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Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by telenomore, Aug 26, 2018.
True, they're not active, but they don't feel neutral either, they're something else again.
Youve added to the can of worms and responding to an ex racer and examiner where they penciled line rather than rail so predominantly front foot although youre correct.
I've been getting the chance to try and keep up with this guy.
Stefan moves so quickly to the inside of the turn its phenomenal. What racers did in the 90's was exceptional, but I'm inspired by what atheletes are achieving on modern equipment, not the racing step telemark turns of the past.
Yes, I do. They've ruined me for every other ski.
I skied with an American work colleague in Austria this northern spring and he was on a pair of RMU fatties and raving about them, although they were near end of life. We swapped skis as we were the same bsl. I was on a pair of Cassiar 87's a very different ski to what he was on. I couldn't wait to get off his skis. He wasn't keen to get off mine.
He now owns a pair of Wailers. 'nough said.
Do you make a green ski that would suit tele? I hate green, so usually green stuff is good. I have had a few green bikes, and skis, based on how they went, rather than the horrid colour.
I think it’s the skis that are biased....
As for me the most comfortable boots I've ever had are 75mm T2 Eco w mouldable liners so staying with that.
Loved the revolutionary 1999 Workstinx still have the original yellow ones, loved the name and the graphics of most of them esp the pseudo 60s meets Miro look of 2008 .
Lots of different bindings,.have Skyhoys stiff being a plate but a boot toe wrecker ,I really like the Voile switchbacks for touring.
Prolly too old for change to NTN.
I dont have problems skiing anything but breakable crust , the people that can ski that are the true athletes.
Agree Stefan's angulation is amazing.
I can ski equally unwell on either!
I find NTN better for walking, and booting. Also uses a bit less energy, which is handy in the resort, but not so important touring. But while I retain a pair of 75, I very much prefer NTN. The feel is different I think, but neither less or more in a way. It takes me about half an hour or so to get the "feel" when swapping from one to another. I strongly disagree with NTN having less feel.
Some people like race skis, some people like park skis, some like all mountain skis, and some just like green skis.
Not sure I could say which boots I have owned are the most comfortable, my current scarpa tx pro’s aren’t bad. I can say the old Crispi cxp are the worst boot I ever owned, man did they crush the toes!
Like many my ski journey started with whatever skis I could get my hands on, black diamond sync x and morotto j’s were the early choice, then onto what ever down hill ski I could get my hands on for resort work.
Atomic congur where my first new skis with hammerhead bindings. Since then I have had a couple of skis and bindings and am totally stoked with my current quiver which includes Volkl kendo (my Rock hoppers), black crow navis freebies (102) and Nordica navigator 80.
Like @Telemark Phat i love the different turns and the fact I can choose, I specifically like going from short to long turns.
Where are the green skis?
Here are the green skis....
This is the ski I’ve done 10 days on this season. That might not sound like much but I’ve got every ski in the range to choose from and I switch them often. Last season I did more days on the Cassiar 94 than any other ski. It’s an awesome ski for Australia. Oh! and it’s green.
I quite agree that there is a big range of gear available that can be telemarked on, and that each has it's place. Some I enjoy, some I don't really.
One of my most memorable days ever was the day after our demo at Interski Japan in Nozawa, skiing waist deep powder all morning on skaters - none of this floating about on top as with fat skis - over the head powder! Awesome fun and not something I ever expected to do!
I tried to explain about the feel of boots, obviously not well. Leather has that great feel through the ball of the foot, and such a nice progressive flex. It sucks at retaining torsional rigidity, waterproofing, fitability (is that a word?). Plastic is where it's at for heavy gear, no question. But out of the plastic boots, 75mm has a nicer feel, in my opinion. Not because of the boot itself, but because of the boot/binding interaction.
Saying the new standard is an innovation not possible with (the old standard) is like saying oranges are an innovation not possible with apples, but beyond that I did think I'd explained my reasoning regarding NTN fiddling about the edges. It has done nothing to address isolating the flexible section of the boot from the "drive train" (for want of a simpler term). To me this is a big issue, as or more significant than the other things you mention. I see "interchangeable left & right skis" as one of NTN's better advantages.
I get that having a more defined standard helps reduce some of the tolerance issues that arise with 75mm, but that doesn't mean it's the only way, nor that it implicitly improves performance. By "shorter lever" I'm guessing you mean the length of the sole toe lug? I agree that's an improvement, but it's merely incremental. The bit out the back (the duckbill connection) is irrelevant to any performance gain in my assessment - perhaps there's a binding out there with a torsionally rigid connection to that? Most certainly aren't and therefore are pretty irrelevant to holding the ski on edge.
