New teleskier looking for advice - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-22-2006   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 25
New teleskier looking for advice

Okay...I just got a pair of teleboards and would like some tips on how I should approach this. I have alpined for about 18 years or so. I ski all over the mountain, but want to try tele-ing. I tried it one time, but it wasn't so much successful. Do I need to take a lesson?...I would prefer not if I can avoid it. I just want a tip or two to get me started.

Any help would be greatly appreciated...

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Old 08-22-2006   #2
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,635
If you've got good snow-sense already and are a fundamentally sound alpine skiier, that will go a long way in learning to tele. I'm by no means a tele guru but here are some of tips that were really helpful for me:

Make a very conscious, even exaggerated, effort at keeping your shoulders facing down the fall line, especially on steeper terrain.

Despite how cool it looks when you see guys dropping their knee all the way down to the ski, don't get into that habit - you'll blow out yor knee on a rock or stump when you take that style of tele turns into the backcountry. Generally keep your back toe no more than about a foot's length from your front heel. Get used to wearing kneepads too; they also keep your knees warm.

Remember, tele skiing gives you a license to spill. What's really great about it is that tele skiing FEELS as graceful as it looks.

And most of all, have fun!

-Andy H.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 08-24-2006   #3
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 108
try reading this:

or maybe this:

never read either but they come recommended. Of course a lesson is preferable, and learning how to ski out of a book is pretty stupid, but if you have a strong alpine background and don't want to take a lesson, these books should give you enough to go on for you to figure it out yourself.

FWIW, I am 100% self-taught, just a few tips from friends here and there. So it definitely can be done.
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Old 08-24-2006   #4
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 56
I converted from snowboarding a few years ago and love free heel skiing. I am about 90% skiing vs boarding now. About 3 years ago my girlfriend and myself took a lesson at A-basin. It was a huge help. I had already put about 6-10 days in by the time I took the lesson. He pointed me in the right direction and that was all I needed. My girlfriend coming from freesyle skiing still stuggled a bit to break a few of the habits that come from Alipine skiing for years. It was probably the smartest hundred bucks I ever spent. I think his name was Mike and he is from NH originally.
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Old 08-28-2006   #5
lmaciag's Avatar
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 674
Steven! Missed paddling with you this season! Hear you guys moved to OR. Wish you & Meg the best!

As for tele, the best thing I did was take a lesson (actually three). You don't want to form any bad habits, they stick with you for a long time. A friend and I started at the same time. Me with lessons, my friend without. I progressed at a faster rate initially (he caught up b/c he is a better overall skier), but was able to pass along some tips. I agree the the best advice is to keep your shoulders down hill, even 'punching' with your arm to exagerate the motion. Even pressure on both skis. I tend to pressure the downhill ski more. Should be 50/50.

Keep in touch!
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Old 08-30-2006   #6
Vail, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 334
Andy hit alot of good points. As for a lesson, I would take one if you can. A-basin would be the best place to take one in my book. As for dropping the knee, I do, more controll, less burning out of the legs, just wear knee pads. But Andy was right, don't take that into the back country or in the moguls it will create some serious problems. Just remember two major things, shoulders down hill and knees in line with your feet and skiis. Good luck with the transition.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go on an overnight drunk, and in 10 days I'm going to set out to find the shark that ate my friend and destroy it. Anyone who wants to tag along is more than welcome."
-Steve Zissou
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Old 08-30-2006   #7
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,017
Get Mike and Allen's Really Cool Telemark Tips.

If you already are a good downhiller get this book. You'll be able to teach yourself in a day. Just keep practicing the tips and you'll be ripping in a season. It's amazing. A lesson wouldn't hurt but you can teach yourself with this book.
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Old 08-30-2006   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 15
Check out great web page and forum

Agree with the above suggestions to get Mike and Allen's really cool book
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Old 08-30-2006   #9
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 179
It would be great if the was a telemark specific forum out there. Everone could give their own tips about telemarking. We could call it telemark tips or something like that.

Good luck learning to tele on the web. Read the the tips here(and elsewhere) then get out a lot. You will notice that your turns are better on one side than the other. Lucky thing is that only 50% of your turns will go that way.
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Old 08-30-2006   #10
Winter Park, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 52
I started a couple seasons ago, but really only committed this past winter. You need to committ, NO switching back and forth, if you do you will always resort back to the Alpine technique.

A great way for a semi-lesson that is free (well just the price of a life ticket) is to get out there with a group of Tele-skiers. Most mountains have a Tele-Tuesday (that is what it is called at Beaver Creek) or something similar. If you have the money take a lesson, but be warn that in a lesson, you still aren't going to learn it all in one lesson, that isn't most instructors teaching styles to cram everything into one lesson (I'm a Alpine instructor).

My friend and I both started together, we got "Allen and Mike's really cool telemark tips". We picked one tip each day and worked only on that tip, it helped us stay focused on one thing rather than trying to learn it all at once.

Main thing is: JUST GET OUT THERE AND DO IT. My friend and I both started at the same time, we are both strong Alpine skiers (I may be a tad stronger), neither of us took any organized lesson, just Tele-Tuesdays. She is much strong than I now because she was able to get out almost everyday, where I live in the front range and have an office job so it was weekends only for me.

Don't be afraid of falling...its going to happen!!!!!! If your not falling, your not learning!!!!!
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