No announcement yet.

Is skimo the new tele?

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is skimo the new tele?

    Nothing new at all in predicting that skimo is poised to explode across the ski world. Here is a Backcountry article from 2001 talking about how "Euro Style Ski Racing" is taking off in the US.

    But what I see around me currently is the same excitement, passion, revelation, liberation, "we are unique and different", etc. that my friends had in the late 80s/early 90s switching to tele gear they are having now when they get their first pair of "modern" lightweight AT boots (e.g., TLT 5s/6s) a lightweight tech binding and some skis geared towards ascending more than descending. I am not talking about ski racing, but more the new-found freedom my partners are experiencing on lightweight gear and boots with a huge cuff range of motion. Steep descents will always be cool, but I see a new interest in long traverses and linkups. Now that "normal weight" AT gear is finally commonplace at US ski areas, getting a skimo setup is a way to display some independence and distance oneself from the average weekend warrior. And, just like tele, you need more skill and strength to ski the lightweight skimo stuff so it will never be popular with the mainstream.

    As someone who still primarily tele skis, I can't help being very envious at the acceleration of the gear improvements in the skimo - 16 lightweight tech binder models at one shop alone and the boot development is equally impressive. I still find it hard to believe that Scarpa sells more Aliens than TX Pros (having completely no idea what the actual sales figures are) but it sure seems that their RandD dollars are going exclusively to the skimo world. My assumption is there is more cachet having your athlete stand on a skimo race podium wearing Aliens compared to selling more tele boots to college dropouts working at the Peruvian Lodge.

    Lastly since we have been learning on this forum recently the importance of using the correct words, I really hated the term "skimo" when I first started to hear it used a few years ago. Now that I understand the emergence of this term may be due to the classic 'merican aversion to all things French, I dislike the term a little less: skimo etymology.

  • #2
    Originally posted by djhutch
    ...My assumption is there is more cachet having your athlete stand on a skimo race podium wearing Aliens compared to selling more tele boots to college dropouts working at the Peruvian Lodge.
    I think you got that right.

    You may be right about the skimo thing taking off. If I may advance a (possibly weak) analogy, look at the boom in MTB enduro.
    backcountry in northern New Mexico


    • #3
      I still don't like the skimo term; lacks shizzle IMO. Agree it is the new media darling though I'm surprised at the lack of concrete interest in the land of nuts and fruits where stuff like this should have already happened yet remains stubbornly lethargic. Perhaps Tahoe's age old, indigenous attitude against open boundaries is to blame (Sugar Bowl happens to be a stellar exception).

      ain't no turn like tele!


      • #4
        It's because we sound so stupid when we try to pronounce French words. There is little relation between what we hear and what we see on the page. Why can't they just speak Spanish? We did take extreme skiing from France and twist it from skiing into everything you could possibly market until we killed it without our popular culture ever being aware of where it came from.

        I do think that randonnee is a bit removed or abstract from the basic thing we are doing is skiing. Extreme is extremely limiting (hehheh). There is a lot more to what any of us does than ski in no-fall zones.

        I have always liked Vic Bein's simple term, mountain skiing. That's also exactly what the Japanese, 山スキー yama-ski means. Skimo is no different. And if you are lucky enough to have a copy of Vic's book, you could see how he embraces all the gear available at the time (I doubt the splitboard had even been invented yet) and all the techniques, along with useful drills and no lack of silly games to play when mountain skiing. For Vic, it's all good clean fun skiing in the mountains. Anything that includes those two words is fine with me.


        • #5
          Since much of the available information and coverage of the sport is internet-based perhaps eSkimo would be a better label.

          (and it's catchy)


          • #6
            I don't think so but it all depends on the what "skimo" actually means. I was under the impression that skimo was the gear and style that is rando racing and moving it to the BC. So ultra light boots/bindings mated to short light skinny skis. I don't see that around where I live. Whats popular here is a move toward light AT gear that can climb and ski the down and of course resort skiing. Nordic is also somewhat popular here and maybe the move to take nordic in the BC. For me, if I was going to build a BC touring rig to log miles it would be based on a NNN BC rig and save a boatload of $$.
            "Just say no to groomed snow"


            • #7
              Pretty soon there will be more names for this then people doing it.


              • #8
                The name is terrible, here's why:


                • #9
                  I like the term Rando Racer much better. Skimo was coined because somebody didn't like being called a rando racer.


                  ain't no turn like tele!


                  • #10
                    Tech Bindings, Backcountry Ski Bindings

                    lots of cool, lightweight shiny bindings here.

                    and skis at