Telemark tip by Greg Dixson
After a full decade of teaching telemark skiing I have seen common problems that seem to affect even the most advanced telemark skiers. One of the more common issues that I often keep my eyes out for is how telemark skiers effect pressure distribution over their skis throughout the turn. More often than not, it is noticeable that the inside ski remains too light to produce a functionally strong stance. Due to our freeheel nature, it is important that we distribute our weight equally between two feet, thus improving on the lack of stability that freeheel equipment provides when traveling downhill. If the inside ski is light then the stability that we are searching for is compromised, and our trip down the slope can become more challenging then enjoyable.
So what can we do to create a more stable telemark stance as we flow over the snow? A good place to start is to focus on how you flex into your telemark stance. Pay attention to your trailing foot. How much of your foot is on the binding plate versus off of it? Work towards pressuring the ball of your foot down to the boards. Use the cuff of your boot as a lever and drive it right down towards the bellow of your boot. The more of the sole of your boot that contacts the binding plate the better you can bend the ski.
Focus on the inside ski being the dominate ski. Most skiers tend to always drive and press into the outside ski. Too much pressure on the outside will leave the inside light. So relax the joints of your outside leg, at the same time step up the amount of engagement of the inside leg. As you move towards the initiation of your new turn align the center of mass a little more over that inside foot than you’re used to. Engage the inside edge of your new inside ski early and stay over it through the whole turn.
A good mode of thought is that the ski on the inside of the turn should track and react like the outside. Keep your inside trailing foot alert and your inside ski active. The added stability and flow down the hill is well worth the effort.[connections_list id=59 template=”div_staff_bio”]