History of Telemark Skiing
The Telemark ski style was once a competing form of skiing, the predecessor to modern cross-country skiing, and a stepping-stone to alpine skiing. In fact, the name “Telemark” originates from the region of Norway, Telemark, where it first became popular in the 1850s and was thus also the namesake of the style.
This style of skiing was brought into the spotlight with the help of those crazy Norwegian mountaineers who were looking for a way to ski the mountains in a speedy manner. As a result, it became the third form of skiing, after Nordic skating and Alpine skiing.
To ski Telemark, you’ll need to bend in a little at the knees, have a long stride, be playful, and be fit, fast, and determined.
How Telemark Skiing Works
Telemark skiing is a form of skiing characterized by using a free heel binding to attach your ski boots to the skis. Telemark skiing originated in Norway, and the word telemark is a Norwegian word meaning “telemarken,” which is an area in Norway. Today, telemark skiing is popular around the world and is used on a variety of terrain including alpine skiing runs as well as on wooded trails.
The free heel binding of a telemark ski is normally located behind the toe of the skis, and the heel of the boot is a bit more flexible than what you find with regular skiing boots. The idea here is that you pivot the heel on the ski’s edge, similar to how you would with a regular hiking boot.
Telemark skis are often lighter than alpine skis, with a shorter length and a higher tip. Telemark skis are categorized by their flex pattern. When you sign up for a lesson, your instructor may ask what your favorite type of skier are. If you say you like telemark skiing, they will likely ask what kind of flex pattern you prefer.