What’s New in Telemark

What’s New in Telemark- Jim Shaw Telemark Chair and Educator

New for the upcoming 2020-21 season we have decided to add Kramelet. Kramelet (pronounced cram-a-lay) is similar to Telemark with some very distinct differences. While the skis will be the same, it will require different bindings that allow the toes to be lifted while the heels are held down. In contrast to traditional Telemark skiing, Kramelet will require the toe of the front foot to be raised while the entire back foot will remain firmly on the ski. We believe that expanding our offerings to include Kramelet should increase the excitement and buzz that currently surrounds Telemark. The RM Telemark Education Staff has been working diligently to create a fantastic Kramelet curriculum. We look forward to seeing you at a Kramelet workshop this season!

JUST KIDDING! Telemark has not changed. Unless of course you consider the opportunity to switch to NTN (this is not a joke, seriously!). NTN (New Telemark Norm), for those who do not know, is a different boot/binding system that allows for step-in bindings and ski brakes. It can also increase the performance and power transferred to the ski while still maintaining the integrity of Telemark skiing. It is completely compatible with uphill travel, having a free pivot mode that can be activated. Last season we offered demo opportunities for any instructor at any RM Tele clinic for free! This opportunity will continue for the 2020-21 season. NTN equipment can also be arranged at your home resort for instructors to experience. Last year Monarch and Winter Park took advantage of the opportunity. Please contact me for details.

The Telemark Committee has worked hard this summer to update all educational materials. While the materials content has not significantly changed you should find the formatting and wording to be consistent. We have also included Telemark Skiing Fundamentals and the Learning Connection Model where we can. This effort should help our materials to be more easily understood and the consistency should alleviate seeming contradictions. As I am sure you know, concepts in teaching and skiing evolve over the seasons. Keeping all the butterflies flying in the same direction can be difficult.

This winter will be an exam season. As you may or may not know, we have been conducting Level 2 and Level 3 Telemark exams every other year while Level 1 happens every season. We realize the opportunity to teach Tele Skiing is limited. The lessons are there, even if infrequent, and I love it when I get to teach Tele. When I conduct Telemark clinics for RM, it always makes me proud to watch certified Telemark instructors. Their skills are refined, their understanding of the sport is solid, and they are a joy to join in a day of Telemark skiing. There is a difference between the certified instructor and most all recreational Tele enthusiasts. I hope you will consider pursuing certification. It may be mostly for your personal development and joy for the discipline, and I hope that is enough for now. It will improve your abilities in whatever is your primary discipline. Sometimes the best way to improve your skill in one area is to learn a new one!

This may be the perfect season to join a RM Tele clinic. We always have small groups. We always try to keep the air circulating with a breeze in our face. The snow is always deeper when you “drop a knee.” We hope to see you on the snow this season!

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