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Telemark, Technique and history

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by telenomore, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ooh, they look alright. Still have a pair of Work Stinx, always liked the K2's. What length Bolts?
     
  2. stansi

    stansi One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think there 174.
     
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  3. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Mine are over 180, which may effect noodlism to some extent?
     
  4. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Fwiw: my first weekend (last w/e) at Hotham on 188 Blizzard Rustler 9s was very positive and not a huge leap from rather short Rossi PowderBirds.

    Being rockered tip & tail - they probably ski more like a 180 on firm. We didn't really have much slush /soft - except on Slush Gully Moguls, on which they were a lot of fun. 94mm waist & 128 tip seemed almost 'wide' in those conditions but would love some fresh to test float ability.

    On V firm HV man made, with a nice new edge, they were great. No chattering. Responsive and reassuring.

    The rockered tail provides some promise of skiing switch on smooth summit runs. Still a WIP!

    Oh yes was on new TX Pros & Outlaw X (lowest spring setting) - so quite a learning experience all round.
     
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  5. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why the lowest spring setting?
     
  6. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Coming from a neutral binding, many people find the lightest spring or setting more familiar.

    From what I can gather the Freeride is still the most active of the lot (NTN) and many people dont like them.
     
  7. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Addicted

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    Yes, I found that interesting in the article too. It runs counterintuitive to me, and my own feeling of falling, but I also note that the beginner level of injury was 3 times higher (in the Nordic study) and as the article notes, it probably means placcies reduce injury by helping edging, so less falls maybe to start with. Interesting to note that thumb injuries were second most common ahead of ankles. The studies as you note though are old and based on ski patrol reports in resort (and in a country where people ski a lot from a young age), so didn't include NTN gear I'd guess. I'd imagine there would be more published research than there is. Maybe it is not in English.
    Article ref:https://braceworks.ca/2016/10/08/exercise/injury-risk-factors-among-telemark-skiers/

    And on another article, a bit more recent and again from a Scandi country: Nordic nationals were 2.5 less likely to have injuries than those from other countries (in the study area). Tele skiers were overall less likely to have overall injuries, but more likely to have shoulder injuries, unless female in which case less likely for shoulder but much higher for knee (1.00m v 1.61f), but less for lower leg (1.0m v 0.8f). Tele skiers were much less likely to have lower leg injury compared to alpine 2.65 v 1.07. And interestingly, wearing a helmet increased knee injury (1.00 v 1.14), and get this: alpine skiers were more likely to have thigh injuries, obviously those tele skiers are not working their thighs hard enough :))))
    https://www.klokeavskade.no/globala...-skiing-telemark-skiing-and-snowboarding-.pdf
     
  8. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Outlaw X 'can release but is not guaranteed to release'.

    Being first weekend and having seen my wife's slow recap from an ACL, I thought it best to take it slow and low risk.

    I did have 3-4 edge slips rather than big tumbles, so no release. Certainly no pre-release! (Ignoring connotations!)

    Might crank it out to a 'huge' 2 (wow!) next run and see how I go. All about performance vs. risk - and I like most here new to NTN, I'm curious as to how what I'll gain as the tension increases! So to speak! ( ;-)
     
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  9. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sure.
    The TX Pro bellow flex strikes me as relatively soft though, or at least relatively easy to compress with the binding gripping the forefoot rather than the toe.
     
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  10. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Fair call. I came from HHs so very little difference in feel. Which is what I wanted. HHs probably more than skis, improved my confidence and skill - given I'd moved to placcy boots ~ 8 years before.
     
  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Isn't the spring strength about adjusting the binding activity level?
     
  12. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yup. I came from Axls and found the Outlaw X to have a very similar feel.
     
  13. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, but the "release" is also effected.
     
  14. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Yes but as I understand, sets the 'release' point. Tension. They're a pair. Perhaps one major negative!
    But lots of positives so far. I read all the Freeride/Freedom reviews - coming from HHs it they didn't really appeal.
     
  15. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Cranking up spring strength or tension will also increase duckbutt lateral retention.
     
