I imagine that the tele turn was originally born out of NECESSITY. The gear people were using required this technique. But even my SB98’s with Alaska BC’s can make parallel turns, albeit not very aggressive ones. So it has led me to wonder what should be HAPPENING during the tele turn. I’m particularly interested in what function the trailing ski is providing. The forward ski’s purpose and function seems more intuitive.
Can someone explain (or point me to some literature) that explains the reason and the physics of why a drop knee turn is the best way to turn a freeheel ski?
See attached photo of my turns through some heavy spring snow last weekend. Zoom in to the upper part of the slope. I was pretty proud!
- Nick BC
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Second piece of advice, if your heel is free "sink don't spread". Centre your weight between your feet and drop your torso and you will naturally "mostly" evenly weight both skis. Don't lunge or your back ski will wash out.
Another thing to think about is "step back the uphill ski". It sounds counter-intuitive, but it gets the weight on that uphill ski early in the turn.
I don't know if you've watched the recent video of the Norwegian guys skiing the new Rotte Xplore binding, but they are really weighting that rear ski a lot of the time. Perhaps this is because it is a "softer" set up than the heavy tele set-ups a lot of people use, where you can get away with being a bit sloppy.
Why tele? I started in 1980 because I wanted to back country tour and the AT alternatives were so heavy and clunky in those days. So I bought some Heirling leather boots, Kazama Mountain High skis and manfully tried to get a turn out of those f****rs. Then single cambered skis came along and it was like "night and day".
Having tried Alpine Touring and hating it, mainly because I'd had the freedom of the heel for so long it didn't feel comfortable and it was harshing my muscle memory. However, as you say you can do parallel turns on freeheel gear and as Paul Parker says in his book do the best turn for the conditions.
Now at my advanced age, I reserve my tele turns for the right conditions, the rest of the time I parallel turn. It's all, skiing
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@colbymck Sweet turns in that photo! I love where I live, but it sure would be sweet to climb up into snow at this time of year!
As far as my backcountry Nordic touring- the telemark is one of a myriad of turning techniques that I use.
Why the telemark? Well- depending on the context (snow, terrain, equipment, etc.)- there are situations where it is just right!
The other reason- it just FEELS GREAT- and if I was primarily a downhill skier (i.e. had real moutains in my backyard and/or was skiing at a resort regularly) I would be on NTN so that I could enjoy the telemark turn ALL THE TIME.
If you haven't read it- read Parker's book. Like Paul- I see the telemark turn as only one of many turning techniques that a free-heel skier can use.
And my personal limited experience is that there are many situations on light Nordic touring equipment (e.g. SB98+Alaska) where the telemark turn is the WRONG choice.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.
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Firstly, I am another advocate for Paul Parker's book "Freeheel Skiing." This comes from a series of Mountaineer Books, which means that it has some great technical information that can be applied to a multitude of disciplines. Many of the described techniques in this particular book are also insightful for alpine skills. I usually knock the dust off the cover around fall season to start getting me pumped up for the ski season.
Secondly... what is "best" is highly subjective. The dropped-knee genuflection position does promote fore-and-aft stability, but at the sacrifice of lateral stability. For low to moderate speeds, I feel that lateral stability is not such an issue. But with the forces generated with higher speed turns, controlling lateral stability becomes more of a challenge. I enjoy this challenge. It may be more, or less, efficient. It may, or may not, be the best. But it's a lot of fun, and that's always best for me!
Alps, another adaptation to the steeper terrain. There was actually a duel, long ago, between an alpine zealot and a telemark devotee.
More than that, with free heeled gear, a properly executed telemark turn can be much more stable than a parallel turn in many snow conditions, i.e., powder, junk, herky-jerky melt and frozen crud, etc.. It gets the body lower and centered and balanced, and with more compensation possible than standing in a Christy, or some kind of gorilla turn, especially when skiing with a big pack. Stein Erikson said, "gracefulness on skis should be the end-all of the sport". Telemark turns are that grace.
It is a lot of fun but has no practical advantage over p turns. Even in floppy boots.
But don't take my word for it, just ask Dick Durrance
https://www.google.com/search?q=dick+du ... MA9iSiexCM