"Why does the ball of a telemark boot need to be very flexible?" - It doesn't. You can telemark on alpine touring boots if you feel like it. But as someone who's done a bit of that there's no way on earth I'm going back there. If you or anyone else enjoys skiing a low flex tele boot, go for it. I don't. Personal preference.
My observation and (limited) experience with NTN is that without an "active" binding they don't flex much at the ball - see comment above.
"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." - Not sure how to respond to that statement. I believe a very active binding does largely dictate some aspects of how people ski, based on observation, experience and a fair bit of time teaching people. Yes I guess a neutral binding imposes it's own dictates too.
Based on my understanding of those terms for high end movements, once upon a time I and quite a significant number of other people could do all that on 3 pins and leather boots. Maybe I'm misinterpreting, or maybe there just haven't been many people skiing really high performance in neutral bindings for a long time - they rather went out of vogue as plastic came in.
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.
I've never understood all the carry on about rocker launch - never really had a problem with it, and certainly not in leather. A couple of times I chucked a washer or two under the front mounting screws to reduce it, but usually couldn't be bothered, and that was only ever with plastic from what I recall. I don't see that it's any different for NTN either? If a boot has a curved sole (usually from lots of use) you'll get some launch, if it bothers you a more active binding is one solution, but it's fundamentally a boot issue that you're masking indirectly by tightening the binding.
As for tight cables to reduce binding slop, yes sometimes that was a bit of a stop gap, but it was a furphy, it didn't really solve the issue. Grinding or resoling was the solution. This is also why I always raced 3 pins - a secure clamp on the bill. Yes, these nuisances have been largely removed by NTN, and that's a good thing.
"If you find that active bindings uncontrollably pressure the forebody of the ski that's due to a limitation in your technique"
Could be I guess. I did adapt to the extra pressure plastic puts on the forebody, no doubt I could adapt to an even more active setup. Don't think I can be bothered though, don't see a reason why I would.
No drawings, photos or parts from the Franken bindings. I pulled out an old pair of plastic Garmonts with torn bellows the other day to consider how I could make something like it again on a plastic boot. Some ideas but not sure they'll ever see the light of day - my motivation for CAD modelling and machining parts is pretty low these days.
It'd be fun to catch up and ski together some day.
And no, not written on a phone ;-)
You've skied one NTN boot/binding combo and you make this generalisation.
Great discussion folks.
I am writing this from the point of view of someone who was obsessed with telemark and workshopped with lots of amazing instructors worldwide with lots of technique variations so I am a self confessed technique nerd.
I have had the pleasure of watching both Idoitmyway and Telemarkphat telemark turn and as both being interski representatives bookended by 30 years or less it would be fascinating to see side by side split screen footage of them both on their respective set ups to observe differences in approaches over time and the effect of kit on technique. (see if I can find a photo I have some where).
I am guessing Turn shape will be one and angulation /counter rotation /cross over could be another. Maybe less emphasis on steering now? Its been 15 years since I have had a lesson. or been to a clinic. Time for a private I reckon.
Regarding technique discussion I never really understood the ball of the foot dogma.
My breakthrough moment in Telemark skiing was on one of the original ATA courses when Peter and Ross had invited Heidi ? a Norwegian Tele Race who skied with an extremely wide stance hip too hip. She had us doing John Wayne Telemarks with bowed legs pretending we were riding horses. Suddenly I felt a strong sense of independent steering on the back ski.
We then moved onto steering the rear ski more so than the front by trying to ski a shorter or slightly divergent radius on the rear ski . (Like what the G3 tickets were designed for).
This was on leather boots but I found it worked really well on the lighter stuff as well.
I found pointing the rear knee where I wanted to go and trying to ski it independently also set up the edging/pressure /steering which solved the ball of the foot/tippy toe flaw.
Although I have always thought the higher the rear heel is in the air the more leverage you can get on the edge making it easier to edge and steer the back ski.
If you clamp a boot in a binding and put it on a table you can see this effect (maybe not with dishrag boots).
I found this one of the better exercises for me along with sideslipping in the telemark stance for sensing an independent rear ski ..... a far cry of when I was taught to tuck the rear knee into the crook of the front knee and make a v shape with the skis and let the front leg do all the work.
I find this sensitivity is what gives me enjoyment on leathers/lighter gear.
