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Newbie on telemark - need some tips

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi!

 

Since my local mountain is a bit boring in the long run and not challenging enough I decided to learn something new - telemark skiing. 

Borrowed a pair of waaay too short skis and too big boots from a friend. I tried it once now, and being the speed demon that I am, I can't wait to be good enough to surf down those hills.

 

So now I'm wondering if anyone can give me some tips to perfect the technique?

Like when I first started skiing I was told to push down on my big toe and lift up my other ski a bit to turn properly. It worked wonders for me. 

 

I know that practice makes perfect, and that I won't perfect my telemark turns the first week, month, or even year. But a few tips to keep in mind the next time I try tele would be great.

 

post #2 of 18

The old advice you got was horrific.

 

Seek out a full cert tele pro in your home country.

 

As I have said ad nauseum you cannot learn to ski on a computer.

 

All the best

post #3 of 18

Agree that its mostly impossible to learn just online but in terms of tips I would try the following:

1. before you get on the hill stand in your boots and flex you skis in the tele stance so that you have even amount of weight on each ski (it should take the same amount of effort to take one ski off the ground as the other).  This will give you the feel of what you are supposed to acheive in your turn before actually having done it.

2. Take step 1 and get on a green hill and practice your mono marks without working about turning too much.  Mono mark is just step one and not changing stance (i.e., turn left and right with one foot forward).

3. There are some good vids and tips over at telemarktips.com to take you further.

And yes, I would ignore the previous advice you got.  Lifting a ski isn't helpful in a standard tele turn just as it isn't helpful in an alpine turn.

Good Luck.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy View Post

The old advice you got was horrific.

 

Seek out a full cert tele pro in your home country.

 

As I have said ad nauseum you cannot learn to ski on a computer.

 

All the best


 

 

^^Old advice worked! It teaches you to place your weight right, and to use the power in your legs to turn the skis, and not your entire body. You should try it, Rusty Guy. Either way, I'm a poor student living of a loan, so if I could afford a full cert tele pro I would obviously do so, but right now I'll prioritize food and housing and just take what I can get for free. But thanks for trying to make me a better telemark skier! :)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottcha View Post

Agree that its mostly impossible to learn just online but in terms of tips I would try the following:

1. before you get on the hill stand in your boots and flex you skis in the tele stance so that you have even amount of weight on each ski (it should take the same amount of effort to take one ski off the ground as the other).  This will give you the feel of what you are supposed to acheive in your turn before actually having done it.

2. Take step 1 and get on a green hill and practice your mono marks without working about turning too much.  Mono mark is just step one and not changing stance (i.e., turn left and right with one foot forward).

3. There are some good vids and tips over at telemarktips.com to take you further.

And yes, I would ignore the previous advice you got.  Lifting a ski isn't helpful in a standard tele turn just as it isn't helpful in an alpine turn.

Good Luck.

 ^^Thanks for the great advice :). Last time I tried I only did blue runs because that's the only thing that was open. My biggest problem was getting far enough down, or far enough back with the inner ski, so I will definitely give this a try next time I'm skiing.

 

After having raced for quite some years I'm well aware that lifting a ski isn't helpful for an alpine turn, and I somehow managed to put two and two together to understand that it won't really make a difference in tele turns either. However, as stated above, it does help a complete newbie to understand where one should put ones weight. 

 

Lastly, I know I can't learn to ski on a computer, hence the "practice makes perfect" and the fact that I asked for "things to keep in MIND the next time..." . Maybe to make this a bit easier, I'll ask what was the best tip YOU ever got when you started tele skiing?

 

Anyway, keep the answers coming! I appreciate any tips i can get! =)


 

post #5 of 18

I stand by my comment concerning your alpine advice. It was at best archaic. Stand on both skis, focus on the left ski to go left and the right ski to go right. Allow pressure to build on the outside ski as a result of the forces created by a turn.

 

Find a full cert pro in your country and explain your financial circumstances. Barter two hours of instruction for a batch of cookies, wash his/her car, babysit, clean hsi/her house.

 

I have given many a free lesson and gotten nothing other than a smile or handshake in return.

post #6 of 18

The thing that makes that advice so poor for tele skiing is that you really want to be pressuring your little toe, not lifting it.  There was another thread that had lots of tele tips in it this fall.  You should search it out.

post #7 of 18

Aren't people in Norway, like, born telemarking?

post #8 of 18


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottcha View Post

Agree that its mostly impossible to learn just online but in terms of tips I would try the following:

1. before you get on the hill stand in your boots and flex you skis in the tele stance so that you have even amount of weight on each ski (it should take the same amount of effort to take one ski off the ground as the other).  This will give you the feel of what you are supposed to acheive in your turn before actually having done it.


I just had a never-ever tele lesson last week, and they had us do something similar, but we spent a few minutes actually jumping up and landing in the tele stance. This was to get us to discover our balance point in that stance.

 

Then we monomarked a couple of runs, and then we did the regular telemark turn the rest of the time.

