..Many of us made our first
telemark turns on steeper (above green level) terrain by using
a kind of step turn. It is a sequential turn initiation, the
front ski is moved forward and "stepped" across the
fall line, edged, and then the rear ski is brought around and
edged as well. A two step process. The reason that we fall into
this two step turn is that the speed (and the associated "fear
factor") is controlled immediately. The skis are brought
around across the fall line quickly, in fact the lead ski is
close to across the fall line at the start of the turn.
This step turn is great for keeping the speed down and for use
in tough snow conditions, a good reason to refine and perfect
it later. The step turn is not a very elegant way to ski though
and can be put away in the back of the turn quiver most of the
time. To smooth out our turns we need to look at edging both
skis at the same time and making one fluid single-move initiation.
goal of this lesson is to get you making a carving turn, one
that does not have the wedge-step-skidding action as described
above. If you have been skiing steeper terrain, knock it back
a notch and hit an easier slope for the first part of this exercise.
by making your turns with this in mind: slide the rear ski back
and begin by edging this ski first. Get your weight on the ski,
relax your ankle, and press your little toe and ball of your
foot hard onto the edge. Let the front ski fall into place, don't
worry about edging it, you will automatically, concentrate on
the back ski. Continue making turns and with each turn try to
connect the edging sequence of the two skis closer together,
make sure though that you are edging the rear ski first, closing
the gap towards a simultaneous initiation from this direction
rather then from the front to back ski approach.
Edging the rear ski first will assure
that you are engaging this ski at all times, unlike the step
turn in which the rear ski is treated almost like an afterthought.
To make smooth turns you want to use both of those skis on your
feet, keeping them equally in the act and carving rather then
Once you feel that you are edging
both skis in one movement try this: aggressively turn the rear
ski, concentrate on turning the ski in the new
direction, again let the front ski follow the lead of the back
ski, it will. Turning the back ski in tele position feels much
different then turning the front ski with your foot flat on the
ski. With your heel up off the ski you have to twist your
foot a bit to tighten the turn up. After you get the ski on edge,
press down with the little toe and the ball of your foot and
apply a bit of twist to the ski. This move should get the back
ski carving sooner and the front ski, will follow. It is almost
impossible to get so much weight and emphasis on the rear ski
that the front ski becomes a problem, but make sure you edge
it and keep it carving as well.
At this point, look to balance things
out somewhat but remember to be active with the rear ski. You
should be seeing your skis become more parallel to each other
and far less "wedgie". Your transitions should smooth
out. The simultaneous initiation should lead to a carved, rounded
turn. Concentrate on making these rounded turns even, symmetrical.
Also, in all this rush to try new things, don't forget the fundamentals,
good hand position, facing down the slope (see below), etc.
To sum up, slide the rear ski back, edge both skis at the
same time, actively turn (steer) the back ski, carve your
skis through the arc of the turn and repeat. As for your old
step turn, don't forget about it, it will come in handy as an
advanced turn for tight spots and bummer snow.
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