To me really active bindings feel like the proverbial
" Having a bath with your socks on"
So 3 pins is "bare feet" and hammerheads on 4 is a bath with "3 pairs of socks to me"
NTN freerides set up lightly give me a good rear ski feel as well and the first season I used them 2008 I spent the entire season on them. We packed up all the gear at the end and sent it home and I came back up for a last load but it snowed a foot overnight on the last day of the season and freshies were every where, but I only had my old Karhus and leathers and I reckon it was the best I have ever skied on the old gear and I put it down to the muscle memory form using a tighter stance on the NTN over the season. (free food and beer at the snowbird might have had a bearing on the day as well).
I reckon Teley bindings are like vehicles. You have your car but you might borrow your mates ute to shift a piano.... drives and handles differently but you adjust. Then you have to reverse the Missus new euro car out of the driveway so you can get to work (She actually drives an X trail) but the controls are all different... reverse is down instead of up but you figure it out and you take it for a snappy turn around the block.
Better get to work I have 150 roses to prune. Going to be a pr..k of a job.
Love it. Almost like a BBB thread, except it makes sense, and is more interesting to me!
My first lesson had the drop the rear knee laterally into the turn (like on a bike), to get that rear edge happening (fake angulation) and gave me my first real feel of the rear edge. I can now ski weight either ski during a turn, and sometimes play with it a bit, getting earlier edge transfer. I love the drill of doing multiple lead transfers, during one turn, kind of like advanced mono marking? I agree the side slide while doing a moving stance is a really good drill. Brickarrrgee.
IMO what @Telemark Phat and others are doing now, is seeing a slight resurgence in people taking it up, and a general lifting of the level I see people skiing at, so kudos to them, as well as the generation of skiers before.
A note on NTN boots. I broke the wire across the middle of the boot, you know, the important buckle. So I switched to some new shells I had. Now I realise that the duckbutt on the old shells had worn, and was not in the binding as tight. So IMO, somewhere around 200 days and they are done. The rest of the shell is still good, though slightly softer. I had almost gone through the guards.
Ah ha, you're who I thought you were! My equal most memorable positive day in Japan was on classics diagonal striding through knee deep snow like it just wasn't there. Teleing through it on the same kit was pretty stunning as well.
I don't have an argument against personal preference, after all personal preference is the only reason to telemark. I telemark because I like the feeling more than snowboarding or alpine skiing. I personally don't have any great fondness for the flex of leather. I like to spend time on it because exposes flaws in my technique, which I can improve and then take those improvements back to plastic.
Personally I disagree, about the bellows being a problem to be solved, they are what makes a plastic ski boot a telemark boot. With the extra support of the NTN interface my resort telemark boots are as laterally responsive as my alpine race boots when I'm paralleling. Every time I end up back on 75mm all I can feel is the lateral slop.
By Shorter lever I mean the distance between the NTN interface of the toe of the boot to the duck butt as opposed to the distance between the duck bill and the heel of the boot in 75mm. Shorter levers are more responsive than longer levers.
With more neutral bindings crossovers and crossunders have to be more of a lateral movement across the skis. As the binding becomes more active you can move further down the hill. Moving inside the turn the way Stefan does in the photo I posted above is not possible with a truely neutral binding, a more lateral crossover takes too long to put the ski on edge.
The same thing with pedalling, with a more active binding you can pull your feet further back than is possible with a more neutral binding.
I disagree about how to solve slop. After all the money you need to spend on boots and bindings a standard which requires you to put more work into the boot post production to remove slop in the system is absolute garbage. I don't need to mess with my NNN gear to remove slop, I don't have to mess with a tech setup to remove slop, I don't have to mess with an alpine system to remove slop, I don't have to mess with NTN to remove slop. That grinding the boot or resoling could be the solution for 75mm is just a great big shining light on how it holds the sport back.
There's no reason to adapt your technique to a more active set up other than you want to ski a more active set up. Absolutly nothing wrong with skiing a less active setup.
Shame about no drawings of the franken setup you made, I always enjoy checking out creative garage solutions to telemark.
It would be great to go for a ski. I'll be in Hotham for the BC festival. I'll have to make sure to repair the edge on an old pair of Morotto Tele Carves I found last season and get you to fix my technique when skiing leathers with 3-pins.
It's great reading all the different views, and it's made me have another think about exactly what it is I'd like to achieve with my gear.
I think it comes down to this:
I like a really soft flex
I like a very neutral connection
I like a really solid torque transfer (edging)
I like step in
I don't care about release much
I can't be faffed switching gear, so I like to minimise the number of skis, boots and bindings in the quiver.
