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Old 12-16-2009   #1
adgeiser's Avatar
Denver,, exhaustion
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 578
Telemark Turn Lead Change Question

So my girlfriend and I took our ski lesson that you get with the season pass thing... anyway my question is this, the instructor told us that the lead change should be happening at the apex of the turn.... he then pointed out some other tele skiers on the slope and almost all of them were making the change "early" (well before the apex). I was used to doing it before the apex myself as was my gf. my last lesson was over 10 yrs this something to do with the upgrades in gear in the last decade?

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Old 12-17-2009   #2
freexbiker's Avatar
B.F.E., Wyoming
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I dont think its a new edition to the technique. I think more and more people are learning that this is important in the tele turn. The best way I can describe it is you make your turn till your facing almost down the fall line, then butter the edges and make your edge transfer. That way your making your turn all the way through until your ready to switch edges rather than edging into the turn then lifting up and finishing Faka-mark.
Hopefully that makes sense.

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Old 12-17-2009   #3
mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 418
Your instructor is a tool. A lead change doesn't happen instantly. If you wait until the apex to initiate then you won't finish your lead change until after your turn is done.
That said, there are always situations in which each style is most effective. What I like most about the telemark turn is that it is pretty effective in communicating to the skier what is most efficient in a given situation.
Remember, that the telemark turn provides front-to-back balance on gear in which that front-to-back balance isn't a given. In powder for example, the lead change often will occur immediately following the previous turn (thus you are in your balance position at most times). ...and yes, there are situations in which a parallel turn is most effective when on nordic gear (typically icy situations where front-to-back balance isn't the issue as much as side-to-side balance).
Just my two cents.
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Old 12-17-2009   #4
freexbiker's Avatar
B.F.E., Wyoming
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Just because the instructor was helping them with technique, which I'm sure was groomer technique, makes him a tool? Come on dude don't be a douche.
Yes, in powder the turn starts a little earlier. But once you learn to make your lead change smooth through the turn to maximize power, you can tweak the turn for different situations. An early lead change can turn into a poodle turn or fake-amark turn where your just alpine turning with your heel up.
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Old 12-17-2009   #5
mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: '92
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"Sticks and stones...." blah, blah, blah, call me what you want (especially if it helps women everywhere).

Alpine turning with your heel up is called a telemark turn. Back in the day, we used to do a drill where we would set into one telemark position and stay in that position and turn both directions (helps with your back-foot edging). It was still a telemark turn (even though it was opposite). So it goes.

Not sure what a poodle turn or a fake-amark is.

My personal feeling is to really "own" the sport you need to have spent some time in leather boots and skinny skis (otherwise it's hard to understand why the telemark turn looks like it does.)

Finally, tool is a bit strong. However, anyone being so objective in such a subjective sport doesn't square with me. Once again, so it goes...
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Old 12-17-2009   #6
adgeiser's Avatar
Denver,, exhaustion
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The question isn't about a "fakeamark turn" ...weight is being equally distrubuted between both legs and pressure is being applied to the big toe and the pinky toe... it was simply why if this lead change at the apex of the turn is correct, then why were so many of us taught to do it sooner? Look around next time you are out 90-95% of us are changing before the apex.
Not trying to be a jerk just trying to understand. It seems to work fine both ways for me...although on steeper stuff i go with and early change.
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Old 12-17-2009   #7
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B.F.E., Wyoming
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I learned to change lead at the end of the turn just before you turn into the fall line. You learned to change before you hit the fall line. Yes its still a tele turn. But to me changing at the fall line transfers you directly into the next turn creating a smoother transition.

What ev. I don't want to get into a dick waving contest. Have fun and ski the way you want to ski.
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Old 12-22-2009   #8
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 520
Late on this, as usual. The timing of the lead change is typically dependent on the type of turn you want make, IMHO. But, don't get hung up on the timing of the lead change, instead think about always being able to move your feet underneath you while keeping weight on both feet - don't let the back foot flap around, keep standing on it. . I think beginners should spend alot of time "shuffling" to explore the "platform" and where they can stand on it. Once you know your platform you can lead switch fluidly 10 times (or not at all) in a single turn on groomers. Then you can get into the intricacies of how your foot postions affect the nature of the turn (accelerating, decelerating, skidding, carving, short, long -etc.). Most importantly, have fun and wear your knee pads.
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Old 12-25-2009   #9
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 176
Who cares what you 'should do'. I never quite smoking because I should have quite, I quite because I wanted to. Although this seemingly has nothing to do with the question at hand, I would say to make your Tele Turn however you feel is best for your style. I drop my knee alot mid air in the bumps. Is this before or after the apex. I have no freaking clue, but I know it works, because it gets me down the bumps fast.

Think about it: Look at the evolution of Apline Technique from 80's-present. Drastically different styles from then to now. If you skied like we do now then, you would have been wrong. When I teach kayaking, the kayak teacher's teachers tell us to teach a chunk of what the ACA offers, but also teach our own style, as long as our style isn't in direct conflict with the ACA styles and or dangerous (like teaching the back deck roll with your box way too open, leads to blowing out shoulders).

My point is this. Downhill Telemarking is still a pretty new. We've only had modern equipment for 15 or so years, and in that time it has changed a lot. Go ski and ski the way you feel comfortable. Making the transition before or at the apex is inconsiquential. Ski the way you want to ski, and you might find in another ten years you are 'supposed' to make the transition before the apex.
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Old 12-26-2009   #10
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2009
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just glide and turn

I've been skiing on telemark gear since 1991 (leather boots etc)...and I don't understand your question..apex and transition..blah blah blah....just point the skis and make turns....parallel, telellel, or telemark...we learned to ski on telemark gear for the lightness and versatility....we would hike up teton pass and make parallel turns cause it was all we knew...and actually the parallel and reverse tele turn (leading with up hill ski) are very powerful efficient turns, but it is all good....BUT STOP THINKING AND START skiing and pointing them downhill....

PRAY FOR is the worst year in Colorado in many years

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