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Telemark Skiing in Growth Mode
Total posts: 353
Joined: 48 year(s) ago
Posted 11:17 AM 1/28/2005

This just in from TeleNews

  • 1/18-- Fall sales for the entire winter sports market were flat, up just 0.2 percent over the same period last year, but telemark gear sales rose by 9% in the specialty stores and 12% in the chain stores, this according to the latest SnowSports Industries America (SIA) Retail Sales Audit, the second of six to be released this season. In the specialty stores where most freeheel gear is sold, tele ski sales grew 16% in dollars, while freeheel boots and bindings also saw solid increases of 20% and 15%, respectively. The growth of the sport of telemark skiing is especially impressive when viewed against a background of apparent declining interest in other snow sports: snowboard equipment sales (including boards, boots and bindings) were down 11% in dollars in the specialty stores, and snowboard unit sales fell in the chain stores, and overall specialty store ski equipment sales (alpine, snowboard, nordic, telemark and randonee/AT) were down 6% in dollars as compared to last season.
  • Total posts: 1134
    Joined: 48 year(s) ago
    Posted 11:38 AM 1/28/2005

    This IS interesting.  I'll note that between this year,and last year, we'll have had over 100 people who wanted to get avi training through ODC.

    Now, not all those were interested in backcountry skiing....but the overwhelming majority were.

    I was also impressed by my trip two weeks ago on San Gorgonio, where my group ran into 4 others, made up of ODC people, and there was yet another ODC trip up there.  A lot were on skis, some tele, some AT.

    This really strikes me as a trend.


    Total posts: 190
    Joined: 15 year(s) ago
    Posted 2:32 PM 1/28/2005

    "This really strikes me as a trend."

    Why so?  It (ski touring) has been going on in EU for ages. 

    As far as tele sales go, when you're at the bottom, there's nowhere to go but up.  Above figures were growth percentages, and when sales are low to begin with, any growth is going to seem larger than normal, and will probably taper off.  Ok, so I guess I just answered my own question...


    Total posts: 133
    Joined: 14 year(s) ago
    Posted 12:23 AM 1/30/2005
    Sierra Club's ski mountaineering section guys have been doing it forever. I have been to some of their trips. I know only one snowboarder in the group but almost everyone is a telemark skier. I have been to June/Mammoth Mt. several times this season. It seems to me I see more telemarkers than last season. However, a lot of them were real beginners.

    Total posts: 1134
    Joined: 48 year(s) ago
    Posted 9:41 AM 1/30/2005

    I find it interesting, that in europe, "where they have been doing it for ages", where backcountry skiing was invented and perfected, that virtually no one does any telemark skiing any more.  It is all AT. 

    I'm very impressed by the advances that make it so that you can just about now have one pair of skis/boots/bindings for lift served, backcountry, ski mountaineering.  This is a real change, the only thing holding people back from having that sort of dedicated system is the ridiculous prices being charged for the newest AT rigs.  It eliminates the college and working person entry, which has always been the backbone of new entry into the sport. 

    What some smart manufacturer should do, is have the $100 ski, $100 boot, $100 binding......all entry level.  Give a $50 trade-in on the higher level gear.

    They'd make little money on the entry stuff, but make a pile from the avalanche of new people entering the market, then advancing.....

    Total posts: 133
    Joined: 14 year(s) ago
    Posted 10:14 AM 1/30/2005
    Alpine style is more efficient in steep hills and faster. It is easier to carve than Telemark ski. I still cannot carve well with telegear even though I can snap it with Alpine gear. There are many professional level competition in Alpine style but hardly anyting like that in Telemark. Telemark skier are underdog to some.

    However, with recent advance in technology the difference between the two style is getting narrower at least in terms of gear. Plastic boots are very popular among Telemarker and with strong cable binding you can do sharp parallel turn with no problem. I like telemark skiing because it gives me more options. I can ski a whole day without making any single telemark turn with my hammer head binding. People wouldn't know whether I have a telemark gear or alpine gear unless they look very closely. In the same token I can do telelmark turn a whole day too even though my quad muscle would complaint by the end of the day
    Total posts: 190
    Joined: 15 year(s) ago
    Posted 12:51 PM 1/31/2005

    I ski alpine, snowboard, and tele, so here's my take:

    For deep pow:  a board has got to be a whole lot of float fun.  A board in the backcountry is highly appealing in deep conditions on the descent.  I hear split boards break nice fat trails too. I have some experimenting to do...

    Carving turns: I'd take a tele setup.  Turning is like having one LONG ski.  Feeling the carve is superior, in my opinion 

    If you want to race & be the first one down, then lock your heels

    For pure freedom, then free 'em up. 

    As for the one-boot-does-all, there are still compromises to be made in performance.  It can be done, but the jack-of-all-trades effect is still prevalent. Ski boots aren't great for climbing, climbing boots aren't great to ski in.  Crampons are a tough fit on my tele boots, and I won't be climbing 5th class with them, though they edge on a dime, and you can probably crank the duckbill in a nice crack...


    Total posts: 353
    Joined: 48 year(s) ago
    Posted 6:05 PM 1/31/2005


    here is my take:

    1)for steep descents, unless you are really proficient on teleskis, an AT setup is the way to go.

    2)teleskis are great for going light and fast

    3)ask Jen about splitboards

    4)teleskis work best in powder or corn, not Sierra cement

    just my .02