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  16. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Im not a huge fan of the Freedom, OK, but not great IMO. Love my Freerides, keen to try Outlaws as an easy/cheaper touring binder. Freerides suck butt for touring.

    I was on HH on 4, which I found not stiff enough, but 5 felt crap. Freerides with blue set to 3 1/2 seems my sweet spot.
     
  17. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think that distinction between fall and injury rates is an important one.
    I have btw done a bit of searching for more recent work and found little - but I don't have access to scholarly resources like indexes any more.
     
  18. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    OK, I get it.
    The 22D website doesn't talk about this from memory. And I can understand why.
    I use Safeout release plates under my Outlaws, after tearing an ACL on 7TMs.
     
  19. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Time I'll tell eh?

    I had 11 years on HHs with only a 'cable twist out release' and survived.

    Perhaps my er weight helped in that twist process? I'm also not timid but in early 50s not overly aggressive. I want to get my half price season pass with functioning knees!
     
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  20. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've had three ligament tears in the right knee in pursuit of the perfect free heel turn. Meniscus tear in the left.
    It's got old at a faster rate than me.
    The senior's discount isn't enough - I want frequent tearer's points.
     
  21. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ive been lucky, one torn hammy, and current torn something in the arm, or it may be an impact crushed something.

    I have pulled out of G3, HH, Bishop Bombers, my old 3 pins (tore the holes out of the boots), Rivas, and now Freerides. I have also torn a couple of binders out of the skis, 3 pin, and HH.

    Id say Im an OK skier, like going fastish, not too aggressive, but maybe a little?
     
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  22. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Knee injuries are overrated on tele IMO as the free heel helps reduce ACL rupture from sudden stoppage.
    Ankle injuries IMO are underrated on tele due to lack of lateral toe release, particularly if you hook a tip and stop which generates huge twisting torsional forces. (Same danger in a simple AT tech toe)
     
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  23. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have heard of more ankle injury with tele, than anything else. Small sample though! But even back in the day, my mate sprained his pretty good.
     
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  24. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    In the Sulheim et al. Norwegian study in PGB's link above, knee and ankle injuries showed much the same frequency among telemarkers.
    In the Tuggy et al. N America study knee was much higher, viz ...


    Edited to add nations
     
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  25. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Fracturing your miscellaneous has to be bad!
     
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  26. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hard to claim on Medicare.
     
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  27. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Perhaps injured party was too embarrassed to say? ⛷❄️
     
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  28. zac150

    zac150 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Blunting your miscellaneous is baderer
     
  29. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    To avoid knee and ankle injury when telemarking just make sure you always fall forward. It looks more spectacular too.


    Within my first hour of skiing this season. It still hurts, think I cracked a rib.
     
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  30. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ribs hurt.
    Almost as much as pride
     
  31. Peagreenboat

    Peagreenboat Addicted

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    I added this also to the post above.

    And on another article, a bit more recent and again from a Scandi country: Nordic nationals were 2.5 less likely to have injuries than those from other countries (in the study area). Tele skiers were overall less likely to have overall injuries, but more likely to have shoulder injuries, unless female in which case less likely for shoulder but much higher for knee (1.00m v 1.61f), but less for lower leg (1.0m v 0.8f). Tele skiers were much less likely to have lower leg injury compared to alpine 2.65 v 1.07. And interestingly, wearing a helmet increased knee injury (1.00 v 1.14), and get this: alpine skiers were more likely to have thigh injuries, obviously those tele skiers are not working their thighs hard enough :))))
    https://www.klokeavskade.no/globala...-skiing-telemark-skiing-and-snowboarding-.pdf
     
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  32. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    Just picked up a pair of 139 kids Shreditors for $40 to remount my little dudes tele bindings on to.
     
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  33. Dropknee diehard

    Dropknee diehard First Runs

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    Hello everyone i'm a newbie to this forum but have been lurking on here for yonks and pretty sure I have skied with a few of you over the years. I was looking for some news on how the Lynx bindings faired before I make up my mind between them and Meidjo when I noticed this thread and telenomore's invite to tell one's telemark journey and seeing as a photo of me from 87 was posted above I thought I had better do the right thing and join up. Great photo don't think I have never seen it before.

