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  • Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
    My era of tele skiers were sold on the fun and challenge of skiing tele by guys like Dick Hall. It was a culture and attitude as well as a kind of gear and a different kind of turn. I don't know how the sport will perpetuate it's appeal with the younger generations of skiers unless there's a new smartphone app for tele. (kind of a joke there) Of course there's always those rare individuals from every generation who will take up tele, but I'm out of touch with the younger generations for the most part, so I don't see the seeds of tele culture within their ranks... Maybe it's there, I just don't see it in my area....
    Careful there, you are starting to sound like Abe Simpson.

    I taught kids to tele for many years and while some of them have gone back to alpine, many still telemark. Those that do impress the hell out of their alpine friends so maybe they will be able to convince some of them to give it a try and the next generation of mentors is born.

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    • Originally posted by JackO
      I don't exactly love the gym, but it would be useful to see what the shredders are doing to train: Cleans? Squats? What balance training? May have to plug that on their forum.
      Weighted split squats (Bulgarian) and lunges all year. Biking in the off season.
      Last edited by jtb; 22 April 2021, 12:49 PM.

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      • Originally posted by JackO

        Sorry for the loss of your friend.
        Thank you, His dedication was inspiring to me as his mentor. I watched him go from having very static, hurky jerky turn movements to powerful, smooth, dynamic turns. He was willing to fall occasionally to learn why he fell... I would take him down lines he could not ski by himself, and talk him through following the skiable line I would set for him. When he fell, he knew why, because he would see me make the turn ahead of him that he missed. Soon he was making those turns and then eventually he was launching himself downhill, using his intuition to change up his line on the fly... enjoying the mastery of the skill he developed that no longer needed a pre-planned route.

        ---
        Originally posted by JackO
        I'm very interested in a lot of your points:
        • The fitness end of telemark is interesting - I for one feel like there's always room for improvement there (not that I'm very far along anyways) - being strong and fit is a task that is never finished in telemark - I'd actually like if Telemark Skier had some focus on fitness. I don't exactly love the gym, but it would be useful to see what the shredders are doing to train: Cleans? Squats? What balance training? May have to plug that on their forum.
        • Several of my friend who I've tried to nudge toward telemark are beasts - sub 6 minute a mile marathoners, former US team this or that - beasts. Very dismissive of telemark. While the fitness could be a deterrent, there are obviously many out there with chops who just don't think it's worth it vs. alpine. Not sure where to go with that, just interesting.
        • Tele is 3 things. It's strength, it's technique, and it's intuition. The more quality a skier has of all 3 of those the better the result. The balance of those 3 elements is pretty equal in telemark because the gear really doesn't give you the leverage (like alpine gear does) to be a "power technique". Perhaps your friends are so fit they want to mix it up with the alpine rippers with primarily power techniques, and skiing telemark gear would put them at a great disadvantage with their ripping alpine buddies... It's impossible to say what someone I don't know thinks, but a ripping telemarker needs all 3 elements. One aspect is purely athletic ability, another is arrived at through coaching or years of practice, and the third is intuitive knowledge in your head, knowing what works, and where and how it works.
        Originally posted by JackO
        • "It was a culture and attitude as well as a kind of gear and a different kind of turn. I don't know how the sport will perpetuate it's appeal with the younger generations"
          • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​I'm curious of those old days - were more people trying it then than now in your estimation? Was it something where your whole group of buddies gave it a go together? I've felt both ways on this, but recently I also do not see a larger force at play beckoning those who don't to telemark, though I think it would be hard to see what that is in the moment - easier to spot in hindsight - so maybe the new gear or a combination of things is doing that now.
          • Reason for the ask is not simply to be nostalgic, trying to expand the telemark crew and it's been challenging. Next season just planning on approaching people who I see shred if they want to ski sometime!
          • For me, tele didn't become an obsession until I went to Mad River for a festival. Before that, I only knew 2 people with tele gear and both of them were patrollers who screwed around with tele gear. I was a X country skier who found out that there was this turning technique that worked for the gear I was already using. Once I saw the community of telemark, I felt like I was part of a valid culture of skiers who had fun using some very challenging gear to make turns. The gear sucked back then and still the culture of telemark was strong enough to thrive. I think most people came to tele from Nordic skiing, so they actually got heavier gear to tele, rather than come from primitive alpine gear and take a step backward in gear leverage power. So, there wasn't a sense of competition between tele and alpine back then. AT sucked back then, so tele had a clearly different audience.
        Originally posted by JackO

