Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

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Stephen
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Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by Stephen » Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:05 pm

I’m starting this thread hoping to maybe consolidate discussion about this in one place, with one focus:
Telehiro and B-Tele.

The other discussions are here:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6241&sid=98e8a59e2a ... b30a062da9

And here:
https://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic. ... =20#p64180

There is also quite a lot of discussion here:
https://www.backcountrytalk.com/forum/b ... f-telehiro

I am intrigued by this discussion of different techniques but am struggling a bit to zero in on the essence of this B-Tele thing.
If this was presented in the format of a fully-developed, step by step process or plan, such as in a book or video tutorial, it would of course, be much easier to develop understanding.
As it is, it seems a bit like a bunch of us collectively trying to understand what the elephant looks like by reporting to each other what we can feel with our hands!

I really like this conceptualization of the levels of competence:
IMG_3567.png
.
Seems like we are somewhere in the middle two tiers (with the top tier generally considered to take 10,000 hours of devotion).

I am not a great skier, but my sense of turning skis is that, in maybe almost all cases, the skis float across the fall line (this would not be true for, say, step turns, snowplow, maybe some others).
If this is true, then maybe the differences in technique would be the dynamics of what happens before and after the fall line, and maybe where the skis are, relative to each other, approaching and crossing the fall line?

So far, my limited understanding of B-Tele is that:
- The last turn is just ending;
- The back ski is heavily weighted (stomping, shown in one of TH’s vids), and the front ski is lightly weighted;
- If there is braking involved, it happens here?;
- The back ski is made flatter to the snow and starts a rotation, and the front ski is lightly ruddered or arced across the snow;
- The skis approach the fall line and start to become equal (front to back);
- The legs are relaxed or retracted (stop resisting gravity / Down-unweighting / pulling legs up, quite upper body);
- Weight is placed on inside ski (new back ski);
- Outside ski is knifed or arced through the turn radius;
- Return to start of list and repeat.

I could have easily left things out of even stated something incorrectly and welcome comments.

One person made the comment that the axis of rotation in Telehiro’s turns is often inside his body (looking down from above). I would say that it is not usually possible to make carved turns when this is true (given that the designed turn radius of the skis is going to put the axis of the carved turn many meters to the inside of the turn, relative to the skier’s body).
This would mean that Telehiro’s B-Tele turns are skidded turns (observation, not judgement), and that much of the art of his turns is in how he is sliding his skis across the snow.

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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by Montana St Alum » Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:40 pm

I'm a big fan of "unconscious competence"!



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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by Stephen » Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:20 pm

At this point, maybe the Telehiro B-Tele thing has mostly run it’s course, but, rather than add more wandering around trying to define, I was hoping to get some consolidation on what people think is going on with his technique.
If that already exists, it seems like it’s spread over many pages of posts.



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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by mca80 » Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:27 pm

Stephen wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:20 pm
At this point, maybe the Telehiro B-Tele thing has mostly run it’s course, but, rather than add more wandering around trying to define, I was hoping to get some consolidation on what people think is going on with his technique.
If that already exists, it seems like it’s spread over many pages of posts.
I've been following the thread "over there" but have no input. Will definitely be experimenting a lot this winter, using things I learned from telehiro and discussion of him, assuming we get a winter. I think we've had a grand total of 8 inches so far, the first 5 melting in a day and the remaining 3 more recent and barely enough for rock skis. Worst start to winter here since I think 2013 or thereabouts.



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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by fisheater » Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:49 pm

I like your compilation Stephen. I would enjoy reading @CIMA thoughts on it.

I see B Tele as a specialized technique precisely because of knifing or arcing of the outside ski through the turn. I wouldn’t necessarily say Telehiro is skidding that ski. I think sometimes he is, other times he is rotating and bending the ski, and it is carving. He is a tremendous athlete, and a very talented skier. My opinion is that all that rotation is not necessary for most situations, and I don’t believe that is the best technique for beginners to aspire to. However is you want to rip the blues on NNN-BC and light BC skis it may be.

If CIMA is still reading, just because I am offering my opinion to guys starting out, please do not take it as any personal disrespect to you or Telehiro. You have been nothing but a gentleman posting well thought out responses to questions.



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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by tkarhu » Wed Dec 06, 2023 11:11 pm

Stephen, I like your compilation, too, and have nothing to correct in the step by step description. A great contribution!
Stephen wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:05 pm
Telehiro’s B-Tele turns are skidded turns (observation, not judgement), and that much of the art of his turns is in how he is sliding his skis across the snow.
How telehiro puts it, b-tele looks essentially like skidded turns to me, too. He writes like this on speed control:
A is mainly concerned with your own weight. And the image at the base is probably a turn arc. On the other hand, regarding B, the focus is only on the board on the mountain side, and the source of the force is the force to push, how much to push and how much to skid. Or how much to bury. And only the tail of the board. And without leaning backwards. The purpose is for brakes.
...
"I'm just going straight downhill, spinning and braking repeatedly." This is it. Thinking is not turn arc based. This is the reason why I divided it into B instead of A.
https://www.otr.pxc.jp/~mahoroba/b-tele.htm
In b-tele, you brake by skidding your mountain side ski. On th videos, you can see how snow is bursting from the ski. In that sense b-tele is a skidded turn. Yet there might be more to it.

