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Need help choosing tele skis. So much has changed in ten years!

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  • Need help choosing tele skis. So much has changed in ten years!

    I am so glad that I found this site. My husband and I are snowboarders and also skate ski. Back in 2004, I bought a pair of Atomic Femme Fatale telemark skis and began to learn to tele. I took them out a few times, but since my husband didn’t have telemark skis, we usually stuck to snowboarding. My skis sat unused in the garage.

    Fast forward ten years and my husband wants to take up telemark skiing. Though he loves snowboarding, he is interested in learning something new. I am super excited to dust off my skis and use them again next season. I don't care if they are old. The problem is--we know nothing about the new generation of skis and have no idea what to purchase for my husband. So much has changed in ten years. My 106/72/98 skis were considered on the fat side in 2004. I started to look at the end-of-season deals on skis and I am totally lost. Fat, mid-fat, rocker.... we have no idea what would be best.

    My husband is 5’8” and around 145 lbs. He is a strong intermediate alpine skier but a beginning telemark skier. However, he picks up skills really fast. He rented some tele gear for closing day at Loveland and was doing very well for a newbie (he had taken a telemark lesson years ago so he wasn’t completely starting from scratch).

    We live in CO and will likely use our snowboards for black diamond terrain and huge powder days at the resorts because boarding is our first love. We would definitely use the tele skis at the resorts a lot too so they need to be okay on groomers. However, we also want them to be our main tool for heading into the backcountry. The type of backcountry skiing we want to do involves easy tours or heading to Colorado huts and skiing mellow slopes nearby. We really aren’t into doing scary or difficult lines in the backcountry.

    Any recommendations on skis and bindings for my husband would be much appreciated. Also, what length of ski would be best? I am having trouble finding size charts for specific skis. He did just purchase a pair of Scarpa T2s at an amazing price so he is set with boots.

    Thanks for the help!

  • #2
    You'll get more traffic on this post, and lots of recommendations, if you repost it in the "Backside Bar and Grill" forum. Good luck!
    Yay!...(Drool)


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    • #3
      For mellow touring, I would get a fishscale ski as they are much faster than skins on relatively flat terrain, but the T2 is a bit big for just messing around on fishscales....

      Fat vs mid fat vs "normal", etc largely depends on how much powder you expect to ski.

      Rockered skis appear to really help with difficult conditions. I suspect the downside is that they are a bit fickle holding an edge on groomers at higher speeds. Anybody have experience with this?

      There is no magic do-everything ski because the characteristics you want for different conditions vary and thus any do-everything ski is a compromise.

      For some, lightweight in a backcountry ski is one of the most important characteristics. I think that is the basic decision you must first make, do you want a light setup or a more sturdy set up for hard-charging. Sounds like the former. So look closely at ski and binding weights.

      A second somewhat universal characteristic is the stiffness of the ski. It is much easier to initiate turns and control one's speed with a softer ski, but they are slower and hold and edge less well at speed on groomers. I'd go for a soft ski. Rockered skis, and other skis with softer flex just at the ends, are an attempt to give you some of the best of both worlds.

      As for bindings, you also need to decide how much you want free pivot for the uphill, and releasable for the downhill. People's values of these characteristics vary, but IMO a free pivot is important if you expect to break trail in powder more than few inches deep.

      This is just a start...I have less experience with the newer gear than many others on the forum.

      As aqua toque (I think) once said, get the red ones.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BillyFromTheHills View Post
        You'll get more traffic on this post, and lots of recommendations, if you repost it in the "Backside Bar and Grill" forum. Good luck!
        Thanks- I will repost this in that part of the forum.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Baaahb View Post
          For mellow touring, I would get a fishscale ski as they are much faster than skins on relatively flat terrain, but the T2 is a bit big for just messing around on fishscales....

          Fat vs mid fat vs "normal", etc largely depends on how much powder you expect to ski.

          Rockered skis appear to really help with difficult conditions. I suspect the downside is that they are a bit fickle holding an edge on groomers at higher speeds. Anybody have experience with this?

          There is no magic do-everything ski because the characteristics you want for different conditions vary and thus any do-everything ski is a compromise.

          For some, lightweight in a backcountry ski is one of the most important characteristics. I think that is the basic decision you must first make, do you want a light setup or a more sturdy set up for hard-charging. Sounds like the former. So look closely at ski and binding weights.

          A second somewhat universal characteristic is the stiffness of the ski. It is much easier to initiate turns and control one's speed with a softer ski, but they are slower and hold and edge less well at speed on groomers. I'd go for a soft ski. Rockered skis, and other skis with softer flex just at the ends, are an attempt to give you some of the best of both worlds.

          As for bindings, you also need to decide how much you want free pivot for the uphill, and releasable for the downhill. People's values of these characteristics vary, but IMO a free pivot is important if you expect to break trail in powder more than few inches deep.

          This is just a start...I have less experience with the newer gear than many others on the forum.

          As aqua toque (I think) once said, get the red ones.
          Thanks for the great information! It is very helpful.

          We thought of the fishscale skis but figured they may not be great at the resort. I did rent some Fisher Boundless skis many years ago for a trans-sierra trip in Yosemite to use with my Scarpa T2 boots and it worked pretty well as a combo. We had a lot of winter camping gear and our packs were super heavy. It was nice having the support of a burly boot on the final decent to the top of the Snow Creek Trail that led into the valley. The T2s were still pretty comfy on the flats and for the mellow side tours we did too. The boots were really warm too. Maybe eventually we could get some fishscale skis for such purposes, but since he wants to spend quite a bit of time learning and perfecting skills at the resort too... it might not be the best ski for the initial pair.

          A lighter ski definitely sounds like the right option as I don't know that he will be charging hard at the resort. We have our boards for that. I know... it is impossible to find one tele ski for all purposes. That is the problem with liking snowboarding, skate skiing and now tele (and just about every other outdoor sport). For each of those disciplines there are so many specialized choices for each specific condition, but few jacks-of-all-trades. The gear closest (and budget) is bursting

          I am going to move this post over to the "Backside Bar and Grill". It sounds like I might get more replies over there.
          Last edited by Ptarmigan; 8 May 2014, 11:16 AM.

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          • #6
            You want to get the red ones. You are welcome.
            "Nobody ever got my name right." - Me

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