Telemark skiing Information

Telemark skiing is a term used for skiing using the Telemark turn. It is also known as "free heel skiing." Unlike alpine skiing equipment, the skis used for telemarking have a binding that only connects the boot to the ski at the toes, just as in cross-country skiing. Telemark turns are led with the heel flat on the outside ski , while the inside ski is pulled beneath the skier's body with a flexed knee and raised heel. The skis are staggered but not quite parallel, and 50% to 60% of the body weight is distributed on the outside ski, depending on snow conditions.

The Telemark turn came to the attention of the Norwegian public in 1868, when Sondre Norheim took part in a ski jumping competition. Norheim's technique of fluid turns soon dominated skiing, and in Norway it continued to do well into the next century. Starting in the 1910s, newer techniques based on the stem gradually replaced Telemark in the Alpine countries. Newer techniques were easier to master and enabled shorter turns better suited for steeper alpine terrain and skiing downhill. The Telemark turn became the technique of ski touring in rolling terrain.

The technique is named after the Telemark region of Norway, just as the stem Christie turn was named after Christiania , Norway. As well as inventing the Telemark turn, Sondre Norheim and his fellow skiers used and refined parallel skiing techniques. Thus, while the Telemark is part of early skiing's foundation, parallel techniques are of equal importance.

Wikipedia, Telemark skiing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telemark_skiing (as of Apr 9, 2010)

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