How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

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FourthCoast

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How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby FourthCoast » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:44 pm

Hello,

I hope someone might be willing to help me get into telemark skiing. I made an attempt at setting up a pair of old skis and bindings and I am having some trouble.

Most of my skiing experience is from Slalom and GS racing here on the icy hills in Michigan. Until this week my telemark experience was limited to a couple of short lift serviced runs back in what must have been something like 2003. A friend of mine had a used tele setup and let me give it a go. I remember it was a boot that partially used laces. There was a rat trap with 3 pins on the toe of the binding and there was something like the 'snap up' lever used on Targas and Voile hardwire bindings for the heel.

Going off my memory from 15 years (!) ago I think it was probably a "Voile Hardwire 3-Pin Telemark Binding" but I do not remember the side spring cartridges. I remember being shocked how straight the ski was. This was in 2003. So I am thinking this ski must have been early 1990's straight-ski straight.

I was able to skid some alpine turns on those skis on the first try without any problems. I tried a couple times to drop a knee and then got bored and went back to my new technology (at the time) 'parabolic' skis. Sorry for the long explanation. The point is I am a competent Alpine skier and I made two OK-ish runs in old tele gear long ago.

This year I tried to put together a low-cost and reasonably light weight telemark setup so I can learn something new and also have more fun going slow skiing with my family.

This is what I ended up trying:

ATOMIC BETA RIDE TM:EX
https://utahskigear.com/shop/184-atomic ... -bindings/

Voile Switchback X2 Telemark Binding
https://www.voile.com/voile-switchback- ... nding.html

Whitewoods 301 XC
https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Whitewoods ... b2KiZh3EdA

I took my best guess at where to put the bindings. I did the mounting myself. I was excited to give it a try.

I really thought I would be able to skid turns on a green-circle run. I was very very wrong.

It is almost completely impossible for me to get the skis up on edge. The only way I can get down even a tiny hill is in a very large snow plow (wedge). I did manage to do a couple of wedge christie turns. To stop at the bottom or to initiate a turn I had to make a big wedge and load up the tail of the skis with my heels. To make the wedge christie turns I needed to push as hard as I possibly could on my big toe in my downhill boot.

I am sure someone will say that these boots are no good. Is there any chance at all that I might be able to learn to use this setup with the right technique? The boots are the only thing I purchased new and they are so comfortable to walk in. Or maybe I have the binding mounted too far back and this is causing all the problems?

If there is no chance then I would like to figure out how to start telemarking with a boot just as comfortable as this XC boot that I tried. I would really like to be able to walk comfortably in a non-plastic boot and make some easy turns on groomed hills.

I attached some photos.

TL;DR: I tried to use a 3-pin XC boot with a Switchback X2 on an old 84mm waist ski. I can't get the ski up on edge but I want boots this comfortable.
20181224_152446.jpg
20181224_152714.jpg
20181224_152506.jpg

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bgregoire

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Location: Rimouski, Québec
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour, Arkos Greenland & Alfa Polar
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Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby bgregoire » Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:58 pm

I did not read every word attentively but straight off the bat, your combo is off. RESERVE those boots for basic bc touring using basic 3pin bindings and nordic bc skis, its possible to lean the telection turn on a setup ljke that too bUT iTS a lot tougher. You will need a plastic she'll boot for those x2 bindings. At the very minimum the scott excursion but you could go much stiffer as well.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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dnt_upton

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Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby dnt_upton » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:11 pm

What bgregoire said. Those are the wrong boots for that set up. Those boots simply aren't stiff enough to get on edge or to handle that binding, which I imagine will quickly collapse as you initiate the turn.

You should try plastic boots; they can be very comfortable. I personally am not a fan of the Scarpa T4 / Scott Excursion class, but those would work. You might also check out the T2 Eco, which would be my personal preference.

FourthCoast

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Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby FourthCoast » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:39 pm

Thank you bgregoire and dnt_upton for the very quick response. I really appreciate it. I do not know anyone personally to ask for advice.

I will keep an eye out for plastic boots. Considering the price of new ones I think I will need to find a used boot.

Maybe I have the wrong idea about how stiff plastic boots are. Is the sole of a boot like the Scarpa T4 flexible rubber? I imagine it being more like an Alpine boot that flexes around the ball of the foot. Is it more like a XC sole with a really stiff upper?

