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David_Parker

"Tele" turns on AT gear

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Ok, so I tele pretty much exclusively. But unlike popular opinion, for me it's not just so I can do tele turns under the lifts and calf streches in lift lines. I ski resorts as well as the BC (and also in British Columbia!) because it's what I've done my whole life and at resorts I like getting in lots of turns in all types of conditions all day long. It gets me in ski shape and I like the "practice." But when I'm skiing lower angle groomed runs, I don't feel compelled to make tele turns and actually enjoy a good solid parallel carve like when I used to alpine race. Anyway, yesterday at Crystal Mt. I saw a guy on AT gear making "tele" turns on an intermediate groomer and I had to ask, why the hell is he doing that? It's not really a tele turn when all your boot can do is hinge in front of the toe. He was pretty good at it, but still it made me wonder. Do any of you AT skiiers ski down with your heels unlocked? If so, Why?

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Only on rolling terrain where it's a pain to stop and lock the heels down. I see this as a big drawback of AT gear; it can be a pain in complicated treed terrain where you will be climbing right after downhills. Turns can be made, but with skins on, it better not be too difficult, and it isn't exactly fun! yellaf.gif

 

I don't know why anyone would do it unless they were extremely bored. With zero resistance on that hinge, you're over the handlebars pretty much immediately if you don't pay attention. That said, some pretty steep stuff has been skied this way.

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i have, on rare occasions, done a 'tele' turn or two with my heels unlocked, because i was in touring mode and needed to go down a small slope. in those cases snow conditions or the terrain may have made it a little easier to do it that way. i seem to recall it's easier than doing say an alpine jump turn with your heels unlocked. it's not a great way to ski by any means and has a high head plant potential.

 

as far as the guy you saw there's nothing i wouldn't do a few times in the name of screwing around, or maybe iain needs a whole new population to get all rolleyes.gif about.

 

rolleyes.gif

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David_Parker said: Do any of you AT skiiers ski down with your heels unlocked? If so, Why?

I can think of a number of reasons to ski without the heel locked on AT binding, but none to try to tele with AT gear.

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cj001f said:

I can think of a number of reasons to ski without the heel locked on AT binding, but none to try to tele with AT gear.

 

I have done tele turns in my AT gear for my brother's camera when the terrain was really flat. The reason is that a telemark looks more dynamic on film than a parallel turn in those conditions.

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Thats because you don't need to turn in really flat terain... duh... point those sticks straight and go!

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Lowell_Skoog said:

cj001f said:

I can think of a number of reasons to ski without the heel locked on AT binding, but none to try to tele with AT gear.

I have done tele turns in my AT gear for my brother's camera when the terrain was really flat. The reason is that a telemark looks more dynamic on film than a parallel turn in those conditions.

Ok, Ok, I guess I should have said, "no non-aesthetic reason". Maybe it's my tele background, but I don't have that much problem skiing AT gear paralell without the heel locked down. I'd worry about damaging the bindings with prolonged use (but them, I can break anything)

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Lowell_Skoog said:

cj001f said:

I can think of a number of reasons to ski without the heel locked on AT binding, but none to try to tele with AT gear.

 

I have done tele turns in my AT gear for my brother's camera when the terrain was really flat. The reason is that a telemark looks more dynamic on film than a parallel turn in those conditions.

 

I just saw that new TGR movie and those guys were doing some really dumb stuff to be on film, but I would hardly call that a reason.

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Every once in a while I do a tele turn on AT gear. It's pretty tricky due to no resistance.

 

Mostly on flat, slightly dh terrain I pretend I'm an XC ski racer and leave my heels unlocked and go straight down.

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Hmm, some of you AT guys seem to think it's special to do a parallel turn without your heels locked down. I don't think it is. Thinking back to the days when I was racing and knowing what I do now after years of tele skiing, if I were a ski racing coach, I'd make all my students run gates on tele gear (or AT w/o heels locked) to figure out exactly where they need to be standing on their skis. I think I was a little too far forward and this would have revealed it quite quickly.

 

Then again, this idea may no longer be appropriate for today's racing since Bode Miller seems to be way in the back seat quite successfully! Short, parabolic skis, breakaway gates and hockey gear sure have changed ski racing from the good old days where you actually had to go around the gates, not through them. I still think Ingemar was the best ever and the Maher bros right behind!

 

Still, not much room for error doing parallel turns without fixed heels. A great teacher to perfect your skiing.

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Dave, very true, but I've noticed that when I'm trying to stay upright, locked heels make a huge difference in avoiding a faceplant. Say, when you're yanked forward by crust on a powder run. bigdrink.gif

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ski in invernos and you'll find out plenty fast where your weight is on the ski

 

doesn't bode miller race on 165's or something shocked.gif

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David_Parker said:

if I were a ski racing coach, I'd make all my students run gates on tele gear to figure out exactly where they need to be standing on their skis.

 

Can you say broken ancle... Racing requires the stiffes most suportive boots. and you'd put them in tele boots? hellno3d.gif

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There seems to be not a great reason for doing tele turns in a resort with AT gear. Maybe he was just trying to see if he could do it?