I like skinny skis (in the scheme of things these days - 110 mm tip is more than enough)
I like relatively stiff skis (Volkl Racetigers are my go-to for any resort/sidecountry conditions for the past few years)
I like light.
How I tick all those boxes is by necessity a matter of compromise. So far 75mm in 7TM's (with powerbar removed) seems to have given me the compromise I dislike least. Now I'm trying to find a new compromise, but unless it's a significantly better compromise than the status quo then it's not worth bothering with.
Getting my list of likes really clear might help me find the best compromise going forward. I'll keep working on it.
These days I can't tele the way I'd most like to - don't ski enough to be on-it and the aging body complains loudly when I ask it to perform like it did nearly 30 years ago (where did that time go?!). I have to gracefully accept that and adjust my preferences in gear accordingly.
I get it that skiers like Stefan et al will compromise in different ways to someone like me now - been there done that.
But I don't dis. 75mm. It's got it's problems and it's advantages, as has NNN-BC, NTN, TTL and whatever else is out there.
Pick your poison.
I remember one of my first Thredbo Telefest clinics was with Graham Hammond and he had us doing the bow legged thing and skiing from the rear ski. It transformed my skiing at the time (GH transformed my skiing more than once). These days we think it depends on the turn you want, the speed you want, the terrain your in and what the snow is like as to whether or not you're controlling the turn from the rear ski, the front ski, or both.
I find time on both heavier and lighter gear improves how I ski on the other equipment. Time on nordic gear improves my telemarking and time on alpine gear also improves my telemarking. I beleive all types of skiing compliment each other and the more time you can spend on different equipment the better a skier you'll become.
Reading this thread reminds me of the call I got off my eldest son when I was waiting for a flight out of Canberra.
It went like this:
Son: Hi Dad just rang to let you know I got high distinctions on my last assignment at uni.
Dad: That's great mate, reward for your effort.
Son: Yeah! I'm dropping out of uni to concentrate on my music.
Dad: Oh! do tell.
Son: I really want to give the band a go and see where we can take it.
Dad: Well, mate you know you've got my support whatever you do but do you think that's a wise move? Can't you stay at uni and do that.
Son: Nah! not to be able to fit in practice with the boys.
Dad: Hmm OK. Have you thought this through? Trying to make a living out of music isn't an easy road. It's even harder considering you're a hard core heavy metal band which really narrows the field of opportunity.
Son: (In an effort to educate me) Not just hard core dad but we're (can't remember exact name) "cleanskin" hardcore. ie we don't do drugs. You know there's 46 different genres of hard core.
Dad: Oh! Ok. Narrowing the field even more.
Let's hope your choice of equipment continues, so that these types of discussion can continue. I fear much of the tele gear available today is heading in the same direction and the field of choice is narrowing.
Well we strongly agree on one thing - we both like to tele coz it feels good! When it stops feeling good I stop teleing.
I'm surprised you find your NTN's as rigid as alpine race boots - in my time on them I found them a bit better than my 75mm, but still oh so far from my alpine boots.
It's not the bellows that makes a plastic tele boot a tele boot, it's the fact they flex at the ball of the foot. I've got a pair of Garmont plastics (well one boot actually) that doesn't have a bellows at all - it still a tele boot, no question, just a pretty sloppy one. It's the bellows that defines the flex of the boot, I'd like a softer bellows and a laterally stiffer boot than any plastic I've skied on.
The mechanical pedant in me also doesn't get the argument about the short/long lever - a lever by definition requires a fulcrum, I don't know what the fulcrum point is in an NTN (or 75mm) setup. Without doing some more formal analysis, I don't think there is one. On the "lever" basis a 3 pin should be best, as it's "lever" is the distance between front and back of the bail. There's something else going on here perhaps, but it aint a lever as far as I can see.
The crossover/under thing would be interesting to look at on-hill - That transition phase is the really fun part of playing with gravity on skis - deliberately putting yourself as far out of balance as possible yet come back into balance an instant later. I love that feeling. I can sort of see that an active binding would let you recover from a little bit further over your toes/in. Pretty subtle, but at the top end it's the subtleties that make the difference. Certainly at present I see it as a movement along the progression, not something that can't be done on a neutral binding. I don't think any really accomplished tele skier has been doing straight lateral transitions for decades. As an aside while we talk transitions, step tele turns last saw their day in 1989 when Whit Thurlow won the worlds GS, and then it was an anomaly more than anything else.
The slop issue - horses for courses, doesn't really bother me if I have to fiddle a bit, also doesn't really bother me if there's a bit of lateral slop, probably just used to it.