    My journey started in 1984 whilst skiing at Buller on a college trip there was a movie being shown on the big screen in the pub of wild and wooly hippies tele skiing. I was hooked so when the trip was over I had another two weeks I had booked earlier out at the Rover lodge on the BHPs. Went and bought my kit Dynastar Montagues/Asolo glissades and rat trap binders. I also purchased XCD by Steve Barnett and Mountain Skiing by Vic Bein and packed them out there. So my first strides on the nord boards were with a two week pack. Mostly grog as we definitely weren't slumming it out there. Promptly headplanted and got a slab in the back of the head but as my dad always told me ....get back on the horse.

    The crew out there were not into turning and their motto was "point them regardless" PTR.. not matter how steep. The goal was to see who got the furthest distance and speed before the massive tumble dryer or you made the run out.
    My bruised and battered body had had enough after 2 days of this so I got Steve's book out and taught myself to tele much to the disgust of the PTR crew.
    I learnt so many bad habits from this book that had invaded my muscle memory it took years to unlearn them further down the path. I practiced over and over step teles, two step teles, skate step tele, and the mysterious open turn.
    4 years later after some mentoring from Cormac M I was off to Japan with telenomore who straightened me out and taught me to ski powder both tele and parallel.
    I have never forgotten to " roll your legs up and over a beer keg from one side to the other and back again." "Or hug a bear DH below you"
    In those days it was freeheel skiing and telemark was just one of the arrows in the quiver.
    I was hooked and upon my return to OZ my love affair with Mt Hotham began. I was with a tele betty and began managing lodges and working up the snow bum career ladder from waiter, to cleaning the DP pub, dishwashing, and driving zoo carts and buses. My hero was Anders and he taught me to ski off the back leg with the front leg acting as an outrigger in the bumps and softer stuff. He taught me to jump telemark during a private lesson down into the Dargo drainage jumping rocks and logs until we reached the river. It took all arvo to climb back up. Best private ever.

    Ended up instructing with the Mt Hotham Nordic Ski School under the tutelage of MH and AB and when that became a victim of a corporate take over moved across to the real Hotham ski school our supervisor Peter Mack.
    In those days there were 5 instructors who were teaching tele out of Big D and it was common to have four boot changes a day, skaters, classic, tele and alpine.
    We got jobs in Tahoe at the Disneyland of XC skiing with our boss the Donald Trump of XC.....great times.
    The boss wanted to shake things up in the XC industry as every time it was shown on TV it was of a racer collapsing over the finish line throwing up..not conducive to attracting punters. He wanted a ski that turned and made XC fun so he and I headed to the Los Vegas ski show and had meetings with all the manufacturers. We envisaged a softer shorter skiathalom type ski ( their camber was to stiff).

    He came to visit us at Hotham and was excited that Fischer had decided to put their aero dept onto it to think outside of the box.
    The result was the 147cm revolution ski and the boss had stocked the entire rental with them as part of the deal. It had literally been designed by a rocket scientist. IT was hilarious watch the looks on peoples faces when they lined up with their wrists held hight for their ski measurement only to be told "One size fits all".

    We had fun times on those Revos during Sierra blizzards with boot to knee deep powder on top of groomed xc tracks so easy to turn. No punters turned up during blizzards so all of the instructors would go out and have powder 8 contests imaging we were Heli Skiing in the Bugaboos. Of course they were way too skittery for an all round ski on ice and chopped up stuff but we did have a lot of fun on them. We would skate high in the Sierras on perfect corn with Revos on our packs and switch for the long DHs cranking tele wedeln to the bottom.

    I taught 100s of people to tele on those over my 4 years in Tahoe but it was the free skiing at the Tahoe Resorts on days off that was the attraction. By this time I had my best ever tele set up and feeling balanced ..Asolo Extreme pros (one buckle), Tua Cirques and Rotte super telemarks with the Voile elastic in the groove of the heel (Ala Peter Mack who mentored us for years and taught us to get the skis out to the side and use the hips. (Rubber Hips we used to call him). There was no way I could turn his bright Pink Asnes death rails but he sure could !