 

As far as in the backcountry, tele turns on AT gear would seem like a normal thing to do for short sections of downhill, particularly if the snow is soft. I ride a Voile Split Decision and I'm doing tele turns on it all the time while I'm in tour mode. It takes more time to put it in downhill mode than AT gear so you have to learn how to do a few downhill and/or tele turns to be able to tour in it. In soft powder it's actually pretty fun to do a few tele turns on a snowboard! yelrotflmao.gif

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Yeah, you're right, T-1's aren't very stiff. And since they don't make releasable bindings for tele skis, you definitely have a point. You should be the coach!

 

Actually, skiing in less stiff boots will only teach you more about edge pressure, weight distribution, angulation and other subtleties of skiing.

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David_Parker said:

 

Then again, this idea may no longer be appropriate for today's racing since Bode Miller seems to be way in the back seat quite successfully!

 

If you tried those super short skis they are on now you would find there is no backseat to be in, either you are on balance or on your ass. he does look a little back but it is just because he is basically doing a power squat for the entire run.

 

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David_Parker said:

Hmm, some of you AT guys seem to think it's special to do a parallel turn without your heels locked down. I don't think it is. Thinking back to the days when I was racing and knowing what I do now after years of tele skiing, if I were a ski racing coach, I'd make all my students run gates on tele gear (or AT w/o heels locked) to figure out exactly where they need to be standing on their skis. I think I was a little too far forward and this would have revealed it quite quickly.

 

Then again, this idea may no longer be appropriate for today's racing since Bode Miller seems to be way in the back seat quite successfully! Short, parabolic skis, breakaway gates and hockey gear sure have changed ski racing from the good old days where you actually had to go around the gates, not through them. I still think Ingemar was the best ever and the Maher bros right behind!

 

Still, not much room for error doing parallel turns without fixed heels. A great teacher to perfect your skiing.

 

You seriously date yourself Mr. Parker with the likes of Ingemar Stenmark and the Mahre brothers. I take it you used to race in the days of bamboo? Racing is a completely different ball game now. I find it hard to believe that putting on free heel gear will help out an alpine racer. Seems to me that they are very different mechanics and leaning back is a very effective recovery method if you get in trouble in the gates.

 

If you want to put on the tele boards in the gates then stick with it. Telemark racing is big time these days. Check out the link.

 

USTSA

 

 

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Fejas said:Racing requires the stiffes most suportive boots. and you'd put them in tele boots? hellno3d.gif

Have you ridden a pair of T-Races?

 

And I'm still trying to figure out why you can't ski in the back seat on Tele gear. I do all the time. It's getting forward on the skis that's dicey.

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No, but as burly as boots seem it isn't that hard to break an ancle when flying down the mountain...

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Also it would be easyer to ride the tails than just in front of the waist... shit I ride my tails 90% of the time, but I'm not a freeheeler either...

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The good thing about todays monster, plastic tele boots is that you can get in the back seat and recover just the same as alpine gear. Bode Miller does ski on 165's and is totally on the edge most of the time of being too much in the back seat. Acceleration coming out of a turn happens when the tail of the ski flexes and then sligshots you as the turn is completed and you unweight for the next one. One milisecond too long in the back seat will cause you to miss the next gate or at least have to crank really hard causing excessive edge pressure and lose speed. Bode is the king of recovery and it blows me away how he can recover on 165's. The guy is just plain friggin' strong and a master of the modern ski racing dynamics.

 

I guess when I was talking about coaching ski racing, I wasn't thinking of teaching skiiers at Bode's level. I was thinking more of kids or any skier learning to ski race. For me, I attribute ski racing to taking my skiing to the next level and really understanding the dynamics of a properly executed carved turn. All skiing and boarding is about carved turns (if you want to be an expert). You still have to find the sweet spot to initiate and maintain a solid carve all the way through a turn and that still means finding that balance point between too far forward and too far back. It begins with forward pressure and ends with back pressure and not going to far either way. There is a "range" in the middle to work with and perfect. My only point to all skiers is that doing parallels on teles will help you find that much quicker.

 

Interestingly enough, I feel I am once again "learning" to ski. I have just moved into plastic boots and shaped skis for the first time. The dynamics to perfect my skiing with this new equipment is making me think again. Eventually it will become second nature and I will not have to think, but just do it! I am enjoying the challenge though.

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I wash out my turns all the time. I find doing the "knee-to-boot" chaser game really helps focusing on setting an edge. As does skiing on one ski (this is a lot of fun when you are tired from a day of skiing, just chose a blue run and do laps on one ski - can be hard!)

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I'm finding I need more hip angulation too, especially at higher speeds on flatter slopes. I know I'm angulating enough if I feel my beer gut spare tire above my hips squeezing together and getting pinched. bigdrink.gif

 

If you are washing out, you're not unweighting soon enough. With the shaped skis, it's harder to get them to stop turning and start coming back around the other way.

 

Skiing on one ski in tele gear is the ultimate challenge.

Edited by David_Parker

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Thanks for the tip. I'm jealous of my friends who have racing backgrounds as kids, they always have incredible form. I've never had a lesson in my life so I know I must have some miserable technique. Tough backcountry snow is where those bad habits really get magnified. It gets me down stuff, but I know it is keeping me from leaving "good" and becoming "great" I've found Paul Parker's Freeheel Techniques book to be helpful (it has a lot of advice for parallel technique too), but all the bad stuff is in muscle memory now.

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