Looking for some advice as a new XCD skier

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Re: Looking for some advice as a new XCD skier

Post by greatgt » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:42 am

Tried nnn when they first came out.....Mostly I have done things on feeeeel, nothing else....Pins feel better in all conditions for me and I ain't no hippy or yuppie :D ....Don't think it makes much difference whatever speeds your skis.....If you learn at an Alpine area it will be difficult to transpose that to Nordic Telemark.....If you can just get out...ski....and if somebody with knowledge skis with you just watch and continue the learning process....TM

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Re: Looking for some advice as a new XCD skier

Post by zgadow20 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:52 am

First of all, thanks for the answers and info. I have been off on vacation for a few days so I haven't been at my computer.

Greatgt –
you are persuading me with your level of stoke! I think I will end up going with your cryptic advice haha.

Woodserson -
Happy birthday in a few months, thanks for the warm welcome. I figured the site might me slow in mid summer, and I appreciate the feedback. I weigh about 190-200 pounds (depending on seasonal beer consumption , and I’m also in the process of losing some extra lb’s and hope to be around 185 for ski season) and the skis are 188cm which I assume (although I have some alpine skis that are shorter that I love) is too short for my weight, but the price was enough for me to disregard the short length. I believe that 188 is the longest available version of this ski model in the year it was made, but could be wrong. I like the dancing analogy. As I get older I have been transitioning away from aggressive bombing-the-hill type alpine skiing to more slow carving, and I think telemark turns are the ultimate next step. I think I will end up starting out with leather boots as you did. The way you describe it as rewiring your brain has got me stoked. I remember the feeling when I tried snowboarding ( I pretty much sucked, and don’t do it anymore,) as it all of the sudden “clicking” in my brain, and it was very interesting how you just figure it out in a matter of minutes. I think I’ll end up going with your advice and starting with leather boots. Thanks again.

Lilcliffy -

I’m gonna take that advivce to heart and ski my ass off this winter with Nordic gear : ) . I think you did a killer job of answering the questions I was getting at, and I appreciate the response. Correct me if I’m wrong but you are saying that a plastic boot will provide me an easier learning experience for downhill Nordic/telemark skiing, but a softer boot will provide more long-term, long- distance enjoyment on the type of terrain I will be frequenting (despite a steeper learning curve). I’m interested to hear more about your preference to not use telemark turns when using XCD gear. Honestly, as long as I can be competent in descending tough terrain/snow conditions on my XCD gear I’m not attached to the idea of telemark turns. Im just curious how you manage to get down the really steep gnarly stuff in Nordic gear if you don’t use a telemark turn? For me , it doesn’t need to look pretty as long as I’m having fun on the down hills. To asnswer your question from above, (as stated before) I weight around 195 and I stand around 5’11, and the skiis are 188cm. As for the skis, they seem to have a pretty good amount of camber, but I don’t know how to measure that to give you dimensions. They appear to be cambered more like the classic XC skis. Thanks for the info on mounting point. I haven’t contacted alpina, but the info you provided on grip/glide relating to mounting point has been very helpful for me in considering my choice.

“if that ski has a lot of camber and stiffness/resistance underfoot, it will be hard to pressure and bend into a turn no matter where you mount it.”

I’m thinking these skis are on the stiffer side and have a good amount of camber. Sounds like they may not be a good choice for making turns. You have got me thinking more strongly about choosing NNN-BC bindings for these skis, and planning to get a different more downhill oriented set up for learning telemark turns.


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Re: Looking for some advice as a new XCD skier

Post by fisheater » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:18 pm

I bought a Discovery 80 for my son several years ago. It isn't a bad ski, it is soft, and forgiving. However my educated guess is that half your weight will compress the underfoot flat in a 189. If I remember correctly that ski was available in a ski around 200 cm, which would be the correct weight for guys in our weight class. Even if you quit drinking beer. I remember because I considered buying one, and I handled the ski.
You may want to look more, or you may be very happy starting out on this ski. The scales will probably drag when you kick and glide. However when making turns on gentle terrain the ski will bend easily. It is short, so it will be easy to step into turns. As you find your way, you probably will upgrade. Good luck!
BTW you could buy a USGI surplus Ski from Coleman's in NY for about the same money delivered. However, since you do get wet snow, I wouldn't recommend that ski. I do believe you would be happier on a 200cm Eon.
Maybe someone can steer him to a deal on one of those???

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Re: Looking for some advice as a new XCD skier

Post by sparker1987 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:46 am

I live in Bangor, where around Old Town are you planning to go this winter?