    But that all ended when I scored a pair of the first Terminators and then went through a progression of bindings and boots until I felt balanced again. I literally skied them all....my faves being neutral bindings currently Tele Bulldogs, Switchbacks and Freerides on 1 or 2. Haven't broken any free rides yet....in fact only ever broken one set of bindings,,,Douvre 3 pins in Japan.

    I finally ended up fully certified Nordic track and XCD under the PSIA and Fully certified Nordic under the NCIS and held a STLC certificate. All fantastic courses learnt so much, made so many lifelong friends and workshopped with my heroes, John Moynier, Jeff Clarke, Paul Peterson, Paul Parker who I had read about in Powder. Their Aussie counterparts who taught, coached and mentored me over my journey... just as talented... the likes of John Morrel, Bruce Easton, AB and MH, Peter Mack, Ross Matlock, Keith Jephcott, Andrew and Mary Hall ,Heather Phillips, Sue Graham, Lisa and Sarah Nicholls and the newer generation like GH, Steve C etc.

    A family was on the way so moved to the coast and started surfing old mals and logs pre Hipster.. inspired by the cross stepping and dropped turns of Ray Gleave a good mix for telemark cross train.
    By the time the kids were ski ready moved back to Hotham for Winters and raised two telemarking children too scared to Snowboard because Dad told them "The human race would not have survived the ice age if we were on snowboards or locked our heels down"

    By this time all my tickets had expired due to organisational politics and development of the TAFE system so that was the end or evolvement of the BMLC/STLC, NCIS and the ATA. Couldn't afford the updates with a young family so went back to managing lodges and it was refreshing not to have Instructor arms anymore or a coat hanger up the arse as MH used to say.

    Kids have grown up, and I'm still searching for the perfectly balanced set up for the type of skiing I like to do now
    1/ 50/50 Resort and Off piste so thinking Voile Ultra Vectors and either Meidjo or Lynx with my TXs (I have an original prototype pair the good ones and TX Pros
    2/ XCD light (I call it nord boarding) travelling fluidly and efficiently across undulating terrain using all the arrows in the quiver of the skill set. Still searching for the perfect combo for this thinking Madshus Glitterand wax with either NNN BC or new aged leathers maybe the Andrews/Buckle boot.

    I have strong views on Telemark Politics I believe the Tele Nerds on Telemark Tips set the sport back 10 years with "Binding Wars and Carpet Testing Wankerism" There is definitely an American bias against Rottefella and other Euro companies IMO.

    I think 75 ml is still fun for "Retro turns" as in surfing with Fishes and Log riding etc. I still get my retro stuff out in the afternoons or on an easy day and cruise around on the greens or in the corn. I love the feeling of 3 pin Parallels on low cut leathers using your ankle flex. But looking forward to skiing the new light weight tech bindings. Any word on how the Lynx is holding up or will there be an updated version?
    Thank you all for those who have read this and hope it wasn't too boring....just felt the need to relate my story its almost 35 years to the week. Don't worry will keep my posts a lot shorter from now on.

    Looking forward to a catch up at the Hotham BC festival
    Cheers
     
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  34. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    There a thread each for these, tho one is bit cluttered with something else, I forget what.

    They ski and weigh pretty much the same. I do need to check the weight of the production Lynx. The Meidjo has release. Some folks have broken parts of the Meidjo but it has been continuously improved, it's been around a while now. The Lynx is thought to be stronger but it is still only the first production run available, so a new kid on the block.
     
  35. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    There's also the Outlaw X from 22D - proven by now. 1600g.
     
  36. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Different category, in the heavy category.
     
  37. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sure ... but if your turns are lift serviced or casual.
     
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  38. Idoitmyway

    Idoitmyway Early Days

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    Well ....
    An interesting read, and good to hear from a few people from a past life (I know who you are!).

    This thread all started with a discussion from @telenomore about gear, so I might start there too. So a disclaimer - I fall into the category of "grumpy old man" (although I don't think I'm too grumpy, and it's only the body that's aged :)

    I came into tele from a strictly alpine background in the mid 80's when I was instructing in Canada. I got sick of the heavy, awkward AT gear of the day, which skied like s**t.
    And there was a certain tele instructress I was lusting after at the time.

