Telemark binding advice

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Telemark binding advice

Postby Mathijs » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:27 am

Hi, I am a experience skiër (30+weeks) and want to start telemarking. I have k2 pinnacle boots with tech functionality. I love tour skiing and I am looking for a tour tech binding , with which I can switch to normal alpine skiing if conditions in the outback get to rough for my beginner telemark skills. Do you guys have any advice for me? Kind regards!


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Re: Telemark binding advice

Postby TomH » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:06 pm

You're going to need a bellowed boot if you want to cross-over between telemark and AT via a telemark tech system (tech toe + heel throw. If you want something to occasionally work with a tech heel, you'd need an old Scarpa TX-pro (when they still included the tech heel inserts) or TX (NTN boots), or a bellowed Scarpa F1. Other tele boots with front and back tech fittings include the Crispi Evo or Shiver, and the Scott Voodoo. Your current boots wouldn't work as they're a rigid alpine boot with no bellows to allow flex.

You might be better off getting some old tele-gear (boots and bindings) and learning the turn on-piste before you pour money into new boots and a tele-tech system.


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Re: Telemark binding advice

Postby teleclub » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:15 pm

TomH wrote:...
You might be better off getting some old tele-gear (boots and bindings) and learning the turn on-piste before you pour money into new boots and a tele-tech system.

This is good advice. I've seen experienced alpine skiers make really fast tele progress on piste with basic good plastic boots (used or rental), any decent cable binding, and familiar sized, familiar shaped skis.

Getting the feel of the turn, the weight distribution, turn initiation and transition, can all happen fast on packed snow at a resort where a day's skiing may give you quantums more turn practice than a day trying to learn tele in the backcountry.

My own experience is that firm snow tele learning translates pretty fast to soft snow/ deep snow tele.

I learned tele first in backcountry powder and enjoyed it. But when I took tele equipment (way back when on skinny ski/soft boots) to the resort and skied on piste, I discovered a lot of technique problems that were quickly solved with some turning practice on firm snow. I was more at ease in tele in bc afterward, and thought "why didn't I just learn at the resort in the first place?"

I hate to say this in a way, because I don't like the idea that tele learning depends on resort skiing. It certainly doesn't depend on or require it. I can only report what I found and saw. Many people will feel it's a short cut and that's either good or bad depending on your point of view. I say for someone who wants to learn, short cuts are good if they get you teleing in the backcountry sooner. In the late 90s when tele was hot and hip, I used to have mixed feelings when expert alpiners were teleing as well as I do in a fairly short time at the resort. But that's just the reaction one has to the prodigal son getting the fatted calf. I say go enjoy your fatted calf.

After you learn, you'll be better able to decide what you want in boots and how much you need/want to be able to do either free or locked heel. (Today's NTN provides lot of stable support for alpine style parallel technique even with a free heel.)

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