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Teaching kids to telemark, beating a dead drum (sic)

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Teaching kids to telemark, beating a dead drum (sic)

Postby Williamtele » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:34 am

So as with any sport or activity, or any religious cult, as your participants age you need to recruit new members. Urban gangs, while maybe not the greatest ethical example, have this process down to a science.

Telemarkers are getting older. No big surprise there, but are we doing enough to find and recruit new members to our gang? I think not, and I say so with some level of disdain aimed at most of the tele universe. For the last 12 years I've been part of a small but active program out of the Waterville Valley seasonal program and I would bet that over that time period we've launched more new knee droppers than (gasp) Mad River Glen. If you're ever able to witness a USTSA race, you'll see that about half of the participants have ties back to Waterville. I have a room full of gear that I've begged, borrowed, stolen (okay, maybe not), and dumpster dived for to outfit wannabee tele misfits.

And I'm talking about Waterville Valley, New-Freaking-Hampshire, known for nothing other than Wayne Wong and the Sununu family.

Okay, I'm off the soapbox. The truth is that tele is and has been in trouble for years and it won't get any better until we get our recruitment process updated. I feel like the longer we, as patrons, hang on to arcane equipment and turn techniques that were developed by the 10th mountain division, the harder it will be to find kids, teenagers, x-genners, or millennials willing to give up their alpine skis or snowboards to try it out.

What I want to to ask today is how do you/we teach more kids to tele and why aren't we doing it when the future of our sport is at stake?

(Grant, you don't have to answer, but I'd like to hear your thoughts).
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Re: Teaching kids to telemark, beating a dead drum (sic)

Postby The Court General » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:02 pm

I heard rumors that Telemark Sprint race is going to be in the next Olympics. I think that would get some of the younger peeps interested, with the head on skiing, the jumps, the reipeløkke, and the skate to the finish!
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Re: Teaching kids to telemark, beating a dead drum (sic)

Postby Williamtele » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:52 pm

This week they're racing at Gore in NY. Next week it's at Gunstock. Check 'em out if you're in the area.
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Re: Teaching kids to telemark, beating a dead drum (sic)

Postby The Court General » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:28 pm

Williamtele wrote:This week they're racing at Gore in NY. Next week it's at Gunstock. Check 'em out if you're in the area.


They are on the calendar, but unfortunately (I mean fortunately) the little generals have a swim meet and basketball game this and next weekend. I will be lucky if I can escape to the local hill for some night skiing.

Back to the subject, I agree, there needs to be more access to gear to get kids telemarking. There are tons of inexpensive and used alpine kids gear and a ton of places that do relatively inexpensive seasonal leases, but are there any entry level / kids telemark gear out there or season leases?
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