    Like many I started teleing on barely ankle high leathers in 75mm 3 pins. A pair of Fabiano boots, Skilom bindings and Kazama Tele Edge skis were my first tele purchases. Many fun days had.

    This gear taught me a heap about using the ankles, balance, movement - and crashing. But most importantly it taught me that teleing is not & will not ever be alpine skiing.
    I should explain that.

    I call alpine gear "power tools" - nothing will ever bring telemark to match the precision, power and control that can be had on alpine skis. End of story.
    On my best days on teles I could probably carve a turn on hardpack as well or better than I ever have on alpines (I'm not too much of a slouch on alpines), but the effort and the need to be skiing absolutely "on the edge" is way higher.
    I love a difficult challenge.

    But alpine will never come close to the feel of good telemark turns. The fluidity, the sensitivity to balance, stance, movement ... As they say in The Castle, "it's the vibe".

    The dichotomy arises as people try to make tele gear ski like alpine gear - it can't.
    As tele gear approaches closer and closer to alpine performance, it inevitably loses some of "the vibe". At some point as telemark converges with alpine it ceases to be "telemark". It takes the limitations of telemark and mates them with the restrictions of alpine - the worst of both worlds, not the best.

    For me the key to that precious tele feeling is the feedback I get through the ball of my foot. Leather on 3 pins is king for that. Worn in 75mm plastic in cables is a distant second best, and after that I'd rather just put on "power tools" for all the feel I get.

    For years I was a Cable Binding Bigot. I didn't like the feel of cables and the restriction they applied. And despite the waffle spouted they did nothing whatsoever for improving edging. They simply hold your heel down a bit more. When I moved to plastic boots (hallelujah, dry feet at last) I had to move to cables. I grudgingly adapted, running cables as loose as I could without falling out of them.

    Then came NTN and once again I was a bigot - this time uneducated until last year.
    Now I'm an educated bigot - never will I willingly strap those things on my feet again! Far, far rather put on power tools and be done with it. As far as I'm concerned the big "benefit" is that they once again hold your heels down a bit tighter, thus giving many people more "control", but at the expense of feel, balance, movement etc. No benefit at all to my mind.
    When I watch people ski in NTN it looks far too restrictive, just as it feels to me.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't care what others ski on - if you're having fun then go for it. For me that point is well the other side of NTN.
    Your definition of "telemark" may well be considerably different to mine.

    The funny thing is that I spent so much time (and still do when the body doesn't object too strongly) trying to coerce the telemark turn to perform as close to an alpine turn as I could. The key to me is that it still had to feel like I was telemarking, otherwise I'd be better off putting the training heels back on. Oh, the fact that it was really difficult only made it more interesting to me.

    I love speed & power, I love a carving turn. I also love simple, light & loose.
    I've had one of my best days teleing laying down pencil lines on boilerplate.
    I've also had one of my best days teleing on skaters in waist deep powder.
    My favourite skis have been the stiffest Asnes Comps I could get.
    My favourite skis have also been a pair of alpines I cut lengthwise down to skate ski width and put NNN-BC on. Steel edge and sidecut for the the down, straight plastic edge to skate out to the downs. Sadly someone thought they were junk and threw them out.

    Right now I'm in search of my next set of tele gear - maybe NNN-BC on something around 70mm at the tip? Maybe some leather 75mm boots? I've got some Excursions, but I can't run them in pins (at least not if I want things to last a decent time). Maybe I could run some Spike bindings so I can avoid all that old-school faffing about with latches and runaway skis?
    Decisions.

    Remember, if telemark was easy it would be no fun. Or it would be called alpine!
     
  39. Idoitmyway

    Idoitmyway Early Days

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    I wont argue with @dossa5 about his "lost in his time warp" statement - I can understand how people would think that of me, but the reality is just that I've two strong beliefs that are relevant:
    1. If it's not broke, don't fix it
    2. If it's not solving a problem, ignore it.
    In one of my past lives I was an industrial designer, my job was to develop new ideas, and I loved it. What I hated was the BS developing new ideas to solve problems that didn't exist (other than the problem of some peanut acquiring more money).
    I'll jump on new equipment if in my view it is an improvement (and true to telemark tradition, it's cheap enough. oops that should have read "good value").
    Other pertinent facts are that I can tele well enough to have fun on just about anything, and that I stopped getting better a long time ago. So I don't feel any pressing need to change things for the sake of change.

