Telemark skiing is an art form that peacefully integrates you with your surroundings. You eat granola, drink herbal tea and good craft beer, and bearded men and strong women are the norm. If your backpack has a name and you can’t go skiing without your dog, you’re a telemark skier.
True but there is another side of telemark: Newschool telemark.
These youngsters are all about jumping and grinding in the park. They look the same as the rest of the park rats and spend hours perfecting their spins. At first it looks like a completely different sport. They don’t appear to be turning, but seem to be simply jumping around. Don’t be fooled. These young skiers are just as passionate about our sport, and are as dedicated as most of the traditional crowd. Best of all they call themselves telemark skiers.
Check out this link to see what I mean.
Progression has no limits. Be open minded
Mike Douglas, known to many as the godfather of Freesking has raised the bar for skiers. He and other free-spirited skiers have changed the look of skiing by taking what the snowboarders were proving was possible and adapted their styles to skiing. Telemark skiing is already seeing a similar make over.
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Why do it?
What did you learn this season? Did you improve? Did you do something different? Are those new skis so great that they are all you need to feel like you have moved ahead in your game?
Newschool Telemark is all about moving forward in the sport, creating a different style, learning new techniques. It’s been eight seasons now since I set myself certain goals that I wanted to achieve as I grow in the sport, and each season I learned at least one Newschool trick. You may be thinking that this looks dangerous, but I’m not a teen anymore and getting injured is not on my list of things to do. Like anything, learning Newschool tricks and techniques can be done safely, and the learning will improve the traditional side of your telemark skiing.
My new telemark Newschool trick
I was always scared with interacting with anything that has to do with metal objects fixed on snow. It just didn’t feel right, and in my work as a professional ski patrolman I have seen many injuries from newbies who attempted a trick on the box. My experience led me to think that if you don’t get it right you will get injured. I was wrong!
With a little practice carefully supervised by a knowledgeable friend I began to feel confident sliding down the box. Even then my friend told “That’s not the whole trick, you also have to do it unnatural.” Of course I was thinking to myself that this whole trick is not natural in the first place. “Unnatural” is the same slide down the box but with your skis facing the other direction.
To my surprise it was really not that hard to go unnatural and after three to four attempts it felt like it was natural. After more practice I could ride the box confidently both natural and unnatural, and even exit Fakie. (backwards)
Where to start
Try fakie telemark.
It looks hard but really it’s not that hard. And both feet stay on the ground at all times. You will have fun practicing this technique anytime on the mountain even if the conditions are not ideal. Fakie telemark has allowed me to improve my day to day technique more than any other technique I’ve tried over the past 10 years. Not kidding! I find I am more balanced, have a better telemark stance, carve better, and therefore am an all-around better skier.
We are about to launch a tutorial on the subject. UPDATE: Check out our fakie telemark tutorial here
Telemark skiing whether you are going Newschool, practicing your fakie telemark technique or simply carving turns down the mountain is a different choice from fixed heel skiing, but one you’ve made to stay creative, to be open minded on the sport, and most of all to have fun. It’s spring-time and the snow is soft on a sunny day. Get out to the terrain park and try something new.
Leave us a comment below. What are you most afraid of? What new trick have you attempted?
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