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The perception of telemark skiing

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  • #31
    I started ski touring around the time when leather was just starting to transition to plastic and the first three years was using NNN BC. I think we got pretty decent on NNN BC and went from there to plastic. There was never a "tribe" here for us and never saw that, most were going to plastic tele gear as at the time it skied better than early AT gear. At the time a lot were starting to go to resorts to work on skills and at the time where were a fair amount of tele clinics at places like Kirkwood. The only angst I saw at this time was the leather crowd pushing back against plastic.

    I dropped out of full time tele around 2006 as I wanted to tour with big skis and couldn't handle the weight of the tele gear at the time. Others did too for the same reason as well as the growth of AT. Still, I continued with my 95uf fishscales for many tours. To this day I still tour a lot on my tele fishscales because even so I have great AT gear, I have the opinion that for long low angle touring and car shuttles going from top to bottom this gear is was better than my AT gear. However, UTBS my AT gear is better for me on up and down skiing and it is releasable.

    Not going to get into resort tele skiing but for me resorts are fast and crowded around here and firm most of the time. I would never take my AT gear, as far as tele just don't enjoy skiing tele with big fast crowds.
    "Just say no to groomed snow"


    • #32
      Have ya ever noticed that there are motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles on the roads... Plenty of motorcycles and plenty of bikes, but very few mopeds on the roads in the USA.

      Here's my take and it's similarity to skiing.

      Motorcyclists get all the high performance aspects of 2 wheel travel, so that appeals to people who want to go fast, and don't want to use any athleticism at all.

      Bicycle riders have fully embraced that there's an athletic performance/fitness aspect incorporated into their two wheeled sport. If they were only in it for the thrill of rolling down the road on 2 wheels, they could get a motorcycle or a moped but they don't...

      So, Why don't more people moped?... Because there's no high performance aspect so if you pull up next to a harley at a red light on your moped, you are basically a bicycle to him and his crowd. If you come up on a group of bicycles at that red light (if they obey the light) you are basically a punk who doesn't want to pedal, so you are not in with the "fitness crowd" either...

      Essentially, tele is the moped of skiing... (go ahead and laugh, because it's the true part that makes us think it's funny) We don't have the highest performing gear and we are adapting the human propulsion style gear to use with the energy of gravity providing the propulsion... M.O.P.E.D....

      🏍 🚴‍♀️ ⛷
      Lazy............. Athletic.......... Moped....
      Last edited by tele.skier; 14 September 2020, 09:04 AM.
      the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile


      • #33
        I think tele gear is much closer to the performance of alpine gear than a moped is to the performance of a motorcycle. And who says riding a motorcycle isn't athletic?
        Last edited by cesare; 14 September 2020, 10:13 AM.


        • #34
          xlnt points. Glad you understood my tongue in cheek reference to “traitors.” For me earning turns is priority one. But Tele rules, so earning with a permanently free heel is the superior option IMO. However, that isn’t meant to disparage alpine skiers or boarders. Just my preference and, if they’re willing, a recommendation.

          I ain’t no stink in’ moped. Haha.

          ain't no turn like tele!


          • #35
            I learned a long time ago to tune out the negative vibes so I have no idea what people are saying. It is all about the pleasure I get floating down the mountain in a state of bliss. All my friends have moved on to snowboarding or other forms of snow travel. Me I'm to old to change.

            My first skis were Europa 99 and Asolo Snowpine boots - how things have changed! The most important thing to me now is when do I get to go ski again! I think having enthusiasm and having a mountain full of fun is what will attract others. I ski with my nephew and his friends and they all snowboard. Because I keep up with them they respect that and express that they would like to try it sometime although none of them have.

            I agree with what others here have said that people are not able to easily or even have access to rent or demo this gear. In Yosemite - Badger Pass they rent and offer tele lessons so you see a good number of telemark skiers there and of course some great backcountry skiing. Keep up the special events and support the people who make the gear and of course this forum will help keep the snowball rollin'.