    I share some of the same dislikes of 75mm NN - it originated for light XC and was progressively robustified for tele use, but it's certainly far less than ideal.
    I differ significantly regarding the maintenance of 75mm damaging telemarking - to me it's just as much NTN that's doing that. Yes, NTN has had the effect of encouraging many people into telemark because they see it as making the technique achievable - how many people never put on teles because they saw how damned hard it was on light leathers and skinny skis!
    The problem is that NTN only solved a couple of the issues but left the important ones (to me) unchanged.
    • True step in/step out - mostly not.
    • Improved edge control - slightly, by virtue of there being less twist in the toe "bill".
    • Reduced weight - if a few grams counts, then perhaps yes, but in the scheme of things no difference.
    • Improved feel - IMO no way. Others may well differ.
    • Lighter bindings - only by going to Tech, which isn't part of NTN standard and seems to be potentially endangered due to inevitable liability issues.
    • Increased innovation - NTN may have enabled the introduction of Tech inserts more readily, however it's increasing popularity and availability is actually preventing anyone seriously tackling some of NTN's own issues.
    The fundamental dichotomy a telemark boot has to solve is that it needs to be torsionally rigid, but longitudinally very flexible.
    Back when boots were made from cows, the torsional forces were transferred from the skier's leg to the ski via the (flexible) boot. As the leather softened and the flex improved, so the torsional stiffness went down and edging ability reduced. Some of the solutions were:
    • Really stiff and inflexible boots to get the best edging at the expense of feel and flexibility. Old leather soled, buckle up Alpine boots were the weapons of choice, but they were only made for a few years before plastic soles took hold, so rare as hen's teeth.
    • Thicken the soles and embed a multi-row timing chain into it to get flexibility and torsional stiffness - only sort of worked and got waaay heavy.
    • Buy new boots regularly to try to have a pair in the sweet spot of broken in but not yet soft.
    • Ignore it all and ski what you had.
    When plastic came to the party there was a little bit of fiddling about with bellows stiffness and design, but for the most part the boot/binding concept was simply a plasticating of leather designs.
    Enter NTN. With the money now invested in boot design & tooling, and the standard being developed by a consortium of (big players) Scarpa and Rottefella is it any wonder that they developed a standard that largely retained the status-quo.

    So NTN continues to rely on the flexible section of the boot to transfer torsional forces to the ski. Yes, it's a little bit better at it than an equivalent 75mm, but mostly because there's less overhang at the "bill", and perhaps because as @Telemark Phat says, there tends to be better dimensional control around the boot/binding joint.
    Take a look at the few boots that have been available in both NTN and 75mm and discern the difference between the two in the critical flex zone - zip. Boot soles - same thickness. Bellows - same. So how exactly does NTN make a significant step forward in this area?
    When you turn to bindings it's a frustratingly similar story. Possibly NTN could be coerced into better transfer of torque because the rear "duck bill" is behind the flex zone, so better connected to the skier's leg and ankle. Sadly I've yet to see any manufacturer manage to really work out how to transfer that torque to the ski without adversely affecting the flex and feel. Makes me wonder if it's possible.
    Adding Tech inserts does nothing to improve this, simply replacing the bail arrangement with a pivot point that now needs to be controlled in some other way to force the stiff bellows to flex.

