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Old 02-05-2013   #1
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794
Tele Advice

I'm committing to tele's and I'm looking for a little advice. Been thinking about ditching the alpines for about 10 or 12 years and I'm finally to the point where I'm going to make it happen.

Little bit about me...I've been skiing for 34 years (since I was 3), I've always skied pretty aggressively...bumps were my thing. I don't have it in my legs anymore to huck myself off big drops or terrain park booters or spend the day on it's time to transition. I've spent a few days on tele's, really loved it, could link turns on groomers.

So here's what I'm thinking...drop the $$$ on really good boots. I considered taking my alpine bindings off my ski's and putting tele bindings on, but I think I'd rather keep them (my son will start skiing next year). So I'll just get a cheap and/or used pair for the first couple years. But I want good boots to start...what should I look for? I'll be skinning maybe next year (have some friends with split boards). I'm about 6'2", 210ish with a narrow foot (I know some brands of alpine boots are made for wider feet, I'm assuming tele boots are the same?).

Any/all advice would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 02-05-2013   #2
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
Scarpa are typically for narrower feet (which i have- T1 model). Garmont are for a little wider. Black Diamond are inbetween (average foot).
I highly recommend something with 4 buckles to power todays skis (100 - 120 mm underfoot)

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Old 02-05-2013   #3
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 17
I'm about your size (6'4, 200) and have a narrow foot, and I'm pretty comfortable saying you want to look at a Scarpa, probably a T1. Black Diamond boots also fit a narrow foot really well, but they are heavier, more expensive, and I never fell in love with the pair I owned for a while. They felt great in the store, but in the real world I found them cold, heavy, and unnecessarily complicated. Worth a try if you get a good deal on them, but I wouldn't go out of my way.

Scarpas are the classic narrow-foot tele boot, and the T1 is the downhill-oriented do-everything model in the middle of their lineup. I've heard smaller folks say they're too big to tour in, but after a couple of decades skiing lighter boots (lots of leather, T2, T2x) I really didn't notice any extra heft when I went to a T1, but I definitely appreciated the extra power on the downhill. I also have friend who does everything in a T-Race, which seems a bit much to me, though if you find a good deal on a model with a walk mode (not every year had them) it might be okay.

You might hear a lot of noise about NTN boots and bindings. I'd ignore it, since you want cheap/used skis, and because it's yet more complicated nonsense that makes me wonder why folks tele in the first place. You're on the right track with used skis, too, since there are enough tele folks moving to NTN that the market is pretty flooded with traditional tele rigs (at least around Colorado).

Oh, the equivalent of the Buzz for pinheads is -- you'll find an infinite amount of advice there, and maybe even some used gear.

Good luck! Someday I'm going to go the other direction and get some alpine gear....
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Old 02-05-2013   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 405
I second the Scarpas. I tried Garmont boots and I was swimming in them. The Scarpas with thermomoldable liners are awesome. Get a cheap, used pair of skis, and I'd go a little shorter than what you have for your alpines. Look for hammerhead bindings. I had g3s on my first pair, and when I switched to hammerheads I improved instantly.
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Old 02-05-2013   #5
moab, Utah
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 12 they are the only seller of crispi boot in the country
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Old 02-05-2013   #6
Roy's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 682
If you're gonna be doing a lot of skinning up, I'd go with 22 Designs' Axl binding rather than their Hammerhead. Same great toe hold while you're skiing, but releases to a hinge for climbing, which is much easier.
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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Old 02-05-2013   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 68
Make sure you get a good shell fit on the boots. Take the liner out stick in your foot and there should be about two fingers of space at the heel if you get your toes to the front of the shell. I'm also narrow footed and love my T1's, BD didn't work for me either, but if you came try them out first, go for it. Garmonts (now Scott) have gotten narrower with their newer boots (Voodoo), so they're worth a try.

