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Telemark skiing in the trees is
Here is what I mean in this old edit
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Like most everything, we have a strong side.
Snowboard is a good example. You have to choose between regular or goofy stance. In fact you don’t choose, it just happens to be that way.
Telemark turn is the same, remember when you started, you had a strong side. Maybe you don’t even remember. Now, mechanically, you may approach difficult situations on your strong side.
Like mentioned in the post: Flawless method to learn movement, practicing your weak side as you learn will only take a few more minutes and will just make it easier to learn on your good side. But what if you never learned something on your weak side and you got real good at it on your strong side. Can you still make it up for the time lost? Will it take incredible amount of time and energy the make it back? probably the answer to all these is YES.
Even if it will seem longer now, it’s still feasible and definitely worth the effort.
You know the saying:
If it ain’t broken don’t fix it. BS. This is a a loser’s perspective.
I think it’s more something like:
Be a visionary: Think outside the box.
Let’s take for example an advanced telemark skier that can ski any run on a resort. You sometime get air of jumps, landing telemark stance. Are you able to land both side equally well? Meaning: can you land with your left leg up front the same as you can your right? Probably not.
And it has a major impact on your ability to ski. Here’s how:
Going down a black diamond run with moguls is still hard but you manage. Things happen fast in moguls and you sometime lose control after a few turns. You probably haven’t notice, but I bet you don’t absorb moguls as good on one side. Why? Because it’s your weak side that has never practice absorbing as much as your good side. And landing jumps is a good way to learn just that.
This is just one example.
Practicing your weak side is not the end of the world, It’s just another perspective to keep in mind as you progress.
Don’t take your ability to ski for granted, don’t stop progressing, Don’t be lazy. And have fun on the mountains. That’s what telemark is all about.
If I have knee problem, can I telemark ski ? or is telemark safe for your knees.
I’m not a doctor.
But after 10 years of mountain rescue as a ski patroller in 4 different resorts, I certainly can tell you that telemark skiers are less prone to injuries. Here‘s somewhat of a proof. Ok it’s ski stats from Scotland, but still. It clearly shows telemark is less prone to injuries than any other snowsports. Their is a new research you can participate here
Is it because of the telemark gear or because of the people’s behavior? Again nothing scientific here but I’d say a bit of both…
Questions I’m often asked:
1. I have knees problems, will I be able to telemark?
Real honest answer is that I know more people that have quit alpine skiing and are now telemark skiing because of knee problems that the opposite. Telemark builds muscles around the knee and stabilizes the articulation. Also, when starting telemark, you will be less aggressive (probably) than you where on your skis or board. If you’ve never downhill before, telemark is a great way to approach the mountain at a friendly pace.
2. Are telemark binding safe?
“That’s true, there’s no release…
No binding system on the planet is 100% safe.
On most telemark bindings, there is no release. Old data found here tend to show that it’s safer with a telemark release binding than a non release binding. Although, equipment has continued to change a lot over the years, few brands have developed release bindings. The arrival of NTN bindings, a solid performing binding with release has not created a mass movement toward this product because of the release option. Don’t get me wrong, releasable binding is not bad, but it’s not a must.
The way your foot is attached and the way the binding moves, in most cases, a fall will not cause injury. And believe me, telemark skiers are reputed to fall a lot. If you want extra psychological support and have the release option, there’s a few out there, but other than the NTN, none are really on my list. Again, After years of telemark skiing and being around the community, I feel perfectly safe telemark skiing.
What is the most common injury when you alpine ski: knee ligaments (way up there) and is alpine skiing more prone to injuries, yes. So if you are alpine skiing and are concern about your knees, think about telemark as an option.
Is telemark skiing safe for your knees: definitely. Can accidents happen? Obviously every day, every where.
Go on and try it, telemark skiing is pure pleasure
I can juggle five balls. And this blog is about telemark skiing.
I often meet people that are starting telemark skiing. One of the things I tell them is that they are very lucky to be beginners because they have so much to learn. The learning curve is fast and your milestones come every few days practicing. They then look at me, and go:
I’d like to be good now, ski the powder and rip through anything.
Goal is important but it is the mean that gets you coming back for more. It’s the fun part.
How to telemark then. I have a flawless method of learning movement. Skiing is just a combination of movements. So is juggling.
Ingredient one: get a tutorial method to learn the skill. Instructor, video, book… Anything. I learned juggling with a book that had all the 3 balls, 4 balls and 5 balls juggling tricks. Guess what, I can juggle 5 balls, not one more. Not because I can’t learn 6 and up. Just because I never got motivated in getting instruction for more. Make sure you have the tools to learn.
Ingredient two: Get a buddy as motivated as you. It will, in most cases, be the determinant factor to perseverance.
Ingredient three: Don’t wait to master a movement, try it on your weak side right now. We all have a weaker harm, a weaker kick leg, a weaker golf side. From juggling, I can tell you that you need both hands to catch and throw. Telemark is the same, you need to turn both ways. Practicing the weak side right away, you will master the skill FASTER on both sides. Spend a little more time on the weak side, and the good side will learn it in a flash.
Ingredient four: Don’t wait to master one skill before trying to do another one. Move on and come back. This will keep it fun.
Ingredient five: If you can’t do it instantly, don’t panic. You just need more practice. Keep it simple and make sure that you finish practicing that particular movement on a good note. your brain learns movement. It’s called proprioception. And it learns movement from resting in between practice session. I don’t know anybody that can juggle 5 balls the first time. Every time you come back at it, your brain have learned as assimilate more, and one day, it will just happen.
Bonus tip: Executing movement is more than an on/off switch. Learning is ongoing. Technique will always improve and future generations will always be better. I guess that’s why we can fly to outer space, or ski down climbing routes. Never take for granted that you know something, look around and learn from others.
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
And have fun…
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