        Many may disagree with me, but I think that one of the biggest challenges to getting involved in telemark, and continuing to telemark, is that there isn't a cohesive call to arms to start, and that long term devotion to telemark can end up being a bit of a lonely road. It's tougher to name telemark skiers you can find in films and youtube vs. alpine counterparts. It's a bit more grassroots. My few friends who telemark have all slowly moved away from the scene, whether going to AT or for other reasons. And (to your point) the even fewer who have tried to pick it up haven't kept at it yet. I have no issue skiing with alpiners, but there's something to be said for telemarking together - the pace, the understanding, camaraderie. Etc.
        I think you are right. Dick Hall gave the sport great visibility when I first started tele with his festivals at Mad River Glen. He organized multiday backcountry trips and west coast destination trips into the BC and really made skiing tele seem like more fun than buying a lift ticket and locking your heels...

        In the early 2000's the Powderwhores made a movie every year for about 10 years that were very powerful in maintaining the vibe of the telemark tribe. It was also the height of powerful gear development, so there was a leap forward in power techniques. The best, really fit, strong skiers were ripping right along side alpiners and tele was as popular as it has ever been. Watching those PW guys (and girls) ripping down some of the greatest ski destinations on the planet was pretty awesome, and they did rip.... I think they were one of the prime motivators of that era...

        In the early 2000's the AT gear industry really got serious and evolved beyond primitive touring gear, and ever since then they have moved the goal posts steadily for every other snow sport to measure their gear qualities against. To some degree, that may be tele's biggest hurdle. If the alternative to tele sucked more, we would have a lot more people, but it doesn't... and that's why most of us who are dedicated tele skiers, also have an AT rig as well....

        As I said, I'm done being a mentor mostly because of my age and health issues now... but I hope the sport finds that thing that causes the next resurgence.
        Last edited by tele.skier; 22 April 2021, 01:54 PM.
        the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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        • The level of alpine skiing on heavy gear has also skyrocketed in the past 10 years, I think due to improvements in alpine gear. The change I think is almost as the big as the change in late 90s to early 2000s in alpine skiing. And it is a change at all levels, from the folks on the freeride world tour down to intermediate skiers. I feel that certain techniques, in particular slarving, are especially easier on alpine gear. Of course, just doing most turns is easier on alpine, but I think some of these new techniques are way easier on alpine gear. Round here, though, it's only the boarders that I see doing stuff that I envy: on the really funky snow, they seem to blow past almost everyone....I don't know enough about that to know how much that has changed technique-wise.

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          • I kinda disagree with Dostie 's View #28, "Bring Back the TX." This link that Nick D shared about the 7 different types of ski tourers helps explain why.

            Sure, the TX skis great and tours better than any tele boot for sale right now. And yeah, new walk lever mech would make it tour even better. But it still won't be enough to inspire lots of people to get into (or rejoin) the sport. My TX's weigh almost 1800g; redoing the lever and buckles might get it down to 1700g. That's a BEEF alpine touring boot!

            The verbiage in the "7 Types" piece is obviously tongue in cheek, but as far as parsing out the different groups, it's pretty spot-on. Now look at each group, and try to decide which one(s) would go all-in on a tele setup with still-pretty-heavy boots and probably-burlier skis. Maybe some from Type 6 -- the newbies -- will buy into the hype about a new boot + the glorious turn, then quit in frustration when their AT friends are skiing (and skinning) circles around them. Who else from the list?