Holding the sport back - that's a topic all it's own. Is it being held back if it isn't growing? Is it being held back if people are having fun? Is it being held back if things aren't changing? Is it being held back if more money isn't changing hands? Philosophical questions without any one answer.
I'll see how I go getting to Hotham BC - I avoid weekends like the plague, and my dark side wants to go moto-trials riding on Sunday Probably weather dependent.
@Dropknee diehard Maybe we can laugh at each other on our old leather/skinnys up at Hotham in a week or so. ha. Except the only leathers I've got these days are a pair of Asolo Racer's - they ski OK, but hurt like hell - they never really fitted me. So it'll be a short ski! I also sold off all my leathers in the move to plastic - kind of regret it now.
Those Atomic tele/skates were huge fun - I remember taking them down the old Blue Ribbon bumps (no bumps allowed these days, mow 'em flat) - had to throw myself at the snow a few times coz I was scared they'd snap, but they never did. The really cool thing with them was that when I cut one side of the ski off, the whole ski bowed sideways - I guess the steel edges act as tension members and balance each other. So it had big sidecut on the steel edge, and a bit of classic style boat shape on the other. I sanded/planed the skate edge a bit straighter, but the combo of super soft, big sidecut on a really light skinny ski was a blast.
These days I've got a couple of bandsaws in the workshop, so I sometimes look at my vast collection of old skis and try to decide which ones to run through the saw to make another pair - it took me two weeks of hacksawing until my arm got too tired each morning and night to work my way through those meters of ski. Go power tools.
Speaking of asymmetric skis, the other skis you may remember, which I still have, are those all black Asnes Test. Same dimensions as a Comp, but with most of the sidecut put on one side of the ski, so left/right pairs with extra sidecut on the inside edge. Most people didn't like them so they never went into production, but I thought they were good jiggers. That was a product that required a certain amount of adaptation of technique! I've been thinking I'll probably put them back in service as my touring skis, light, skinny, stiff, turn well - just a bit too much camber, but that's a good thing for touring. Funny how what was a resort ski is now a skinny BC ski.
Hopefully catch you at Hotham soon.
@Idoitmyway ....I think you will be doing most of the laughing, all though if its packed powder or nice corn I maybe able to stay upright.
I was thinking about another huge technique tip you gave me and has got me wondering.
As your feet pass you emphasise to stand as tall as you can by pushing down hard through the hip of what was the front leg and when you exaggerated it for demos your back leg almost became airborne...I can see it clearly in my mind and it was the stand out feature of your skiing the almost total straightness of both your legs in that frozen moment when the feet are side by side. I don't not wether I have explained this correctly but remember AB did that article in Ski Extra on your technique which had some good visuals. Think I have it somewhere I will keep looking...maybe someone else has it.
I have a bit of footage of myself taken over a 10 year period same run, evolving kit and on every occasion when I freeze the moment of the feet side by side pointed down the hill both heels are up off the ski......is this a good thing or a technique flaw?
I think its fantastic that this thread was created as by comparing history, technique, drills and exercises it may resurrect some good tips that could have become lost.
I have also thought about Telemark boot evolution and how the current manufacturers don't seem keen to evolve them due to the down turn in Telemark sales or whatever.
Maybe we can get a crowd raising fund going to support R & D for a new telemark boot.
Miserable day to prune roses I should be doing turns.
What do you mean "pruning roses"? you're obviously slacking off on your phone!
It's a funny thing teaching ski skills - you never know what's going to stick in the student's mind and what's going to blow right through.
I don't remember the specific occasion so not sure what we were trying to achieve. Many people tended (I'll refer to past times as that's when I did most of my teaching) to do a sort of shuffle lead change, or a definite step forward, one or the other. In both cases it was common that there was very little extension/retraction movement in the legs. It could have been that I was just trying to get more movement, any movement, so that it then became available to develop into something more functional. My guess is that I had some specific goal in mind, not that it was a general purpose technique. Dunno - just guessing.
In fact in most circumstances I prefer to have less extension as the skis pass under, and more as they go out to the side. Trouble is it can be harder to get that movement going in people than the opposite, especially in lower/softer boots, and any movement is better than none.
I can only imagine I was doing some sort of exercise and exaggerating it as much as I could to make it clear - about the only time I plan on moving up so strongly in the transition is on steeps to unweight and pivot, and then by the middle of the transition (feet side by side) you're pretty much just extending off the old back foot, not the front.
Of course if it was late '80's rather than mid '90's then I'll just have to apologise and say that I learnt a lot over the next few years and some of the techniques, and my understanding changed considerably.