I was thinking about drilling more holes in this ski and mounting some "Voile 3-Pin Cable Telemark Ski Bindings" and then try some Alpina Alaska boots.

https://www.rei.com/product/123656/voil ... i-bindings
https://www.backcountry.com/alpina-alas ... untry-boot

Would I have the same problem with a setup like this?

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bgregoire

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Location: Rimouski, Québec
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour, Arkos Greenland & Alfa Polar
Website: http://living-laponia.tumblr.com

Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby bgregoire » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:44 pm

Those boots were designed for touring. You can't really tour comfortably with the x2 but you can with the 3pin cable, particularly if you remove the cable. Many have began their bc touring career on an alpine ski like yours, but theyve end up moving on to something lighter and more cambered. Downhill wise, you will always have a hard time controlling those alpine skis with soft synthetic shoes, but you sure can try it if you like.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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fisheater

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Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby fisheater » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:37 pm

Where are you at in Michigan? I live in Auburn Hills. I am traveling around the state thru the weekend. Like the other guys were saying that boot is made for the cross country skis you see at southern Michigan ski shops. It is not a downhill telemark boot. I will be happy to show you the difference. For what it's worth there are Telemark skiers every weekend I go to Caberfae. I'm up at Marquette Mt for two days, I will see if there are any Telemarkers up here. There aren't a lot of Telemark skiers in Michigan, but we are seen way more frequently than Bigfoot!

FourthCoast

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Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby FourthCoast » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:02 pm

Hi fisheater,

Thank you for the response. I live in Holland, MI. In recent years Mulligan's Hollow in Grand Haven has been our weekend spot. We just got back from Boyne Mountain. I saw one guy on telemark gear up there and talked to him briefly. He was on NTN equipment. As you may have guessed I want to do something different than that.

I will not attempt to use the XC boot downhill again. That is clear.

I need to work out if I would be better off changing the binding and the boot or just the boot. Anything you can show me would be very helpful.

Enjoy your trip to the UP!

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bgregoire

Rank: XCD Guide
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Posts: 982
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Location: Rimouski, Québec
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour, Arkos Greenland & Alfa Polar
Website: http://living-laponia.tumblr.com

Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby bgregoire » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:18 pm

4thcoast,

For a good telemark kit, all you need to do is swap the boots. Those Switchback X2s are a fine telemark binding. You can learn the telemark turn more easily on this kit.

NBow, to use those whitewood boots, I recommend you put together a whole other kit, using nordic XC touring bindings and skis (ex.: Rottefella SuperTelemark binding and Fisher E99 ski or Rossignol 70 or Asnes Ingstad if LC, Johnny or FIsheater get to you, etc.). You will be able to tour for miles of Rolling hills in the BC on this kit.

Or...what exactly are you attempting here as a ski goal?
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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fisheater

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Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby fisheater » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:25 pm

FourthCoast wrote:Hi fisheater,

Thank you for the response. I live in Holland, MI. In recent years Mulligan's Hollow in Grand Haven has been our weekend spot. We just got back from Boyne Mountain. I saw one guy on telemark gear up there and talked to him briefly. He was on NTN equipment. As you may have guessed I want to do something different than that.

I will not attempt to use the XC boot downhill again. That is clear.

I need to work out if I would be better off changing the binding and the boot or just the boot. Anything you can show me would be very helpful.

Enjoy your trip to the UP!


I will be at Caberfae on Sat and Sun. I wear a US size 11 boot. I have a Scarpa T4 in mondo 28.5 with me that I will not be using. If you want to meet we can make arrangements. I am hoping to bump into another forum member. Lift tickets are pretty cheap at Caberfae.

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lilcliffy

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Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: How wrong is my ski/binding/boot setup

Postby lilcliffy » Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:18 am

Welcome and Happy Holidays!

What about thinking about it from the other end of the spectrum?
Seems you really like those boots...What about trying a different ski- one that you could manage with those boots?
I am no expert on "Norpine" setups, but- for example- I find this ski very manageable on-piste with a XC boot and you could also use it for touring:
https://www.gearx.com/madshus-eon-62-wax-ski-f16
Just did a quick search on Ebay for something cheaper...I'm sure you could find something...

Also- wondering whether you can rent a pair of plastic Telemark boots and test them out to see if you like them?

If you could buy an inexpensive more manageable ski- that would suit for light touring as well- and rent a plastic boot to try out with your current setup.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.


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