            If someone's going to make a touring-minded tele boot, it will have to appeal to several of these groups. Especially Type 4 (the wealthy, educated, fancy gear buyers) but also some from Type 3 (the solo backcountry vert crusher), Type 6 (newbies we want to actually stick with it), and maybe even some from Type 2 (weight-weenie vert crushers) on fun training days. To appeal to these groups, it's going to have to be significantly lighter, maybe 1400-1500g, and have significantly better ROM.

            A redone TX might help stem the tide of folks leaving the sport, but it won't draw in many new folks. I've said this plenty in other threads, but drawing in new folks means making telemark seen as "cool" again. And that means having some of the "cool kids" on the mountain doing it. And right now, the "cool kids" are the folks in Types 2 & 4. To grow the sport, it's essential that some people from those groups partake.

            (Sure, there is a place in a new full line of tele boots for a TX. I think it's be the perfect "middle boot," the spot once occupied by the TX Pro. And then -- in addition to a touring-minded boot described above -- there would be one beefier, 90% downhill boot, somewhere between the current TX Pro and TX Comp.)

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            • My TX boots, or even my TX Comps weigh 1930 grams each. Size 28.5. Compare that to my Scarpa F-1s , at 1400 gms each. That is a weight saving of over one pound, per foot! A pair of the F-1 LTs would be even lighter. So at this point, my Telemark setups, say the TX Comps and Outlaws are strictly for resort/sidecountry skiing.

              Personally, I would like a lighter NTN boot, than my TX with inserts of course. When I ski with my TX, or TX Comps, I usually leave the boots in walk mode for the "surfy" telemark feeling..
              The range of motion, at the cuff, when skinning up with the F-1s, feels like I am wearing running shoes.
              Last edited by chamonix; 12 May 2021, 10:46 AM.

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              • While I agree with BTS, I suspect Dostie has more information that he's not able to share publicly. So if he knows Scarpa isn't working on a lightweight boot or has delayed/scrapped plans to develop one, maybe this is a plea to at least revive the boot that was incrementally better than what we have? Speaking for myself, it wouldn't be enough to get me to buy a new boot (especially since I have my own Frankenboots), but it would be a nice option to replace my TXP's if/when they wear out.

                I would, however, pony up for an all-new lightweight NTN touring boot with good ROM, even if the use case has significant overlap with my duckbutted F1/F3's.

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                • BTS,

                  Good analysis. I think the future lies in converting the Uppies into tele fanatics. Once convinced, they'll do the obligatory purchase of all the essential gear that packs the stats so the media can hype the perceived growth. For them, weight is not the essential ingredient, it will be mastery of the turn, a not so simple process. But, if we can hook a few, they'll convert the rest for us.

                  jtb - u b on track.

                  ain't no turn like tele!

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                  • Originally posted by JackO
                    Are there enough telemark skiers in those groups to really facilitate much new touring boot buying?
                    Fair question. Maybe, maybe not. I guess my point is that if Scarpa's stated goal is to make a better touring boot, a rejiggered TX definitely won't win over any of the folks in those groups. So if they're going to do it, might as well do it in a way that at least has a chance.

                    Originally posted by JackO
                    I worry that there aren't enough people in the touring subgroups in telemark, and that we need more beginners to try it, hold out, and grow into backcountry skiers. And I can't see most of the other subgroups in the article who AT jumping ship.
                    Oh, I agree that the primary growth avenue for telemark is at the resort. But there's some nuance to that.

                    When people are weighing all the pros & cons of getting into the sport -- the turn itself being the biggest pro -- a big con right now is that it's viewed by most skiers as something you don't really tour with; current logic says if you're going to get into touring, you need an AT setup. So, especially with backcountry being so hot right now, folks are less likely to decide to take the sport up if it's viewed as a one-dimensional setup they'll never really use for touring. Even if their ideal first boot is a mid-range boot, just having that knowledge that a great touring boot is an option down the road might be enough to get folks on board.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Dostie View Post
                      the future lies in converting the Uppies into tele fanatics. Once convinced, they'll do the obligatory purchase of all the essential gear
                      Yes yes yes, absolutely.