Were we playing with "step backwards" transitions? That could fit the picture perhaps, and I used to do that with people to try to develop the feeling of early pressure onto the new outside ski.
As for the heels off the skis - if you unweight strongly, particularly in non-active 75mm gear, there's a pretty good chance your heels will lift off the ski. Most common when doing shorter turns, which I seem to recall was your preference? It can also happen if you are really, really trying to move down the hill across your skis to get an early edge, but this is only when you're right near the limit of being able to recover from moving that far, so unlikely to show up so consistently, and frequently followed by a photo of you lying face down in the snow.
I do hope I didn't give you a bum steer back then - building pressure on the skis then controlling it is the name of the game (my game anyway), not taking it off. If you extend in the transition you'll take a load of pressure off the ski and have to wait to get back on it. I enjoy playing the game of only releasing the minimum pressure possible for me to achieve the turn I'm aiming for, then trying to get it back on as soon as possible.
It is mildly interesting to me that back in the 80's, 90's and even 00's we saw a lot of people with small range of motion due to staying low, now there are a lot of people with small range of motion from staying tall.
Take a look at this guy, great skier.
Fluid movement, plays with the gear, the terrain, gravity ... Love it.
At 1:30 you see him consistently throwing his outside hand up to regain balance after moving way in and down the hill - playing with the limits.
At 5:07 in the gates you can see his legs really extend and retract to control the pressure (mostly just because he's in a suit, so you can see what's going on easier, it's happening in all his skiing).
Those Scandihoovians - there's a ridiculous percentage of them who can ski so well.
Tele always feels good, except when my muscles stop working.
What NTN setup did you try?
I had a pair of Garmont Extremos, please dont remind me about those abomonations. Shame you didn't try the Tx before it was discontinued, it had the bellows flex of a sandshoe.
Where the toe meets the binding is the fulcrum to keep it simple. Levers can flex and have joints in them.
The market finds grinding boots and resoling a huge barrier to entry. Enthusiasts might be fine with it, but it hinders growth in the sport.
We will only see boot evolution when 75mm is on its death bed. The market is too small to support boot innovation with two standards. Because of the continued existence of 75mm Telemark has missed out on all of the innovation in the AT and Alpine boot world in the last 13 years. If it weren't for 75mm we could have a boot which skis like the Stiffest boot on the market (Crispi Evo WC, 1850g) for less than the weight of a Scoot Excursion (1380g). There are plenty of race boot stiff alpine boots which weigh less than 1380g on the market.
With telemark bindings, boots with comparable weight, ankle ROM and performance to AT equivalents there would be a lot more telemarking going on.
Please, everyone, don't buy any new 75mm equipment,... please.
Damn, another long winded reply to a simple post. Sorry everyone.
Muscles are a problem, certainly! Mine seem to be in revolt all too often.
Prophet in Freeride I think it was.
I still have Extremos, and use them on some trips - yes they're a bit weird, but they're light, and I've got them.
I worked for Garmont testing their first plastics - they flew out a pair of Extremos and a pair of the high version with a hinged cuff which I tested at Perisher well after the season closed. The Extremos were kind of acceptable given what Scarpa had as an alternative. The cuffed version was unbelievably bad! It was hard to figure why adding the cuff made them so much worse, but it did. The only boot I've never been able to ski in at all.
To Garmont's eternal credit, they tooled up for the full Extremo size range knowing it was a stop gap, got to work developing the Gara and within a year or so chucked $100's of 1000's of dollars of tooling out to move on & produce the Gara (an original prototype of which I last skied on Tuesday - sad reflection on my ability to make decisions and spend money).
"Levers can flex and have joints in them." They can flex (all beams flex when load is applied), but they can't have joints in them. If there's a joint in the lever then it might be a system of levers - if each of those segments meets the definition of a lever.
A flexible lever is inefficient at transferring force.
There are 3 classes of levers, all have fulcrums.
A definition of a lever is, "The lever is a movable bar that pivots on a fulcrum attached to a fixed point." In engineering terms a bar is a relatively rigid beam. There must be a fulcrum, an effort or force, and a resistance.
So if the toe is the fulcrum, it's either a class 2 or class 3 lever. I'd put it in class 2. So the rear of the boot, via the duckbill is the effort, the ball of the foot/boot is the resistance. The lever is producing a force pushing the ball of the foot up - no use to us at all, and in fact a disadvantage in my view. Given the typical "bar" in the system is highly flexible the force transferred is minimal so we can probably ignore it.
If it's a class 3 lever the end result is we consider it giving a small force holding the heel down.