 

After that, instructor said, "Just practice more, no need for more lessons until the intermediate class." So apparently it can be done. ;-) Heck, my brother is a beautiful tele skier, he never had a lesson in his life.

 

Check YouTube for video instruction, too. I know some of that can be sketchy, but I don't think it's too tough to figure out who knows what they're talking about and who doesn't. Plus, if you're a visual learner, just watch the turn over and over, that can't hurt.

post #9 of 18

Best advice I ever got was to keep focusing on the even distribution of weight. You drop down in to the stance you don't lunge in to the stance.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

The thing that makes that advice so poor for tele skiing is that you really want to be pressuring your little toe, not lifting it.  There was another thread that had lots of tele tips in it this fall.  You should search it out.



Yes, the lifting thing works as you know, annette, for alpine, but telemark demands more equal weighting of the skis and a more active little toe edge. You will be turning on both skis more than you have been doing. It is true as others suggest that more active little toe edge engagement will enhance your alpine skiing as well and it is usually preferable to keep both skis on the snow and often to have some of your weight on the inside ski on alpine gear. The tip of lifting your inside ski helped you make a big leap in your skiing, but it is not the best way to go forward in alpine and definitely not in telemark. Drills that have you put most of your weight on the inside ski (even lifting the outside ski) will help you improve telemark turns, but like the advice to lift inside ski, more of a drill to develop necessary skills and not the final goal.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottcha View Post

Best advice I ever got was to keep focusing on the even distribution of weight. You drop down in to the stance you don't lunge in to the stance.


Yea, annette, your assumption that putting most of your weight on the outside ski is good for telemark is the first thing you must unlearn.

post #12 of 18

segbrown, how did you like it? Do you have freeheel gear or renting?

 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

segbrown, how did you like it? Do you have freeheel gear or renting?

 



I liked it a lot! I felt a bit like an idiot on the first run, I kept turning up the hill, but the second run I started sorting it out. Monomarking will help my alpine skiing, I can already tell that. I had a 2.5-hr lesson, then switched back to alpine for the afternoon. I do want to practice more, but if we keep getting these powder days here (ahem, tomorrow), I will have a tough time, lol.

 

I did buy (used) gear  -- thank you, craigslist. I consulted with my brother, a long-time telemarker, so he helped a lot with some ideas. I was planning on using my old Volkl Queen Attivas and buying new bindings, but I couldn't decide which bindings, so I decided to look at used gear. Found a pair of 168 Work Stinx (08 model -- very similar dimensions to my old Volkls) with BD O1 bindings for cheap, and then a pair of Scarpa T2X boots. Whole thing cost about $350, so I figure that's worth it -- I think I could resell tomorrow for about what I paid, if I change my mind. But I like not having to rent, if I want to use them a few hours in the middle of a "regular" ski day. (I did have the liners baked, as well as some off-the-shelf footbeds, so I guess that's a few more dollars, forgot about that.)

 

post #14 of 18

Brother knows best! Owning is better than renting, because there is not the bother of getting the gear and the added expense to get in the way of doing it again. I understand how excellent terrain and conditions could get in the way of an accomplished alpiner telemarking more. If I lived where you do, I might never have switched. :)

 

I 'm glad you liked it and having invested in quality gear including thermo-fitted boots, I suspect you will only like it more and more, the more you do it. Happy trails!

post #15 of 18



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by annette View Post

Borrowed a pair of waaay too short skis and too big boots from a friend.  

So now I'm wondering if anyone can give me some tips to perfect the technique?

 

Get boots that fit wink.gif

post #16 of 18

The "boots that fit" mantra is an alpine fetish. Telemarkers don't worry about that. I used size 12 Scarpas for years before learning they are UK size 12, equal to US 13. I wear US 11 1/2 street shoe and my feet are narrow. I wore thick socks. I skied with those huge shoes at a level that impressed PSIA examiners. Not bragging, just saying...

 

If you need boots that fit, you probably need heel bindings too. biggrin.gif

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

The "boots that fit" mantra is an alpine fetish. Telemarkers don't worry about that. I used size 12 Scarpas for years before learning they are UK size 12, equal to US 13. I wear US 11 1/2 street shoe and my feet are narrow. I wore thick socks. I skied with those huge shoes at a level that impressed PSIA examiners. Not bragging, just saying...

 

If you need boots that fit, you probably need heel bindings too. biggrin.gif


Nah, it's just that telemarkers don't understand the boot size wink.gif But it does make skiing quite a bit easier if the boots are not huge. My friend skied for years in boots that were two or two and half sizes too big. Last year she bought new ones (that fit...) and feels her skiing has improved greatly. But before she got new boots she was only worried that her liners had packed slightly so the boots were feeling a bit loose. It was nothing compared to time when she had too big leather boots and frequently lost her ski - with the boot still attached biggrin.gif

post #18 of 18

That's what I'm talking about! The boot is too big if it comes off without untying the laces!

 

Long time ago my ski boots were so big, I shoved wadded up socks into the front of them to take up the extra room.

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