                      Originally posted by Dostie View Post
                      For them, weight is not the essential ingredient, it will be mastery of the turn, a not so simple process. But, if we can hook a few, they'll convert the rest for us.
                      Yes, but... I think it's more complicated than that. The Uppies are very image-conscious, and while the turn is the delicious "main course," the little ancillary thing that's actually a dealbreaker is the part where everyone views telemark as something bearded dads do with their kids at the resort. And that won't change until there is legit touring-minded tele gear (that doesn't hold you back when touring with AT friends). Even if most of the converts end up buying the TX Pro, the existence of the superlight boot is a necessity to make the sport as a whole seem appealing to them.

                      It's kinda like Chevy's logic for making Corvettes. People may decide a different model is actually best for their needs, but the Corvette is what gets them in the door.
                      Last edited by bobbytooslow; 12 May 2021, 02:42 PM.

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                      • Originally posted by jtb View Post
                        Speaking for myself, [a rejiggered TX] wouldn't be enough to get me to buy a new boot
                        Yep, same here.

                        Originally posted by jtb View Post
                        but it would be a nice option to replace my TXP's if/when they wear out.
                        Yep, same here. Emphasis on "if/when."

                        Originally posted by jtb View Post
                        I would, however, pony up for an all-new lightweight NTN touring boot with good ROM, even if the use case has significant overlap with my duckbutted F1/F3's.
                        Yep, same here. And when other people see people like you skiing legit terrain and also holding your own on the skintrack -- while wearing those spiffy new blue boots or whatever -- that's when the tastemakers' opinion on telemark will begin to change. Just continuing down the same ol' road of beef upon beef isn't going to do it.

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                        • I have a 2-boot quiver (Tx Pro which gets 95% of the action and a F1 Race with the bolt-ons) and would upgrade both, though I don't have the bank or strong enough marriage to pay full retail for both right out of the gate. So, I would upgrade the F1 Race first and agree that a return of the TX doesn't move my wallet.

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                          • We need a Bond movie where the final chase scene is on telemark gear and the style of the turn draws attention to itself because Bond executes it so heroically while dodging bullets to save the world.

                            ain't no turn like tele!

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                            • telemarking in the Olympics, gates, tele pipe, tele-cross, slope-tele-style, with a star the equivalent of Lindsay Vonn bringing in the viewers..

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                              • Originally posted by JackO
                                Bobby - can you elaborate on why you think that the image won't change until there is legit touring-minded tele gear (that doesn't hold you back when touring with AT friends)?
                                Hopefully some of my other replies explained it, but recreational equipment needs to be perceived as "cool" to sell well. Backcountry skiers have been considered "cool" for the last 30 years (at least), probably never more so than right now. Everyone wants to be viewed as a backcountry skier, even if they rarely actually go. This notion helped propel telemark to its previous heights in the late 90s-early 00s, as back then tele was the way you went backcountry skiing.

                                As things cycled and gear evolved (or devolved), the perception of telemark flipped to something that people only do at the resort. I joke about bearded dads because I am one, and I've heard countless times "But you have a 'real' setup for the backcountry, right?" ("real" meaning lightweight AT). Plenty of great tele skiers on this forum now only drop knees at the resort, and go AT when they tour. I don't fault them one bit.

                                I'm not going to say -- everything else being equal -- that telemark is "better" than alpine skiing. It's not. But for every 10 people who try it, a certain number get hooked by the turn. Right now, the gear choices give those folks currently hooked some good reasons to abandon it, and also give folks who might potentially become hooked extra reasons to not try it in the first place. For the sport to grow, it can't continue to be seen as a non-starter for folks who fancy themselves as being part of the backcountry skiing scene. Tele touring gear on-par with modern AT gear is a must, even if that's not what most full-pop customers end up buying.

                                Of course it's easy for me to say that; it's not my money getting invested in molds. But to really grow the sport properly, sustainably, that's the proper tack. Reissuing the TX might move the needle a little bit temporarily, but I don't see it bringing about major growth.

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