Probably go with Axls- wait till the season ending sales pop up and you can get 'em for around $225- so worth it. Since you're a big feller avoid older BD-01 bindings at all costs- they rip out of the ski far too often. This year's have 6 mounting screw up front, so if you find a deal they would be fine. G3's Enzo might work and they're $170 on right now, but I haven't seen any reviews. If you really just want to get some area skis and wait for a touring setup, find some used Hammerheads. gets a lot of closeouts and used demos at the end of the season so I'd keep an eye on them.

Sign up for TTips account soon- it's tough to get approved, but the moderator has been active lately.

This all said, I've been on tele exclusively for the last 20 years and have to admit it is a really stupid way of getting down the hill. I'm just too cheap of a bastard to make the switch to AT.
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Old 02-05-2013   #8
GoodTimes's Avatar
Eagle, Idaho
Paddling Since: '78
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 794
So I'm looking on and the T2 seems like a good boot...would I be happy with that one for many years???

Will Tele boots last as long as Alpine boots??? Sounds like they have a shorter lifespan??? I've been skiing with the same pair of Nordica's for about 16 years...any chance tele boots make it that long???

Sheesh....these babies are $$$$$$$$$

The four buckle thing seems to be important (T2 = 3).
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Old 02-05-2013   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 325
Originally Posted by GoodTimes View Post
So I'm looking on and the T2 seems like a good boot...would I be happy with that one for many years???

Will Tele boots last as long as Alpine boots??? Sounds like they have a shorter lifespan??? I've been skiing with the same pair of Nordica's for about 16 years...any chance tele boots make it that long???

Sheesh....these babies are $$$$$$$$$

The four buckle thing seems to be important (T2 = 3).

Unless your concern is weight, don't consider anything without 4 buckles. Even if you're concerned with weight, you will loose an incredible amount of power and control with a 3 buckle boot. Find the manufacturer whose last works for your foot...though the Intuition liners on the Scarpa's are the best, hands down.

Depending on how much you're planning to ride lifts vs hike, I'd seriously consider the NTN setup. You can tour with them, especially with a walk mode on your boot, and it will provide the most power. About the only place it lacks in touring ability is kickturns.

If I bought another pair of 75mm bindings, I'd get the axls.

No way you're getting 16 years outta a pair of tele boots. The bellows won't last that long if you're skiing alot.

If your main goal is to get into the backcountry and tour...get an AT setup and skip the tele thing....and stay very far away from TTips. Its even more outdated and useless with more crusty old has beens than Mountainbuzz.
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Old 02-05-2013   #10
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
Huzzah! A tele convert!
I ski 40-60 days a year on tele's. I have not had a teleboot last more than 3 seasons. I would suggest you demo some different teleboots, because how they feel in the store and how they feel when you drop a knee are two very different things. I got new Scarpa's last spring and they are killing me, I don't have wide feet and I can wear them walking around, but you might find me on the verge of tears after three runs if I wear them - time to give up on them (for me). Definitely invest time and money in the boot, including moldable liners. The type of boot willl depend on what kind skiing you really want to do. For backcountry touring choose a lower profile more comfortable boot, if you want to stomp bumps and steeps go with a taller/more buckles boot. By the way, skiing bumps on tele is really, really, fun and much less jarring to knees and backs than bumping on alpine skis (in my opinion).

My first tele skis were my old alpine skis. In general skis labeled "tele" don't hold up well to bump skiing, so most of my "tele" skis have been alpine skis with telebindings. The distinction between tele and alpine skis is disappearing in favor of more terrain specific designations (backcountry, park, all mountain, etc.). I find it is pretty easy to kill a "backcountry" or "tele" ski at the ski resort. My current set ups are K2 side stashes with BD 01s for fluffier or choppier days and backcountry, and Icelantic Oracles with hammerheads for everyday. Alot of my friends found NTN far too clunky/mechanical feeling after years of tele in more traditional equipment. But lots of new tele folks seem to like it. Taller boots and stiffer bindings make easier to "cheat" the tele turn by standing just on the front leg instead of both the front and back foot.

Wearing teles while teaching a little kid to ski is great. You have much more mobility and can get down on kid level with ease.

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