    It has always mystified me how what I see simply as increased heel hold down (cables, stiff springs, "active" binding settings) gets interpreted as better control. I suspect it's in my understanding of performance - I don't correlate easier balance with increased performance. Performance is being able to edge, pressure, steer and move the ski, balance is simply a pre-requisite.
    So I see increased "activity" as a downside.
    All I want is that the ski doesn't flop about under my foot - I don't need it to snap up to my boot, just follow the boot in a reasonable manner. I do want to be able to put my foot wherever I want it without the boot/binding telling me "that's far enough" and reefing down on my heel, just a gentle and predictable increase in pressure as the heel lifts.
    Too much "activity" from the binding just forces me to ski the way the binding wants me to, not how I want to, and it also loads the forebody of the ski uncontrollably (assuming I don't want to shorten my stance to compensate for the binding settings) - I'm not interested (yet) in sacrificing ski control for balance assistance. No doubt I'm aging toward training heels on teles, but when I get there I'll retire.
    If anyone works out how to separate heel hold down in length of stance from the ability to pressure the forebody of a telemark ski, I'll consider them an absolute mechanical genius and bow down in homage!

    Many moons ago ('87 I reckon), I made a frankenstein boot/binding out of flogged out lace up Merrells bolted to Caber Azzuro alpine boot cuffs and a custom aluminium/nylon slider block beneath the heel, bolted into the cuff/boot junction. The slider located (incredibly awkwardly, several squashed fingers as I repeatedly trod on them) with a bar rigidly hinged into the back of a Rottefella SuperTelemark 3 pin. Hurt like hell (bolts on the ankle bones), really hard to put on, but did they ski well?
    Awesome.
    Felt like skiing on a pair of supple leathers in terms of feel from the ball of the foot and flex, but edged better than anything I've skied on before or since, including NTN.
    The basic concept was to separate torque transfer from flex. Worked a treat, but as my goal was to get into tele racing, and the rules precluded non-production items I chucked them and moved on.
    I still believe this is the direction boot/bindings need to go. While we are bound to the flex zone of the boot also being the torque tube then things will remain a poor compromise and everyone will be fiddling around the periphery of the problem.

    So... given that long rave, perhaps you can see why I disagree that NTN is such an unequivocally good thing.
    My opinion, and not one I expect many people to agree with, but hey it's mine to love and cherish.
     
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  40. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    I take it you can touch type and aren’t posting from a phone LOL
     
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  41. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Totally agree with this bit, its the best reason to do it IMO.
     
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  42. teleroo

    teleroo Addicted Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yep, that moment of the turn when both skis are straight down the fall line and you fell the flow, seems to be the bit missing from alpine turns IMO.

    It's a wierd one, done orders of magnitude more teles than parallels, but never, ever, have I felt the lack of heel lockdown to be even noticeable when doing parallels.
     
  43. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Which NTN boot/binding combos have you skied?
     
  44. Idoitmyway

    Idoitmyway Early Days

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    Freerides I reckon they were, set as loose as I could get them with well worn Garmont Prophets.
     
  45. Ziggy

    Ziggy Repreived Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, my experience has been quite different.
    In 75 mm I started with T3s and Riva Z's. Since then there's been a number of steps each time going to beefier boots and bindings with a more positive connection. Every time that's enabled me to telemark with more control and with more confidence.
    The last was moving to NTN, from T2Xs and Axls to TX Pros and Outlaw Xs.
    It took me 5 minutes to feel at home and an hour to turn better than before.
    The rig gives me more feel, stability and control. I can weight the rear ski far better. I can steer the skis far better.
    I assume the reason for this is that the binding connects the forefoot to the ski, not some point forward of the toes.
     
  46. Dropknee diehard

    Dropknee diehard First Runs

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    Great stuff up above there..."Idoitmyway" I remember those skater/teles you made they were fun and something like that should have been the "revolution ski " Tahoes Trump was after. (seriously he even looked like Trump)

    Great to see you on here and give your views on design, gear and technique.

    I know what you mean about the feel and smooth flex of leathers.
    I ride these super thin mid length surfboards with rounded bottoms and soft egg shaped rails and the feedback from the wave is addictive so it all becomes about the feel and not the gymnastics. You can surf these boards with just the roll of the ankles.

    I made a big mistake in 92 as I sold my extreme pros to finance the first terminator....should have kept them....not to worry I still have a pair of ankle height no buckle scarpa leathers I still use with a pair of waxing glitterands I found in an op shop.
    I have a big collection of the old straight skis but unfortunately no buckle leathers.
    Even got my old pink atomics back off GOD who was throwing them out after I sold them to him 3O years ago.
    ( I am lucky enough to count both JC and GOD as my good friends from the Tahoe/Hotham days)

    I reckon the big difference in the leather/straight/pin days was those who ripped then were true athletes whereas the more supportive gear was a great equaliser allowing more than just the cream to rise to the top.