It might be pedantic, but understanding the system is the key to understanding why it works or doesn't work, and hence how to improve it.
When I look at NTN I still reckon the biggest gain in performance probably comes from simply a reduction in the boot's flexibility.
And finally "growth in the sport" - here we enter the philosophical realm.
Do I care if the sport grows? Not one bit.
Do I care if people are having fun telemarking - to be brutally honest, only if that "people" is me.
Sure, I like seeing people have fun, I like seeing people developing skills, I enjoy contributing to people developing skills and having fun. But if no-one in the world telemarked I'd think it a bit sad that we've lost yet another skill set, but big swinging mickeys, life moves on.
My son has no interest in tele - I don't care, his choice and he'll find pleasures of his own. My daughter enjoys having the occasional dabble and I'll help her with that, but if she decides not to, fine. So am I going to care if some unknown in deepest darkest Kings Cross decides to tele?
As far as the effect on developing new gear goes, I similarly don't really care. What I like is learning skills and becoming better (I stopped the latter on tele's a long time ago sadly). It's important to recognise that "better" means "more skilful", not "able to ski harder/faster/steeper/...". If it was all about harder/faster/steeper, alpine wins hands down, no contest. If it's about skill, then the equipment is irrelevant, become skilfull on what you've got.
Also remember, the best gear of the present will be the sloppy 75mm leathers of the future, so don't confuse having more fun with necessarily having "better" gear.
Or even standing up with more fun - another memorable day, cat skiing in Colorado with a bunch of alpiners, breakable crust like I've never skied before or since. 72mm race skis. One turn you're on top, next the ski breaks through and the tip is dragging under the crust unable to break it. It bruised my shin! Next it's a light and fluffy pocket. I don't think I linked more than 2 or max 3 turns all morning. I spent more time dragging myself back onto my feet than I did on top of them. But boy did I have fun! What a challenge! What an opportunity to develop some more skills! Smile on my face from ear to ear.
Don't get me wrong though, I'm not saying I don't enjoy or appreciate improvements in gear. I like gear that helps not hinders me as much as the next person. I like new skis, I like new boots, I like new toys. But new toys aren't always better toys.
I think this article, Telemark Skiing is Dead, has some truth and insight in it, unusual for a ski mag.
I've skied, stayed and talked with some of those '70's American Hippies, and some of the reasons they revived telemark are as valid today as they were then, and the populist push is potentially moving us full circle even faster.
Zen and the art of telemark, and where this whole thread started.
Feel free to ban me if non-twitter length posts are a faux pas.
That video was really inspiring back in the day. When it comes to carving what they're doing on the WC is ridiculout at the moment.
I had a pair of Gara's as well. I thought they were great for the time until Scarpa re did the T1. I skied a pair about 10 years ago and my memory was very rose coloured.
I don't ski that way at all. I'm not pulling my heel up, I'm pushing down into the cuff of the boot with my shin while flexing my joints and using the structure of the boot to transfer that force into the ski. When I use the term lever I'm thinking about how the boot and binding put the ski on edge and point the skis in a different direction. Not lifting the heel and applying pressure to the front of the ski.
The candy cane T-Races I used to have had a much stiffer bellows than current Scarpa NTN boots. The NTN boots and NTN bindings are much better torsinally.
By definition growth of the sport is the antethesis of "Me".
I'm looking forward to the future of telemark gear allowing me to ski in ways I can't now. I'll still be enjoying skiing on innapropriate gear as well.
Naa, that article was a great big troll.
The fun of different views!
I still say there's no lever in the binding system any which way you look at it. And a lever doesn't care what you're thinking about or how your applying the force, just the direction and magnitude of it. Well it doesn't care about that either really.
As always, happy to be proven wrong and learn something new, but that's my current best understanding, and haven't seen anything to alter it.
In our society growth is so often equated to good. Just saying that ain't necessarily so.
Telemark grows, what declines in response? Or does telemark attract completely new people into snowsports? I suspect it's Peter stealing from Paul.
Even if it does attract new people into snowsport (or slow the departure out of snowsport), where are they coming from, what other activity is losing?
So which is "me" centred - growth, stasis or decline?
No such thing as inappropriate gear, just inappropriate attitude, as I believe you're also saying.
PS I started looking at recreating the franken boot/binding on my blown garmonts today. Not sure how it'll progress yet.
So if I change to NTN I'll ski like that? OK, you've sold me.
That's great to watch. Sensational skills and some serious power in those legs!
Well, I took the hint and decided to have another go on NTN.