            Think snow


            • #36
              Most people don't know Dostie rides in the off season... Ok, maybe it's not exactly a moped...🤪

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              the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile


              • #37
                Funneh... but I gair-ron-tea you that guy can't wait for robot cars to rule the roads. That ain't Dostie. bwaaaahahaaahahaahahahha!


                • #38
                  I tele resort, most of the time. Powder days, on my 112 Wailers with Freedoms, TX Comps. Less snow, Mantras with Outlaws. We also have a great posse of local tele skiers, so with these friends, also on teles, its a slower pace, weaving through the woods, in hidden stashes. I think that group sense keeps many of us, still on teles.

                  Skiing a local resort, with a locked heel , AT gear is kind of boring. Like cheating. Though skiing with (much) younger friends, in Europe I have recently been taking AT gear over, just to keep up with others, and only being able to travel with one set of skis/boots.

                  But generally, I tour on AT now. Much lighter boots, lighter bindings, true free pivot (I know, so is the Lynx) and frankly a release, and more power , through the boots skiing down.
                  I don't feel like a traitor.
                  ps. my avatar is skiing tele in St Anton, Austria
                  Last edited by chamonix; 14 September 2020, 07:59 PM.


                  • #39
                    I have no comments on the "perception of tele" - don't care - if a tree falls in the woods....

                    But on the decline of tele - my experience is that tele is hard and requires commitment. Several of my friends have wasted money on tele gear that they didn't have the discipline to learn how to use (at the resort all of the time). Now I encourage no one to tele unless they are just looking for meadow skipping. If I want to get someone to BC ski with me on difficult terrain, I encourage light AT gear (unless they have very strong nordic DNA - someone who likely owned a pair of e99s - then maybe)

                    Also - after 20 years of not owning an alpine rig I have recently acquired AT gear and experienced the financial aspect of taking up a new sport - it is not insignificant. Not everyone has more than $2 grand every time they need a new boat or golf clubs or bike, ... or skis and boots to accommodate a new binding.


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
                      Have ya ever noticed that there are motorcycles, mopeds, and bicycles on the roads... Plenty of motorcycles and plenty of bikes, but very few mopeds on the roads in the USA.
                      amazing, incredible growth of mopeds in my neck of the woods in the last couple years. Only they were re-branded ebikes.


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by jasonq View Post

                        amazing, incredible growth of mopeds in my neck of the woods in the last couple years. Only they were re-branded ebikes.
                        The moped analogy was made to contrast the various 2 wheeled modes. The motorcycle mode is about the fuel doing the work. The bicycle mode is about embracing the cardio-vascular aspect of 2 wheeled travel which only succeeds because the participants value the health benefit of working harder to propel the bike. My point is that those who pedal embrace a different mind set than those who let the fuel do the work.

                        In the case of a moped, you don't get any of the high performance features of using fuel, nor do you get the cardio-vascular benefit of pedaling, so in order for "mopeds/tele/whatever" to catch on there has to be some aspect that is appealing to the general public for the sport to attract them to it.

                        I don't know about how most people got into tele, but my parents got me cross country skis for christmas because I wanted to "be a skier" like Jean Claude Kiley. So, I came to tele because someone showed me how to make turns on the snow of a golf course. Then he made me aware of Dick Hall's telefests and I was hooked. That only happened because I came from the Cross country side of skiing to begin with so I was already on the self propulsion/higher energy output side of the sport of skiing, so tele was just a new element to add to Cross country skiing.

                        Lord knows how to attract people to tele now. As was said, I think we have more chance of converting advanced skiers to play around with tele gear out of boredom with alpine gear than we do to attract non-skiers to take up tele. Although, I agree that you don't just teach a tele turn on day 1. You teach snowplow and basic control to get people comfortable on tele skis same as any kind of skiing.

                        I'm not sure if there is a possible perception that would bring popularity to tele again.
                        the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile