Crash Course: Telemark Ski Gear, Part 1 (Ep.95)


  • Geoff McFetridge (2:42)
  • Dan Abrams (21:25)
  • Paul Forward (30:50)
  • Kristin Sinnott (42:26)

Since we now have to learn how to tele ski and shoot a tele video, we’re crowdsourcing a crash course in telemark technique (see Blister Podcast episode 125) and in telemark gear. So here in Tele Gear Part 1, we’re talking again with the artist, Geoff McFetridge; Flylow Gear co-founder and president, Dan Abrams; and Blister reviewers Paul Forward and Kristin Sinnott.

9 comments on “Crash Course: Telemark Ski Gear, Part 1 (Ep.95)”

  1. First of all. It´s amazing that you get into the tele topic. After 20 years of strictly tele I can give you the following advice:
    Binding: 22designs: no matter if you are going NTN or 75mm… go for 22 designs!!!
    Boots: Scarpas: 75mm …at least T1s and NTNs: TX Pro
    Skis: as a beginner I´d go for your alpine ski length. For me it´s at least body length and mount on the line for an allround setup (boot center- alpine ski center). For skis that you ski in pow a lot you can go back up to -2 from alpine center.
    For your first tries it´s definitely good to choose a pair that you find easy to handle on an alpine setup. Something like QST 108s, Soul 7s, ….

  2. Definitely use shorter poles. If you’re poles are too long it’s going too get your hands up too high and put you in the back seat. My poles are about the same level as my belt when the tips are inserted in snow up to the baskets.

  3. You need to do an interview with Urmas Franosch. He will clear up all things telemark .Technique,gear, everything! Listening to the folks you’ve talked to makes me wonder if they have 10 days between the 4 of them. Urmas , he’s your guy. Ps… got some old Mantras 184 with Hammerheads I can send your way.

  4. “Telemark was a movement towards simplicity”… yeah, in 1980 !
    Loving the gear discussion.
    -Yes, kneepads are a great thing. One rock/stump impact with a patella would be “bad”. I wear IXS Daggers, same as biking; some friends wear hardware store pads.
    -Ski down with boots in ski mode. Walk with boots in walk mode. I don’t know what Geoff is talking about…
    -NTN or 75mm, technique is the same. You can stand high or low.
    -Use the skis you like. You might enjoy them tele, or not. You’ll figure it out.
    Showing my family’s quivers, maybe it’ll help:
    We ride Scarpa NTN boots, bindings mounted boot center on ski recommended line.
    Me (no alpine since ‘87):
    Moment Wildcat 108 + 22D OutlawX
    Moment Exit World + 22D Outlaw
    Herwiggy + Rotte Freeride
    The Missus (25 yrs tele, strong alpine before):
    Volkl Aura + 22D Outlaw
    The Kid (tele for 17 of his 22 yrs):
    Armada AR8 + Rotte Freeride
    Praxis GPO + 22D Outlaw
    4FRNT Gaucho + Rotte Freeride
    Moment Deathwish Tour 107 + 22D OutlawX
    Ski Logik Howitzer (?) + Rotte Freeride
    I think your plans of playing with a variety of skis sounds like a BLAST! Especially some 175cm slalom race skis, would love to slice-n-dice on those!!!

  5. Walk mode! Yes it’s great for skiing. The Scarpa T1 75mm, TX Comp NTN, and TX Pro NTN are wonderful boots. Ski in walk mode makes for smoother flexing performance, more forgiveness of minor backseat balance errors, less fatigue, and a fun degree of looseness. (Walk mode skiers might be a bit like thoughtful Full Tilt skiers that are not satisfied with boots that box them into a proscribed technique or stance.) True, skiing in walk mode punishes severe backseat balance errors… so fall and get back up.

    Skis can be anything that handles well in normal length at moderate speeds for your likely terrain. East Coast, so I like even-flexing park skis mounted on the line, so long as the line is not forward of -4 cm (true center feels clumsy).

    75mm bindings… go with 22 Designs. There are other nice bindings but are less supportive of strong alpine skier shenanigans. Never tried Bishop… they’d be a second choice over all the other wimpy stuff.

    NTN binding… 22 Designs Outlaw/X is smooth and great (for easier entry use leashes not brakes). Rottefella NTN choices are fine with top steering precision and edging, but lack smoothness in forward flex that many find important. Don’t do tech toe NTN at this stage.

    Knee pads. I use 661 mountain bike knee pads at a minimum. Many times I use Demon hip, tail, knee pad all in one underlayer piece.

    Poles. I alpine with 48″, tele at 44″. 90% of the time I don’t use poles lift served. It’s great! Love halfpipe especially without poles. If poleless and confronted by moguls, I’ll throw in some alpine turns with snowblade type technique, super centered, super fun goofiness.

Leave a Comment