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Drills to develop better FREEHEEL alpine skills

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Drills to develop better FREEHEEL alpine skills

Postby benny » Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:39 am

Many of us come to tele skiing from an alpine background. As such, decent alpine, parallel skiing on freeheel gear isn't that hard to figure out. For those coming from a pure Nordic background though, it's not so easy. Are there any recommended drills or tips to better develop alpine skills for the latter group?
Last edited by benny on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drlls to develop better FREEHEEL alpine skills

Postby Hindfoot » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:26 pm

Though it may not add much discussion to this forum, you might check out Paul Parker's book, Freeheel Skiing, Telemark and Parallel Techniques for All Conditions. I have found his tips and instruction very helpful, though I come to tele mainly from a long alpine background. He covers well the parallel turn and some other turns on tele gear. He seems to be coming from a nordic/telemark background, so you may find this especially helpful. The third edition is the most current, though still about ten years old, but then free heel skiing is far older.

Another source, especially from a nordic perspective would be Steve Barnett's Cross Country Downhill book, also in a third edition. Not sure if it is still in print. SB started writing about turn techniques on XC gear in the mid 70s and his book includes a section on parallel turns as well as several other turns useful on light free heel gear. This book is very well written and the photos and instruction are very good.
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Re: Drills to develop better FREEHEEL alpine skills

Postby benny » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:48 pm

Thanks Mr. Foot.

I forgot all about those 2 great books. I'll see if I can dig either book out of my archives.


Do any Nordic to heavy tele converts care to weigh in?
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Re: Drills to develop better FREEHEEL alpine skills

Postby Williamtele » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:52 am

Hi Benny,

This might sound bass-ackwards but you might consider taking some alpine lessons as part of your submersion into tele. Most of what is taught in alpine transfers directly to telemark and it will be far easier to learn the basic skills (balance, rotation, edging, pressure) on fixed heel skis. Modern telemark technique relates much more closely to alpine than to XC.
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Re: Drills to develop better FREEHEEL alpine skills

Postby mptelemark » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:52 pm

I agree that taking an alpine clinic with your tele skis really helps with both alpine technique and telemark technique . This is especially true for initializing tele turns by changing edges as first step before the lead change to make the tele turn more rapid and efficient. One of the more difficult techniques for novice and intermediate telemarkers to accomplish if not from alpine backround. The modern alpine technique is all about getting on those opposit edges as quick as possible to utilize the modern curved ski design. Let the ski do the work. Modern alpine teaching also empasizes the inside ski which is similar to modern tele teaching. It helps to do these alpine lessons with a curved ski and more rigid binding like hammerheads

I recently was involved in a 2 day alpine clinic as part of auditioning to become a ski instructor at Gunstock NH. I did it on my tele rossi 88 w hammerheads. It was great in picking up techniques on edging. In the end I was told I would need to be on alpine skis if I wanted to go ahead . I could not do it since it is against my religion to secure my heels
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