Saturday, 16 February 2013

Learn how to make basic telemark turns – Part 1

 by Keith and Heather Nicol
Photo 1 - The Tele stance

      Telemark skiing is a great way to explore our snowy winter landscape. The fact that you can lift your heel  means that you can ascend up hill and by making telemark turns you can descend downhill.  Making telemark turns is more challenging than it looks since you need to control the skis from a flexed leg position. Photo 1 shows the basic telemark stance with the rear leg roughly parallel to the snow .  If you sink lower than this you risk hitting your knee cap on the ski.  It helps to keep your arms out and forward for balance and try not to hold this position but instead rise up and then sink down with the other foot ahead. This is called a “lead” change and is a good starting point for feeling comfortable adopting the tele stance.  Once you can do this on the flats, try a lead change moving across a shallow hill.

Photo 2- Start with a snowplow

Next try making basic telemark turns which involves using the familiar snowplow position (see photo 2) to start the turn and finishes with the skier in the telemark stance in the last third of the turn (see photo 3). The following video shows this progression. Once you can perform “basic” tele turns add more speed and adopt the telemark stance earlier in the turn. CANSI (the

Photo 3- Finish in a tele stance

Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors) has a complete telemark progression which includes starting with the basic telemark turn and finishes with higher end turns like the short radius telemark turns. Contact CANSI for a telemark instructor in your area ( For more telemark tips see:  Thanks to Rossignol , Intuition Liners, and Genuine GuideGear for assisting with telemark education. 

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