As Featured in Fall Line Magazine

» Telemark Technique Tips » How to Carve on Telemark Skis»October 2013.

How to Carve - on Telemark Gear

First up: it’s carving, it’s an awesome feeling setting the skis on edge and letting them take you round the arc. Like a banked corner on a roller coaster, the faster you go the more gravity defying angles you get and the bigger the grin on your face.

Despite the radical improvements in telemark ski equipment today, a truly carved turn is still quite difficult to do. Telemark skiers can get just as much out their skis as our alpine brothers, it’s just a bit more technical.

The key to a carved turn is minimising your movements, less is definitely more. Timing and accuracy are also critical, it's all about using your body to influence the skis at the right time and in the right place to make the skis do the work. Get it right and you’ll stick anything, even sheet ice.

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Get it right and you’ll be rewarded with gravity-defying angles and a grin bigger than a Cheshire cat on a sugar rush...

How to do it - Six Essential Steps to High Performance Carving on Telemark Skis...

Step 1

Use a Wide Telemark Stance

Open your feet and ski with a wide stance - this gives you stability at high speed, a greater range of movement when separating and helps you maintain pressure on the outside ski.

Step 2

Make a Smooth Lead Change

The Lead change. This is the telemark skier’s transition when the front ski becomes the back ski, and visa versa. Make a smooth lead change (while changing edges) at the top of the arc. In general we match the rate and range of your lead change to the arc length and your speed. My mantra is 'Speed Masks Performance', a slow controlled lead change ensures good balance, timing and pressure control on both skis. Although a carving turn is performed at high speed, it's not necessary to make sharp snappy lead changes - save them for the bumps!

Step 3

Less is Definitely More - Edge Change Before Turning Anything!

Less is definitely more and economising or minimising movements is probably our biggest challenge when making carved telemark turns. Watch any truly great skier and they look so effortless, and that's the secret, what they're doing is effortless.

Edge change with minimal input, simply roll your ankles from the uphill side to the downhill side without making any rotary movements. The skis should take you round the corner, you've paid lots of money for them, so relax and let them do the work.

Step 4

Get Stacked Above the Fall Line

Above the fall line maintain an aligned body position by simply making sure your body is stacked vertically over both feet. You'll know you've got it right when your skis stick even on sheet ice, let your body incline inside the arc but not too much otherwise you'll lose pressure on the outside ski.

Step 5

Love the Fall Line...

Be patient and 'Love the Fall Line', don't rush it… enjoy that moment when you're facing straight down the hill, skis tilted. Then let them arc back underneath you as they cross the fall line. If you can feel the skis rebound under your body then your timing and body position were spot on.

Step 6

Separate to Control Pressure

As you let the skis cross back underneath you, separate your upper and lower body to control pressure on the outside ski and set up your body's movement into the next turn. At the end of the turn see how the shoulder level stays horizontal while the legs are at an angle.

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I've had telemark lessons in the past but this was in a different league. No more one-size fits all instruction. I immediately felt the difference in my control and have enjoyed my ski time much more. Paddy O'Connor

More Tele Technique Tips

Check out our other technique articles featured in Fall Line Magazine...
We have the Telemark 'How to' Series and the 'Drills for Specific Skills' Series.

The Telemark 'How to' Series

01
How to Carve

Learn how to carve or improve your telemark carving with our article on Carving Telemark Turns

02
How to Telemark Couloirs

Learn how to ski couloirs or improve your couloir skiing with our article on Telemarking Couloirs

03
How to Telemark the Bumps

Learn how to ski bumps or improve your bumps skiing with our article on Telemark Skiing the Bumps

04
How to Telemark Switch

Learn to telemark switch or improve your free-heel switch skiing with our article on Telemarking Switch

05
How to Tele Powder in the Trees

Learn how to tele powder in the trees with our article on Telemark Skiing Powder in the Trees

06
How to Make a Telemark Slash Turn

Learn how to smash a telemark slash turn with our article on the Telemark Slash Turn

07
How to Telemark the Steeps

Learn how to ski the steeps otr improve your steep skiing with our article on Telemarking the Steeps - Coming Soon...

08
How to Escape the Intermediate Rut!

Learn how to escape avoid the biggest mistakes intermediate telemark skiers make Coming Soon...

'Telemark Drills for Specific Skills' Series

01
Telemark Carving Drill

Improve your telemark carving with the Edge Change Before Lead Change Drill...

02
Telemark Rails Drill

Learn how to do rails on telemark skis with the Telemarking the Rails Drill...

03
Free Heel Powder Drill

Improve your powder skiing with the Pink Panther for the Powder Drill...

04
Telemark The Steeps Drill

Improve your steep skiing with the Heels Up for the Steeps Drill...

05
MonoTele Drill for the Bumps

Improve your telemark skiing in the bumps with the MonTele Drill Coming soon...

06
Rate and Range for the Lead Change

Smooth out your lead change with the Rate and Range Lead Change Drill Coming soon...

Fancy Skiing with us? Check out our Telemark Courses

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Who on Earth are Tele Tracks? Find out who we are and what we do...

01
Why Ski With Us?

Find out what makes us different... Specialist Telemark Coaching

02
Telemark Courses

Find out about our Telemark Group Lessons

03
Private Telemark Lessons

Find out about our Private Telemark Lessons

04
Telemark in Val d'Isere

Find out more about Telemark Skiing in Val d'Isere

05
Telemark in Tignes

Find out more about Telemark Skiing in Tignes

06
Tele Touring Courses

Find out about our Telemark Touring Courses

07
Telemark Racing Camps

Find out about our Telemark Race Training Camps

08
Try Tele Days

Find out about our Try Telemark Days