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March 07, 2017

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Posted in learning to telemark, telemark equipment, telemark skiing, whytele




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    Seven reasons why telemark skiing is absolutely relevant today

    telemark skiing, why telemark

    There are different strokes for different folks in the landscape of winter sports. Telemark skiing is definitely not the easiest way to get down the mountain, and there are those who will ask whether the extra effort of making free-heel turns is worth it. I would tell those people that is not only worth it, telemark skiing has advantages over alpine touring, snowboarding and alpine skiing. Here are seven of them:

    1. Hiking and traversing in the backcountry is faster and less work when you are on telemark equipment, especially when your telemark binding has a zero-resistance touring mode. The free-heel effect adds efficiency and glide to your steps, which makes it advantageous on steeps and flats alike.
    2. Learning to ski on telemark equipment improves your overall skiing ability. It forces new skiers who are inclined to lean back onto the center of their skis and sharpens their balance and agility. The boots also tend to be more comfortable and easier for new skiers to walk in.
    3. Telemark is great for children of all ages, mainly because they enjoy the lightness of the gear and the greater mobility on the flats. Having their heels free improves their balance and speeds up the learning process. Children also love the freedom of lighter boots when walking and playing in the snow.
    4. Telemark gear is good for entry-level backcountry skiers, mainly because the equipment is durable, dependable and easy to use.
    5. Telemark is appealing to many women because it requires more finesse and grace than alpine skiing or snowboarding, which may suit their desire to winter recreate in a new and interesting way. The equipment is also lighter and, in some cases, more adjustable to different skiing styles.
    6. For ski instructors and other people who are teaching others to ski, telemark equipment provides superior mobility and comfort. This is important when teaching because you often need to move quickly in all directions to help your students. Also the bending action that tele boots promote keeps your feet warmer as you work throughout the day. The added challenge of tele turns also keeps beginner terrain interesting if you are spending the day with someone new to the mountain.
    7. The telemark turn is more fluid, which is a sheer joy on a deep powder day. Also, when skiing deep powder, the free heel is an advantage over alpine and AT because there is no need to adjust the heel piece when you hit a flat area and need to hike through the snow.

    These are but a few of the advantages of telemark skiing. I implore all winter recreation enthusiasts to thank telemark for breaking new trail and helping to create the backcountry ski industry as we know it today. As this list illustrates, however, telemark skiing is good for so much more than just backcountry pursuits — it is as relevant today as ever.


    Joel Nylander

    U.S. Telemark Ski Association


    Joel Nylander
    Joel Nylander

    Author



    15 Responses

    Holly Blefgen
    Holly Blefgen

    March 18, 2017

    As Ski School Director of Ski Telemark, a free-heel ski school in Ontario, Canada, we advocate and foster your seven reasons plus more every day we are on the slopes!!! Thank you so much Joel for sharing your insights, free-heel is SKI FOR LIFE!!!! Everything on One set of boards!!! OVERALL MASTERY!!! Please connect with us – www.skitelemark.ca
    www.facebook.com/SkiTelemark

    Dan Stevens
    Dan Stevens

    March 11, 2017

    Great article. loved the positivity regarding children learning, that i had not considered before. Why even ask the question of relevance. We are way past the fad of mono skiing! in fact even preceded alpine, we are hoping for consideration by the Olympic authority. The only seconds of avarice i have for our more commercially established brother is when sliding down a steep hard ice section praying for an edge!!

    Denis Hentrich
    Denis Hentrich

    March 10, 2017

    I have no argument with this. I have never owned alpine ski equipment, and certainly not rondonee anything, and I have skied every California winter season since I came back from overseas in 1975. I wanted to learn to do what I saw those folks in Garmisch do, ballet on skis, right down the mountain.

    Mark
    Mark

    March 10, 2017

    Where can I get these bindings in Switzerland?

    http://www.telemarkclubengelberg.com/happening

    Damon Cianci
    Damon Cianci

    March 09, 2017

    I agree with most of what you say except that tele gear is lighter than AT gear, this is no longer true. The back country advantage that telemark gear once offered is gone (though telemark boots are still more comfy after a long day touring than alpine boots).

    Scotty
    Scotty

    March 09, 2017

    Nice one, Joel! I suppose there’s also ‘Reasons not to not Tele,’ one of which is step in tele bindings!

    Dave Graham
    Dave Graham

    March 08, 2017

    Telemark skiing is the most natural way to ski as every joint in the body is free to move from the toes up.
    Alpine and Snowboarding lock you down and in. Thats why I have been tele skiing since 84.

    markus
    markus

    March 08, 2017

    Thanks for the article! While I tele 95 % of the time, i have to disagree with the fact that the gear is lighter. It certainly is not lighter than AT gear anymore. I compare my T-Race/BD 01 and 4FRNT rig to my Dynafit ST2/Dynafit Vulcans and 4Frnts and there is a considerable difference in weight.

    Paolo Tassi
    Paolo Tassi

    March 08, 2017

    8- On telemark you ski in to the snow wiich is the best feeling and deepest experience a skier can have in a riun.

    Stephen Andriese
    Stephen Andriese

    March 08, 2017

    There is terrain that no other type of skiing can match: specifically moderate ‘back hill’ skiing, which is common in northern michigan allows a light tele set-up w/ fish scale kick zone to be used to kick and glide on the ups and tele (essentially the same motion) on the downs. The tele turn allows the skis to carve through deep snow at slow speeds to control direction and speed. An example of the gear would be Rossi BC 125s but it’s critical to use lifters under the bindings. Plastic 2 buckle boots do beautifully on the up and the down. It’s some of the most pleasurable skiing I’ve ever done.

    Guy Smith
    Guy Smith

    March 08, 2017

    Nice article Joel!

    Oliver Shannon
    Oliver Shannon

    March 08, 2017

    8. You look badass and people will say “I wish I could do that.”

    Ron Hamblin
    Ron Hamblin

    March 07, 2017

    The guy in the picture looks vaguely familar.

    Lance hamblin
    Lance hamblin

    March 07, 2017

    Thanks for the article Joel. Great picture.

    Klaus Jarnvig
    Klaus Jarnvig

    March 07, 2017

    AMEN

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