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Transition from Duckbill to NTN help.

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  • Transition from Duckbill to NTN help.

    I've been skiing telemark for 20 years. TRace on Targas BD Crossbows and Volkl Katanas. I'm a fairly aggressive and fluid skier. No hitches between turns.

    I demo'd a pair of NTN boats a few years ago and had a really hard time sinking into the turn. Almost impossible. I was skiing a lot that year and was in decent shape.

    Any advice on how to re-learn to telemark on NTN? I'm considering buying an entire new rig with Scarpa TX Pros. Thanks and sorry if this question has been asked 1,000,000 times.

    Also, 6'4" 200lbs.

    Dostie started the conversation here:

  • #2
    Well, I have been exclusively on NTN for a few years, but on NTN, you need to keep your feet closer in line with each other. So no poodling, where the trailing foot is wayy back there.. Also a more upright stance. You don't lift your heel as much off the ski as a 75 mm setup. Later on you can drop a knee further, but that will be more difficult with new boots. A friend of mine who is breaking in new Prophet NTN boots is skiing them in walk mode all the time.
    You will really like the increased edge control, with NTN and keeping your heels on the ski to make quick parallel turns (when necessary) is very effective.
    Good luck!

    ps. Dosties remarks are about the Freeride binding. Buy the much better (and lighter ) Freedom binding. It skis better, more fluid turns IMHO. Same for the Burntmtn Spike NTBulldog binding.
    Last edited by chamonix; 2 February 2015, 04:36 PM.


    • #3
      Check the settings to see where the spring cartridges are set. I'm 6'1", 185 and ski red at 1 on Freerides and Blue at 1 on Freedoms. Any more and I feel like I'm locked down.

      Also, for your first few days, loosen your boots or even ski in walk mode. You will get used to it and it's well worth it, but it does take some transitioning.


      • #4
        Some of the things I would recommend doing differently will help you feel the how the skis respond with an NTN underfoot attachment rather than the heel cable attachment you are already accustomed too for 20 years...

        First, you need to ski more in a two footed technique without "striding" from weighted downhill ski to the new downhill ski. (like ice skaters do) The best way to feel this is to drive your hips forward under your torso... this puts you in the "stacked position" with head and shoulders over hips and everything centered over your stance ... With your hips driven forward, your back foot is automatically being weighted as you carve both skis together. If your head and upper body bob forward of your hips, that will automatically unweight your backfoot like a seesaw action. NTN skis best from a two footed upright stance.

        This hips forward practice produces a tighter stance that allows you to pressure the ski with both feet from a higher position and sets you up to feel the way NTN works for most skiers,..... which has been characterized in the past as "drive the cuff" of the boot with your shins... IF you get that feeling early in your transition, you are on your way to adapting pretty quickly. Some people transition pretty seamlessly, some not so much.

        The above advise is a lot of words and ideas to digest, but if you are a good skier presently, it might make enough sense and give you a feeling for how NTN works that will allow you to transition pretty quickly.

        The "hips forward" advise is just a trick to get your stance taller and using both your feet together. Once you get a feel for NTN, you'll naturally adapt your stance and technique. Almost everyone I know had a few days of struggling on NTN before they figured it out. I had 2 horrifying days before I had a single good day on them.

        If you try the hips forward advise to get the feeling of NTN, of course you can dial back once you get the feel of the binding system and want to ski more energy efficiently. It's definately tiring to always be driving your back foot hard, and the more you adapt the more you'll cheat orthodoxy to save energy... ( I do!)
        Last edited by tele.skier; 2 February 2015, 11:42 AM.
        the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile


        • #5
          Thank you all for the quick replies. Really appreciated.

          Should I avoid a certain ski width? I'm thinking mid-fats, wider than 100, less than 115.


          • #6
            Originally posted by hafjell View Post
            Should I avoid a certain ski width? I'm thinking mid-fats, wider than 100, less than 115.
            I use NTN bindings with everything from 67mm slalom skis to 125mm powder boards. Only NTN issue related to width is finding brakes that fit (or bending them without breaking the arms).


            • #7
              Switch and enjoy. It may take a few days to learn the new balance points, but based on the description of your ability level I bet you'll adapt quickly. I prefer skiing Freerides to Freedoms for downhill travel. NTN bindings do well with any ski width, as long as the boot/ski is an appropriate combo. Bellows stiffness, spring choice, and spring setting all play important roles in how NTN feels so it may take some time to dial your potential setup to your personal preferences. My first NTN binding was a pair of Freedoms, I had the concern of wanting to still be able to "sink into the turn" so I went with that version instead of Freerides. Over time my stance shifted as did my preferences and now I like skiing the more active Freerides with cranked-up stiff springs (red).


              • #8
                Don't lift your heel, instead sink into the cuff. The difference is less pronounced on 75mm gear but for NTN this is the key IMO.


                • #9
                  Thank you B and ben_a, really helpful.

                  B_, in your opinion, what would be a few examples of appropriate boot/ski combos?

                  I'm in the east, so varied and slick conditions prevail over powder.


                  • #10
                    I really like my Blizzard Cochise for an all round Eastern Ski. A little quicker turning than my 2012 Mantras but nearly perfect for varied and icy conditions. Mine are a bit long, for Eastern glades, 186 cm but fun fun fun, for cruising on the groomers.. I ski them with my Prophets, and Freedom bindings.
                    Last edited by chamonix; 2 February 2015, 04:41 PM.


                    • #11
                      Thanks, Cham. They sound great, even better as I won't spend much time in glades. More on-piste and on Washington. I'm looking at the Freedom and wishing the Meijdo was in its second year...

                      Thanks again.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ben_a View Post
                        Don't lift your heel, instead sink into the cuff. The difference is less pronounced on 75mm gear but for NTN this is the key IMO.

                        I don't think I have ever seen a person new to NTN that did not do some similar things. I skied my "Evo boots of death" today for the first time this year and had a lot of trouble for the first few runs remembering to sink in to the cuff. The Evos are crazy stiff and hard to flex.

                        The other common thing is since it is so hard at first to flex your boot most people tend to not drop their inside or rear femur back. They fall in to the common fake a mark we see in alpine crossovers. You would be surprised how easy this is to do with out knowing it. Because you don't have that rear femur back you do have not have the proper base of support to keep your hips (and center of mass.) from falling back. So you ski along and wonder why you feel in the back seat at the end of the turn or every time you hit a bump. Really flex that rear ankle and rotate that rear femur back. I have been on these bindings for 4 years and still catch my self in tight zipper line bumps doing the fake a mark at times.


                        • #13
                          Just one note. The Blizzard Cochise are a pretty heavy ski. Great for the resort and sidecountry, but I don't tour on them.
                          Last edited by chamonix; 3 February 2015, 07:40 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ben_a View Post
                            Don't lift your heel, instead sink into the cuff. The difference is less pronounced on 75mm gear but for NTN this is the key IMO.
                            I agree 100%, put another way, press your cuff with your shins toward your toes.
                            The other comments about a more upright stance, hips forward are true but the cuff pressure is the key, the other stuff will follow.
                            Learning curve can be fairly short, a day or less.


                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone, very helpful. Now I just have to decide which boots to buy. TX or TX Pro.