I'm sitting on the couch chilling and she came and sat next to me looked at me and smoked me in the arm. "That's from D". Fugger lmao.

 

We were up on the Wapta though, not at Bow Summit.

 

Yup, that would be him as a matter of fact. Got your message, got in late today though. Will give a shout tommorrow.

post #24 of 26

Bump for new telemarker questions

post #25 of 26

One note, I see the OP mentioned HH's.  With NTN, HH's still out there, 01's and 02's, etc. the gear itself can support a lot more power transmission.  There are lots of valid views pro and con on the active versus passive point, with lots of good threads on TTalk, but it's good to at least be mindful of thew new gear choices (and sadly some loss of choice with Bomber ixnayed) and the way they can interact with technique.

post #26 of 26

I took up tele three years ago and rarely put on Alpine equipment. We have a large number of instructors at Winter Park who tele and a wonderful tele training staff headed up by Jim Shaw who is a PSIA-RM tele examiner. I'll relate to you an anecdote that Jim tells.

 

He was out skiing at Winter Park with ten full cert tele instructors. A tele skier went past the group and the skier was having difficulty. Jim asked the group to do a little movement anaiysis. Nine members of the group said the skier had too much weight on his front/outside foot/ski. Jim looked at the tenth instructor who had not offered an opinion. Jim asked the tenth instructor, a guy named Mike Leiser, if he agreed. Mike replied................"not enough weight on the back foot".

 

I would encourage you to locate a full cert (level III) tele instructor and spend a day with him or her

 

 

In lieu of that, I think early engagement of the old outside/new inside little toe edge at the top of the turn is the key to ski performance in telemark skiing

.

 

Here are three of the most common faults that I see among students.

 

1) Posted on front foot. Evidence of this is a 90 degree angle between femur and tibia with an open ankle.

2 )A disengaged rear foot. Evidenced by the foot being up on the toes, no crimping of the boot bellow and little ankle flexion.

3) Initiation by jamming the old inside/new outside ski forward to create a platform to brake/brace against

 

Tele till you're smelly!. 


Edited by Rusty Guy - 12/27/10 at 4:14pm
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