    From my own perspective on leathers/straights/pins I had something like 5 or 6 shoulder dislocations where as once the boots became stouter and the skis wider I could pretty much stay upright and avoided the akia...(touch wood).

    Speaking of bindings I have been thinking about a flexible extension integrated into the top of a ski that slots into a sleeve in the sole of a boot with some sort of ramp angle built into the ski that creates flex in the boot so basically no binding. I am no designer so haven't a clue on the physics but maybe it would cause to much tip pressure and release non existent....still something I often think about

    I enjoy my free rides because it allows me to keep up with my Alpine mates and not have to bend over, brakes, and easy to slip into a pack straps etc as most of the time at Hotham one is boot packing back up and not skinning unless you on top of a ridge.

    I did have an epiphany at the BC festival at falls last year clunking back along the nordic trail from an aborted trip to Nelse in the fog with others in the group on split boards and alpines with dukes and heavy wide tele, when a group out for a leisurely nordic tour with terrible technique blasted past us as if we were standing still.....so basically I was out there for the form rather than the function and swore the next time I came back to ego flats I would be on the leathers/straights/pins in the back of the van.
    Horses for courses.
     
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  47. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Welcome @Dropknee diehard and @Idoitmyway good to have you both on board.

    Best of luck with your search for the perfect set up. When you find your binding / boot set up throw them on a pair of DPS Skis and you'll maximize your enjoyment and the feel of the boot / binding / ski interface.

    There's quite a few of the drop knee bretheren on them now and they go OK..

    I should point out that I am the DPS distributor in Oz so I might be biased but then again I can't get back on a traditional glass ski because they all feel dead.
     
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  48. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You mean you actually really like them?
     
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  49. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    Since you quote me @idiotmyway a couple of times I'll join in.

    What I enjoy most about telemark is the choice. I can chose from a variety of techniques (all of the downhill techniques are available to me), change how I telemark in large ways depending on the turn I want or the conditions I find myself in. I can choose from wildy different equipment, from racing nordic equipment right through to racing telemark equipment.

    If you prefer the feeling of leather I'm confused as to why you like the feeling of plastic. I've got a pair of Merrel Supercomps and they feel nothing like a plastic 75mm boot. If neither 75mm plastic or NTN will give you that same feeling why do you favour 75mm over NTN. You never explained this above.

    Can you explain how the adoption of NTN has stymied innovation? The new standard is an innovation not possible with 75mm. Tech inserts are a innovation not possible with 75mm. Release of the boot only is a true innovation not possible with 75mm. Increased performance (true standard and shorter lever) not possible with 75mm.

    Why does the ball of a telemark boot need to be very flexible? Once again I enjoy the choice, from my NNBC boots right through to fresh out of the box Crispi Evos World Cups. The different types of boots allow me to achieve very different things on skis.

    NTN does not dictate that you ski with a very active binding. Try TTS with the heel throw mounted close to the toe, its not active at all.

    An active binding does no less to dictate how you ski than a neutral binding does. There a whole bunch of high end movements, (effective crossovers and crossunders, pedalling in moguls, ect) which are not possible on a truely neutral binding.

    Back with 75mm active bindings were required to counter rocker launch (not a problem with ntn) and to ensure that the poor interface between the duckbill and toepiece of the binding (not a problem with NTN) were held together securely throughout the flex of the boot. With NTN you can have a less active binding provide more performance than an active 75mm binding.

    If you find that active bindings uncontrollably pressure the forebody of the ski that's due to a limitation in your technique, rather than the equipment. In much the same way if a skier can't ski well on light gear that's due to a limitation in their technique, rather than the equipment.

    Your franken boot/binding sounds kooky, but I'd love to check it out. Can you post a drawing or something?
     
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  50. skifree

    skifree Sort of old & definitely grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or ATK Telemark.