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Re: Looking for some advice as a new XCD skier

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:51 pm

zgadow20 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:52 am
Lilcliffy -
I’m interested to hear more about your preference to not use telemark turns when using XCD gear. Honestly, as long as I can be competent in descending tough terrain/snow conditions on my XCD gear I’m not attached to the idea of telemark turns. Im just curious how you manage to get down the really steep gnarly stuff in Nordic gear if you don’t use a telemark turn? For me , it doesn’t need to look pretty as long as I’m having fun on the down hills.
Please forgive me if I gave the impression that I have a preference for NOT using the telemark turn- nothing could be further from the truth!!!!! The telemark is a magical, wonderous, blissful form!!!! Few things feel as good!

What I meant is that I use many, many different turning techniques- including telemark turns- on my Nordic touring gear.

When I first decided yo become a "Telemark skier"- some 15 years ago- I rented modern, rigid, Telemark equipment and was quickly ripping down the mountain. I am strong Alpine skier ( as well as a lifelong Nordic skier) and I did not have any trouble becoming a "Telemark skier". I put "Telemark skier" in quotations because I really don't think I was telemark skiing in a very real sense- I was simply aggressively weighting and carving my downhill ski- my dropped, articulated trailing ski was simply following the turn! (I don't know about you- but, if I am wearing rigid, very-supportive boots, I can rip my way down the hill quite easily by transferring my weight from one downhill ski to the other! The only reason I need two skis is because it makes it more efficient to change directions!)

What I meant was that I could not replicate what I was doing on modern Telemark equipment on my light, flexible Nordic touring equipment.

(The telemark turn is traditionally credited to Sondre Nordheim- a skier making turns in little more than moccasins with bands of willow binding his foot to his home-made skis. He was certainly NOT burning strips off mountains with modern downhill equipment!!!!)

I do use the telemark turn- whenever possible- whenever the conditions FEEL perfectly right for it! But I am not obsessed with trying to make every turn a telemark turn.
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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Re: Looking for some advice as a new XCD skier

Post by rongon » Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:51 am

Another wrinkle to this...

I ski mostly in the woods in the Catskills, Berkshires, southern VT and Adirondacks. Lots of bushwhacking on skis. I like it.

I use a 'light telemark' setup as a sliding snowshoe kind of thing. I don't worry too much about covering long distances as fast as I can, but rather I like to wander around in the woods, just go for a hike on skis in untracked snow. I have two setups that have stood the test of time for me.

One is a pair of Fischer Rebound I've had for something like 12 years. I have plain 3-pin bindings on them and ski them with Alico leather boots or a vintage pair of Asolo Extreme boots. The Rebounds are just wide enough to provide some float in ankle deep powder on firm base. If I had to start from new right now, I'd be very tempted to get a pair of Crispi Svartisen boots, or maybe Alpina Alaska in NNN-BC. But I made my choices a long time ago, and they work for me. I don't think the difference between 3-pin (NN) and NNN-BC is enough to get too concerned. With NNN-BC you'll have a much wider range of boots from which to choose, so you're more likely to find that perfect fit. The fit is what's really important for this kind of rig, in my opinion. Then just ski. You'll get it.

The other rig is heavier, more of an all-purpose touring-for-turns thing. I have a pair of Madshus Annum that I ski short, with Voile Switchback (free-pivot) telemark bindings, and Crispi three-buckle plastic telemark boots (sort of a softer-flexing version of Scarpa T2eco). I love this setup because it tours just well enough to be bearable (it is very comfortable with the free pivot and the boots loosened up a bit) but I feel confident taking on steeper stuff. It is, however, really slow compared to the Rebound/3-Pin setup. If I could lighten up on the boots by switching to Scarpa T4, I would. But my feet and Scarpa don't get along. I have to ski in Crispi plastic boots because that's what fits me. That probably won't be an issue for you, so go for what fits best.

The two setups are both 'nordic backcountry' but are very different. I can do a kick&glide on either one, or I can make tele turns on either. But the feeling of each activity is very different between the two. Obviously the Rebounds k&g better, while the Annums turn better. It's just that in a ski, everything is a compromise between this and that. If you make a ski tour better, it turns worse. If you design a ski to turn, it will tour worse. The trick is finding the sweet spot of turn-vs-tour that makes you want to get into your skis and go exploring.

So I say... Pick some kind of decent setup (but not too heavy a setup) and go a-wanderin'. You'll learn what makes you happy. You'll probably buy more stuff down the road. It took me 10+ years to stop buying new stuff and just ski on what I have.

PS - I also have a pair of skinny metal-edged skis with SNS-XA bindings and boots to match, a pair of bigger fish scale-based skis (94 waist) with Voile Switchback X2 bindings for the Crispi 3-buckle plastic boots, and a pair of full-on downhill skis (97 waist) with 22designs AXL bindings (full-on downhill telemark) also for the Crispi plastic boots. The only rig I need to get is a good groomed-track setup for nordic centers. But that's a whole other thing...
Whew. That's a lot of money tied up in all that gear.

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