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Call to Free Heelers

dlague

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I just scored a telemark setup for free. I have always wanted to try, but did not want to buy the gear. Well now I have no excuses.

My questions:

Is it hard to pick up?

How different is it to regular alpine?

How is it in the knees, legs and hips?

Thanks in advance!
 

Smellytele

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With plastic boots and shorter skis it seems a lot easier to pick up then when I started on leather boots and 205 skis. They used to say it takes 1000 falls but that is not the case anymore. You can cheat and do alpine turns you just have to be over the center of the ski. It helps when you go back to Alpine with keeping balance.
While it might be tough at first on your thighs I actually find it easier on my knees. With tele there is more play on the whole set up so it all the force does not end up on your knees when you wipe out, saving your knees. Never had any issues hip wise or leg except for leg fatigue which I have with alpine as well.
 

jaytrem

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Congrats on the score!!! There's a good chance you'll love it once you get the hang of it. In my opinion it's VERY different than alpine. It can be tricky to learn and advance due to the fact that you can cheat and make tons of alpine turns. It's definitely a lot better exercise than alpine, but once again if you get tired you can make alpine turns if necessary. Only piece of advice I can give for the actual learning aspect is when your switching you skis from front to back, do it very early in the turn. For me it was much earlier than I imagined. Once I got that down I realized "ahhh, this is what everybody is talking about". Enjoy!!!
 

ChicoKat

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My wife and I have been skiing on metal edge BC skis with light plastic boot and three pin binding. We took tele lessons this year at Waterville. We did not find it all that difficult to get the basics down. With the skis we have there was lots of going back an forth from tele to alpine to snow plow. Made for a fun day learning on the groomed hard pack. We got some really good tips on stance, keeping your hips tucked and center of balance. Based on your ski day location and dates I would say you are close to or have a place near Waterville so it might be worth booking a lesson there. We would go to Campton Mountain every Friday night($10) and practice tele turns.
 

Not Sure

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With plastic boots and shorter skis it seems a lot easier to pick up then when I started on leather boots and 205 skis. They used to say it takes 1000 falls but that is not the case anymore. You can cheat and do alpine turns you just have to be over the center of the ski. It helps when you go back to Alpine with keeping balance.
While it might be tough at first on your thighs I actually find it easier on my knees. With tele there is more play on the whole set up so it all the force does not end up on your knees when you wipe out, saving your knees. Never had any issues hip wise or leg except for leg fatigue which I have with alpine as well.

Knees , my biggest fear, Been temped to free heel a few times with my Dukes but have a knee phobia.
 

Edd

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Knees , my biggest fear, Been temped to free heel a few times with my Dukes but have a knee phobia.

Wait, what? Free heel with Dukes...like downhill? Is that done?

Also, it should be less risky to your knees, not more. That's the # 1 reason I contemplete trying tele. Also, it looks so cool in bumps when the skiers know what they're doing.
 

skiNEwhere

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Knees , my biggest fear, Been temped to free heel a few times with my Dukes but have a knee phobia.

I'd imagine that would take an incredible amount of quad strength, even more than traditional tele.

I have marker dukes as well, I've only used them for skinning though. I also have hammerhead bindings on my tele skis, the spring and resistance from the boot keep you from dropping straight down onto your knee uninhibited. AT bindings like dukes have no spring, and no resistance, so when you try to make a turn, you are going to have to control the descent of your knee with your quads vs using mostly the resistance found in a traditional tele setup. Not saying it can't be done, but I would imagine you'd tire even quicker.
 

jaytrem

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Wait, what? Free heel with Dukes...like downhill? Is that done?

I can't imagine that would work too well. The pivot point would be way in front of your toes, so you wouldn't even be able to bend your foot. And as mentioned before, no spring resistance. I'd like to see somebody give it a whirl.
 

skiNEwhere

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I can't imagine that would work too well. The pivot point would be way in front of your toes, so you wouldn't even be able to bend your foot. And as mentioned before, no spring resistance. I'd like to see somebody give it a whirl.

Good point. I didn't even think of the pivot point. I would think you'd be using the muscle in front of your shin in addition to your quads
 

deadheadskier

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I agree. I can't imagine attempting to tele on any sort of pitch would end well. Maybe on a slight downhill when skinning somewhere, but they certainly aren't designed to go downhill with the heel released.
 

Cannonball

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I mounted my own bindings and Heli coiled the screws, I know they'll stay put ....the extra leverage might be a little harsh on the core.

It's not the mounting point I'd be concerned with. It's the binding itself which isn't designed for the lateral torque of tele turns. You could probably get away with it for a few turns but not for long.
 
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