By contrast, how I understand his words, "arc based" and a-tele refer to carved turns. We often discuss "carving arcs" on this forum.
I've been thinking about what it would be like to express the surroundings close to that goal in one catchy word. Please listen first. When it comes to alpine skiing, it's "strength" and "violence."
On another level, th writes that alpine skiing seems to value "strength" and "violence". Having skied alpine in 1988-1993 mainly, it looks like such aggression has come to alpine later. It seems that carving skis and high speeds have added to the aggressive feel of alpine. Also for this reason, I think that a-tele refers to carved turns. Well, maybe strength has been an alpine value all the time.
fisheater wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 6:49 pm
I see B Tele as a specialized technique precisely because of knifing or arcing of the outside ski through the turn. I wouldn’t necessarily say Telehiro is skidding that ski. I think sometimes he is, other times he is rotating and bending the ski, and it is carving.
I have not been able to make a real b-tele turn yet, but have experimented with it. It has felt that the sweeping is actually a hip rotation. It may not even be essential what the ski is doing in the slash. The hip rotation helps to pivot both your skis.

On the other hand, I guess I have not understood the point of the slash fully, because th gives a cutting analogy on the final video of his b-tele intro.



On the video, could someone explain the point of the foam cutting part to me? Sure it visualizes well that a slash is effective for cutting into snow. On the other hand, the analogy makes me confused because th writes that your skis are "in air", when you do the pivot. Wouldn't cutting a ski deeper into snow prevent you from pivoting?



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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by CIMA » Thu Dec 07, 2023 2:09 am

Thank you, @Stephen , for starting this discussion. It will be incredibly beneficial for newcomers to grasp B-tele turns without feeling overwhelmed by the search for information. Those interested in this topic may have already seen Telehiro's impressive skiing abilities on YouTube, much like we admire exceptional musicians. They may have also encountered some distinct skiing techniques that contribute to his expertise.

In my ten years of experience with B-tele skiing, I have found that the core mindset of B-tele is focused on practicality for backcountry skiing. When skiing in the backcountry, it is essential to minimize risks such as avalanches, tree holes, crevasses, sudden changes in snow conditions, and low visibility. These risks are not limited to external factors, as we must also be mindful of our skiing style to avoid falls and injuries, or becoming buried in deep snow. B-tele skiing is a conservative technique designed to address these concerns. The central technique of B-tele is short turn. Like carefully descending mountain slopes on foot, we are able to control speed while monitoring changes in terrain and snow conditions by utilizing short turns of B-tele style. If resort skiing is your main concern, you do not need to bother yourself with the choice of A or B. However, if you primarily engage in backcountry skiing, mastering the skills of B-tele will undoubtedly be beneficial.

To be continued...
The flowing river never stops and yet the water never stays the same.



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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by tkarhu » Thu Dec 07, 2023 4:37 am



Maybe following answer by @CIMA gives answers also to the questions, why to sweep?
CIMA wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 2:15 am
You can control the angle at which the lead ski tips [tilts] by adjusting the width of your feet. The wider your feet are, the more the ski will tip. You can test this on a flat surface. As the slope angle increases, your feet tend to widen, causing the sweeping motion of the lead ski to become larger.
One thing that happens is that taking a ski away from your body puts the ski on edge. Could you maybe replace the sweep, or reinforce it, by pressing the inner edge of your mountain side ski, when pivoting?

On the video, telehiro is sweeping with the inner edge of his foot. You cannot see his upper body, but it should be angulating.



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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by Stephen » Thu Dec 07, 2023 4:51 am

CIMA wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2023 2:09 am

The central technique of B-tele is short turn. Like carefully descending mountain slopes on foot, we are able to control speed while monitoring changes in terrain and snow conditions by utilizing short turns of B-tele style. If resort skiing is your main concern, you do not need to bother yourself with the choice of A or B. However, if you primarily engage in backcountry skiing, mastering the skills of B-tele will undoubtedly be beneficial.

To be continued...
Oh, this comment is very interesting.
One of the things I enjoy with telemark are those big, sweeping turns, especially in powder snow (BC or resort, doesn’t matter).
Those turns will never be B-Tele.

TH’s movements seem fairly quick (the short turns).
For whatever reason, I have never been interested in quick movements (which makes moguls a challenge for me).
(As a side note, decades ago, when skis were longer, I remember moguls being more like mounds than the smaller bumps of today — I did enjoys those.)
But, if for no other reason than to try something different and expand skill set, I will be giving B-Tele a try (when the snow decides to show up!).



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Re: Telehiro and B-Tele Discussion

Post by CIMA » Thu Dec 07, 2023 5:43 am

(Continued from previous post)

In this thread, when I refer to A-tele, I'm talking about a style of telemark skiing that uses modern equipment like skis with a center width of 90mm or more, high-cut plastic boots, and cable or NTN bindings.

From my perspective, A-tele techniques are an extension of alpine techniques. Telemark stance and the timing of lead changes are important considerations for A-tele skiers. Vertical movements during lead changes are intentionally incorporated into the technique. A-tele turns tend to be longer, which can sometimes result in overspeed.

On the other hand, B-tele techniques are more Nordic in nature and feel similar to cross-country skiing. The main focus for B-tele skiers is adjusting their turn radius and spin speed according to changes in terrain and snow conditions. Vertical movements during lead changes are not visible and are not part of the technique. B-tele turns tend to be shorter, which makes them more versatile for controlling risks.
The flowing river never stops and yet the water never stays the same.



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