Borrowed some Scarpa TxPro / Meidjo on a Blizzard that was almost my kind of ski.
Impressed with the design job on Meidjo, pretty neat mechanism.
I played around with rear foot "ski through the cuff", stance height, hip position, length.
Once again enjoyed the extra torsional rigidity and ability to edge more easily.
I think I got a feeling for how these things would ski well - pretty erratic while I got used to them, but I did occasionally find a bit of a sweet spot where they really performed well and still felt like a telemark.
I had a bit of an epiphany too, many thanks to everyone who's contributed here, it all got me thinking more deeply.
I alpine ski for the power and the precision.
I telemark for the freeheel sensation and the challenge.
I skate for the efficiency and travel speed.
I stride for ... well when it comes to striding I usually drudge actually.
NTN is like a pair of training heels as far as I'm concerned, and they considerably take away the freeheel feel, without which I'd much rather alpine. They also reduce one aspect of the challenge that I enjoy - balancing without heel hold down. I love balance sports.
My take-home thought this time was that NTN makes a great advertisement for alpine gear. And I'm not joking in the least.
They feel almost closer to alpine than to freeheel telemark. They are heavier than AT, harder to ski, more expensive and with ski and climb mode switches no simpler. They still don't (and telemark never will) perform at the level of half decent straight alpine gear. So for many people I would expect them to say, "why bother?"
I also finally get why people are putting heel pieces on their NTN telemark gear - it's so close to AT that you might as well turn it into that!
I wont be going back to NTN in any great hurry. I can understand some of the reasons why people enjoy NTN, but it holds no interest whatsoever to me.
For the moment I'll stick with 7TM and 75mm. Significantly harder to edge compared to the NTN setup, but it feels like freeheel skiing, and that's key criteria to me. Maybe a Spike NT and NTN boots for better edging (I'm hoping to grind down a 75 toe to NTN dimensions for a quick fix).
Interestingly I talked to two other tele'ers on the weekend who have lost interest in their NTN and are going back to 75mm, for similar reasons to my dislike of NTN.
75mm will continue to struggle on until something better replaces NTN.
Bottom line is that @telenomore was on the right track:
Hmmm, I disagree. I would say its very similar to the disc v rim brakes on a road bike. They have as much, if not more feel, but it is slightly different. More powerful.
I'm not saying they don't have "feel" - just that it's a "feel" that I have no interest in.
I like the extra edging stiffness, but that can be had without the heel hold-down implicit in NTN, and which I dislike.
I don't think it's actually much like disc vs rim brakes - how long does it take to get comfortable with discs on a road bike? Minutes or perhaps a few hours, and it doesn't take any significant change in technique or riding style. And some rim brakes are just as powerful as discs, just not as consistent in different conditions nor as good dealing with heat build up. YMMV
Edit: Maybe a better analogy is Bondage - some people like the feeling of that equipment, others don't.
I have always preferred a more "active" binding, had my HH's at 4. I dont really feel like my heel is being held down though. but other friends like the lighter springs, were on 2 or 3 on HH's, so it really is horses for courses. Maybe my weight, and mighty thighs change it for me.
I will certainly not go back. but then I am mostly resort these days too.
Nor do I think I will change to Alpine, I can get why people like it, but I cant find quite the same feeling from it myself. Mind you, I havent given it a really good go in 35 years now.
This was my initial reaction to ntn and stayed away from it for years. But then I found a boot I could flex & a binding I could flex & really fine tune the flex from just enough to hold the boot so to speak all the way through to almost not being able to lift the heel. Generally i now ski 1/4 to 1/3 up from the minimum.
There is a lot of variables in the ntn world just as there is in 75mm land. So sometimes it a matter of finding the setup that suits your style and dream.
ntn is better.
Bumped into 2 young girls on tele today at Baw Baw on their first ski day who were heading up and down the Summit on 3-pin/unknown ski and cable/Guides respectively.
They both had leather boots, one op-shop.
At the risk of embarassing them, (and my teenage daughter present to one side in earshot), they were a credit to their peer group - learning something new, getting out there. They had both cottoned on to the "feel" of tele.
Inspired me to get some 75mm Switchbacks and some boots, any boots, and mount to a wider ski.
This is a gem ...
The dog is about to attack the teledude. Smart dog.
interesting, only alpine skiers have crashed, smart artist
awesome picture btw
Looks more like the dog has identified the teledude as s friend who would appreciate a dog lick & play dog friendly games.
Nah the dog has copped a whiff of pootube and wants a snack
haha sure it’s the pop tube he smells....