Telemarker looking for race skis

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tovodeverett

tovodeverett

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I'll chat with the ski shop about risers when I go to get them mounted (I don't have the skill set to do a good job mounting). I have so much more edging with plastic boots (rather than my leather slippers) that I'm not sure I need to be in platform shoes yet! That said, I don't want to have boot out, so we will probably need something because the Meidjo bindings are pretty low profile.
 

Paul Lutes

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Important advice from TimF - do NOT fail to use a riser. Not sure if Meidjo offers their own riser - if not, they're easy to make.
 

Smear

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I started out telemarking 30+ years ago when I was 13. There was a free multi-week clinic at a local ski hill up here in Anchorage, so we bought the cheapest thing we could find (touring skis with metal edges, camber and half, and 10 mm of side cut, along with wire bail three-pins and a pair of glorified high-top sneakers). I flailed all over that hill (and it wasn't very steep - Hilltop is aptly named, since the derivative at a maximum is 0
Hmmm... We have similar background. Started telemark skiing going to lifts with cambered Åsnes Sondre skis, threepins and boots without buckles. Around the same age. This was at the west coast of Norway. Your video from above reminded me of home. Damn I miss mountains....

So I'm coming back to tele racing, and in addition to the alpine Masters, I've got a friend who teles who is going to do Masters as well. I do think I'm going to stick with the SL boards - it's more a question of whether I need to find some softer SL skis. My older son will age out of Mighty Mites after next season, but he's already got me picking up used SL skis for him for as he grows. The GS skis he uses on GS race days, but he's pretty clear that they're nowhere near as much fun as his SL skis for playing on the groomers. I'm hoping I'll have the same reaction - that I'll want my all mountain skis for soft snow days, but when it hasn't snowed in days I'll be breaking out my new turny boards.
Yes, SL boards are a lot more fun for general groomer skiing than proper GS-skis. Especially on crowded slopes. For me the SL-gates are a challenge. Cross blocking is probably something that should be worked up to, for instance like this but difficult to do that in a Masters coaching setting where the skill level ranges from total noob like me to ex-WC. With your previous racing experience you will probably fare better, and even on tele skis one can make alpine turns sometimes ;)
 

ScottB

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I am a race coach at a small hill in MA. I have tele'd a little. I realize you are into it, but why not get used alpine race gear and see how you like it? A lot less $$ to invest. You will have to get boots, so maybe not as low cost as I think.

For ski to use in a course, I suggest a Fischer curve DTX in 178 cm. they can be had at good discounts, come with a system binding if you want to alpine, and could work as both SL and GS. Not perfect, but soft enough (for a stiff ski) to bend into SL turns. 17 m radius. I use it for race coaching on a short course. It's a turny cheater GS ski.

Your SL ski seems like a good way to go as well. They can be fun outside of a course.

Good luck
 
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tovodeverett

tovodeverett

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Hmmm... We have similar background. Started telemark skiing going to lifts with cambered Åsnes Sondre skis, threepins and boots without buckles. Around the same age. This was at the west coast of Norway. Your video from above reminded me of home. Damn I miss mountains....
Your mention of early tele skiing and Norway reminded me of something. When I was in my early 20s, I even experimented with using a lurk. I cut down a small black spruce tree in our back yard (I was still living at home), and used a draw knife (something like this) to strip the bark and render it more cylindrical by cutting down the base end, so it was around 2 m (~6.5 ft) long and 3 cm (1.2 in) in diameter. Because it still had some bumps on it, I had good grip, and it definitely had character. I would switch back and forth between poles and the lurk on many skiing days, and ended up developing three styles with the lurk.

The first style was to drag it on the inside of the turn cross body, with an under-hand grip on the outer/upper hand and an over-hand grip in the inner/lower hand. In between turns I would flip the lurk all the way over, making me a dangerous person to ski near! This was a hyper-stable approach for skiing nasty breakable crust, refreeze, chunky snow, etc. I also thought it might be useful when descending with a heavy pack.

The second style was to hold it in that position, but pick a side and not flip it over. This made telemarking a bit like snowboarding in that there was now a frontside and a backside turn. This grew into my summer rollerblading in that I started developing a carving rollerblading technique where I had a leading and trailing skate with the toe of the trailing skate about even with the instep of the leading skate, but I would keep that position constant as I carved left and right, again demonstrating a frontside/backside turn approach.

The third style was the most beautiful. I held the lurk in the center with an over-hand grip like one holds a kayak paddle, and then back-paddled down the slope without touching the lurk to the snow. I referred to this as Paddle Fu - the idea was that when river kayaking, one back-paddles on the inside of the turn, so why not do the same in midair with my lurk. The momentum of the lurk served to assist with the counter rotation, and by synchronizing my skiing to a smooth back-paddle, I was able to learn to make quicker and smoother tele turns.

When I went up lifts, I would aim for the left most seat (Alyeska had a detachable quad on the upper mountain by this point) and just hold the lurk horizontally off the side with my left hand. This worked well because the singles line was on the left. One day, someone slid in beside me on the left, and I was suddenly in the middle. Not thinking quickly enough, I shifted to holding the lurk vertically. It got pinned between the floor and the ceiling and as the front of the chair moved forward inexorably, the chair bent the lurk like a bow until it half-snapped and was flung forward around 10 m. Luckily no one got hurt, but with the lurk now half-snapped I had to retire it. I've never made another, but maybe someday I'll give it another go.
 

Smear

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I skipped the lurk period ;-) But did have a skiing in wool sweater and wool pants. Not very practical when crashing, and there where lots of crashing going on on that gear...

Perhaps you can try blocking the SL-gates with a lurk ;-) Have seen kids doing drills blocking gates holding their poles in what you describe as the "Paddle Fu"-position.
 
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tovodeverett

tovodeverett

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I skipped the lurk period ;-) But did have a skiing in wool sweater and wool pants. Not very practical when crashing, and there where lots of crashing going on on that gear...
I did have West German military wool pants that I used early on - they tended to accumulate a lot of snow/ice on the rough fabric, so I would stick a pair of huge rain pants over them that I had picked up in the REI attic.

Perhaps you can try blocking the SL-gates with a lurk ;-) Have seen kids doing drills blocking gates holding their poles in what you describe as the "Paddle Fu"-position.
Funny that you mention this - I had already thought about using the lurk to block gates - I'll have to check the FIS regulations to see if it's legal! Hmmm - "The ski pole is an item of equipment, the function of which is to aid the skier and facilitate balance. National and international rules establish the minimum requirements for ski pole tips, grips, shafts, baskets, straps, length, etc. Owing to risk of injury, metal baskets are not permitted." Not sure which national and international rules to which they are referring, but as long as there are no maximums, I suspect the lurk wouldn't violate the rules. No metal baskets - check! The ski pole (no plural there) - check! You know, I might give this a try. With my Paddle Fu technique, it definitely works on getting the outer arm/hand up and forward, which looks like the whole idea behind cross blocking.
 

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